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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Areas of Interest: 
Automated language teaching and assessment
Low resource language technology
Computational modelling of first/second language acquisition
Computational modelling of language evolution


I am a computational linguist with research interests in developing computer applications (using Natural Language Processing) and also in language cognition (Computational Psycho-linguistics). My research focuses on building Natural Language Processing tools that work with non-canonical forms of natural language (spoken language, learners, aphasics, social media language) and also with low resource languages (endangered languages, dialects). I am interested in both the automatic machine processing of non-canonical language and the cognitive processes underlying that language. Understanding the cognitive aspects of language processing is essential if we are to build language tools that can be intuitive to users. 

I am Professor of Language and Machine Learning in the Department of Computer Science and Technology. I am also the Director of the  Cambridge Institute for Automated Language Teaching and Assessment (ALTA). This is an Artificial Intelligence institute that uses techniques from Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to improve the experience of learning online. My work within ALTA focuses on the spoken language of learners of English. I have additional funding to work on under-resourced endangered languages as part of the Cambridge Africa programme which partners Cambridge researchers with colleagues in Uganda and Ghana. Other research interests include the computational modelling of first and second language acquisition and language evolution.