Research interests

Natural Language Processing, Machine Translation, Question-Answers Systems, Sign Language Linguistics, Theoretical and Applied Linguistics 

Projects
  1. Project leader of "Tools and resources to improve deaf educational access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics" (2014-2015). Project funded by the United States Agency for International Development through the USA National Academies of Sciences and the National Science Foundation (USA).
  2. Project Leader of “Assistive Technologies for Improving Literacy among the Deaf and Hard of Hearing” (2012-2014). Project funded by United States Agency for International Development through the USA National Academies of Sciences and the National Science Foundation (USA). The project aims at developing software that translates between Moroccan Sign Language and Standard Arabic. 
  3. Project Leader of “Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship – Morocco” (2011-2012) in collaboration with Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Babson college (United States). The project aims at educating students to create innovative solutions to social challenges through design and entrepreneurship that are more just and sustainable and (ii) facilitating greater variety in student participation and preparation, and to contribute to the development of a diverse, globally-engaged, science and engineering workforce. This project is funded by the US embassy (Morocco) through the Moroccan Fulbright Alumni Association.
  4. Initiator of research and Education cooperation between the United States and Morocco in the area of Human Language Technologies through the USA National Science Foundation funded workshop “United States-Morocco Human Language Technology: team building and project startup”. NSF AWARD NUMBER 0538906. I was co-chair of the workshop.
  5. Research Project Principal Investigator of English-to-Arabic Knowledge-Based Machine Translation, Research Project funded by the Moroccan National Center for Scientific and Technical Research.
  6. Project Co-Principal Investigator: The development of linguistic tools that support Human and Machine Translation between Arabic and Italian. This project is in collaboration with «Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale», PISA, Italy and is jointly funded by CNRST (Morocco) and the National Center for Research (Italy) / (2004- 2005).
  7. Collaborator: a European Union-funded project on the development of Mediterranean language resources and tools (NEMLAR project) (2004-2006).
  8. Host scientist and advisor of a National Science Foundation Research Fellowship grantee from Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Technologies Institute (Pittsburgh, USA). (2001-2007).
  9. Partnership agreement between the center I direct and the UFR ACSYS: Architecture et Conception des Systèmes (faculty of sciences, Rabat) to co-supervise PhD students as well as to jointly work on HLT research projects.
Recent Invited Talks
  1. November 2014: Invited Speaker for the 8th forum on the internationalization of sciences and humanities, Germany. The forum is organized by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. 
  2. October 2014: Keynote Speaker of the Invited Session on "Arabic NLP: Models, Systems and Applications", IEEE Colloquium on Information Science and Technology
  3. June 2014: Invited speaker (Panelist): Opening conference of Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Arab-German Scientific Cooperation), Berlin June 21, 2014.
Conference Chair 

2012
  1. Chair of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsored conference “New Prospects for Science and Education in the MENA region”, Marrakech, March 2012.
2011
  1. Co-chair of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsored conference «Internationalization of Research: Opportunities and Challenges», Rabat, April 2011.
2009
  1. Conference Chair of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation/German Embassy Conference “Beyond Discipline Boundaries: Building a culture of research and education interdisciplinarity
2008
  1. Chair of the Alexander von Humboldt-sponsored conference «Human Language Technology in Africa: Status and perspectives», Rabat, Morocco.
  2. Co-chair of the LREC’s workshop "Human Language Technologies and NLP within the Arab World".
2006
  1. 2006: Co-chair of the NSF funded workshop “United States-Morocco Human Language Technology: team building and project startup”. NSF AWARD NUMBER 0538906
2005
  1. 2005: I was invited by the Research Director of the USA’s Great Plains Network (through an NSF grant) to initiate research cooperation in the area of Human Language Technologies between the United States and Morocco. AWARD NUMBER 0353201

Research Visits to International Universities and Laboratories

2014
  1. Research visits to the University of Leipzig, the University of Hamburg (Germany). This research stay is sponsored by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
2013 
  1. Research visits to the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Humboldt University, Frei University, Goettingen University, Germany.
2010 
  1. Research visit to Misurata University (Libya) to give a lecture on Natural Language Processing.
2009 
  1. July-December: Alexander von Humboldt resumption research stay at the Computational Linguistics Department of Heidelberg University, Germany.
2008 
  1. Research visit to the Institute of Computational Linguistics at Zurich University (Zurich, Switzerland).
2005 
  1. Research stay in the Great Plains Region of the United States, funded by the National Science Foundation (US) – Award: NSF0353201. The purpose of the research visit is to establish a Research and Education agenda in the area of Human Language Technology (HLT) between Morocco and the United States (mainly the Midwest). 
  2. 2005 December and 2004 December: 4-week research visit to the Institute of Computational Linguistics in Pisa (Italy). The research stay is within the framework of a joint research project on the development of language resources that support machine translation between Italian and Arabic. This research project is jointly funded by CNRST (Morocco) and the National Centre for Research (Italy). 
  3. 2005 and 2004 (July-September) and 2003 (July–December): Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Language Technology Lab (DFKI, LT lab), Saarbruecken, Germany. My research focus at DFKI’s LT lab is Arabic computational morphology and Machine Translation (from and to Arabic).
2003 
  1. From 18 September to 3 October: Research visit to the Computational Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence Section, University of Tilburg, the Netherlands. I built with a team of researchers in this section a Memory-based system for Arabic morphology analysis. 
  2. From 22 december to 27 December: Research visit to the « Centre de Traitement Automatique Des Langues », Université Catholique de Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.
2000 
  1. 2000 July – September, 1999 August – December, 1998 July - December: Fullbright Visiting Researcher at the Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, United States. 
  2. June 2000: Research visit to the Department of Cognitive and Computing Sciences, Sussex University, Brighton, England.
1998 
  1. September (1 week): Research visit to the department of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 
1997
  1. July-August: Research visit to the Group of Computational Linguistics at the University of Essex, Colchester, England.