News

3 April 2012:  I gave the lecture today in Thomas Serre's Computational Cognitive Science course (which I am TAing) on Bayesian Inference. It was a great experience to give my first lecture to a full class about something in my field, and I think it went great! I got some great suggestions from the students (in the form of anonymous feedback) and comments from Thomas, in addition to having observers from the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning visit to help evaluate my teaching techniques and offer pedagogical advice. Here are the slides -- I owe many of the slides and their content to Thomas Serre, who borrowed some of them from Chris BishopAmy PerforsTom Griffiths and Josh Tenenbaum. And, of course, I owe much to the good Reverend Thomas Bayes.

14 March 2012: This week, I am excited to be among fellow psycholinguists at CUNY's annual conference on Sentence Processing in the Big Apple. I am presenting a poster (here is a pdf) about my work on the effects of syntactic expectations on speech processing. Check out the programfrom this awesome conference!

10 March 2012: Today, after chairing a session at the Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT), I presented my joint work with Omran Ehmoda and Eugene Charniak developing a computational model of authorship attribution and applying it to the Marlowe-Shakespeare authorship question (spoiler alert: our model finds these two authors quite distinguishable). The talk went really well; here is a pdf version of my slides. We also recently learned that, for this work, we were awarded the Hoffman Prize. The conference was exceptionally well done -- it really made cohesive a wide array of approaches to measuring language. I am also posting the Elizabethan corpus we used in this work to make it available to others.

7 March 2012:  Gina Kuperberg of Tufts University's Psychology Department and Mass. General Hospital's Psychiatry Department joined us today for the CLPS Departmental Colloquium Series. She studies normal language processing with different behavioral and neuroimaging methods, as well as working with schizophrenic patients to better understand their language/thought deficits. As her student host, I was thrilled to have lunch and talk with her today!

6 March 2012:  Today was the due date for the first homework assignment for the Computational Cognitive Science course I am TAing. I designed the second part of this assignment, which asks students to apply their knowledge of the k-means clustering algorithm to understanding how authorship attribution might work and what that might mean for cognitive science. I particularly enjoyed bringing my research into the classroom. Plus, many of the students came up with creative new ideas that are helping shape my thinking about the authorship attribution paradigm in which I have been working. Check out my Teaching page (under construction) to see the full assignment.

2 March 2012:  It was, at long last, announced today that Christina Paxson, current Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, will be the 19th President of Brown. I felt honored and privileged to be a part of the Campus Advisory Committee for the Presidential Search process as Brown sought a successor to President Ruth Simmons who will step down at the end of this year. Welcome, Christina!

14 February 2012: In a forthcoming paper (to be posted), I present (with Omran Ehmoda and Eugene Charniak) a new corpus for authorship attribution. The Movie Review corpus is a challenging one because it crosses topic and author identity completely by including a movie review by each of 6 authors for each of 12 movies (for a total of 72 documents). I amposting this corpus here so others can test their authorship models!

31 January 2012:  Today was the first meeting of the Psycholinguistics Reading Group (PLRG) right here at Brown. Megan Reilly (a fellow graduate student in Sheila's lab) and I started the group in order to provide a place for undergraduate and graduate students to meet together to discuss new and old ideas in the field, as well as ask questions and do foundational readings. If you're interested, shoot me an email! We will be meeting every other Tuesday during lunch (12-1pm) in Metcalf.

30 January 2012:  I just learned that my work on the effects of syntactic expectations on speech processing was accepted for a poster presentation at CUNY's annual conference on Sentence Processing in New York (14-16 March 2012). I will present during the first poster session on 14 March. Stay tuned for a pdf file of the poster once March rolls around...

26 January 2012:  Classes began today, and it will be my first semester as a Teaching Assistant! I will be TAing for Thomas Serre, a professor in my department who studies computational vision, for the course Computational Cognitive Science. I worked with Thomas last semester to think about how the course could be improved to meet the needs of students without a strong computational background, and also how to bring work from my field (psycholinguistics) into the course. I look forward to this opportunity!

7 December 2011: 
Alan Bale of McGill's Linguistic Department spoke as part of the CLPS Departmental Colloquium Series. His work is in formal semantics of adjectives, but much of his work also has a developmental psychology bent to it, and he's very interested in the representation of mathematical concepts in language. I was his student host, and really enjoyed some great conversations with him. Check out his work!

5 December 2011:  My work with Omran Ehmoda and Eugene Charniak developing a computational model of authorship attribution was just awarded the Hoffman Prize, an annual cash prize for the best essay on the writings of Christopher Marlowe (Elizabethan English playwright suspected of having written some/all of the works attributed to William Shakespeare). Our paper's results indicate that the model we present is quite capable of distinguishing between works attributed to Marlowe and and those attributed to Shakespeare. I will be traveling to The King's School in Canterbury, England to give a lecture on the topic on 24 April 2012. Look out for slides as it approaches... In November, we learned we would also be presenting this work at the Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics (GURT).

11 November 2011:  My work with Omran Ehmoda and Eugene Charniak developing a computational model of authorship attribution was just accepted for presentation at Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics (GURT). I will be giving a 20-minute talk on how we built the model and how we apply it to the long-standing debate about Shakespearean authorship, and how it has been extended to deal with several other types of problems including topic-independent attribution and forensic identification of email authors, and how it was recently generalized for use on Arabic texts and other languages. My talk will be on 10 March; I was also asked to be a session chair at the meeting. Stay tuned for slides...

19 October 2011: 
In a letter to the Brown University community, Chancellor Tom Tisch announced the list of members of the Campus Advisory Committee for the Presidential Search process as Brown seeks its 19th President as President Ruth Simmons steps down at the end of this year. I am honored and incredibly excited to be a part of this committee, as the nominee of the Graduate Student Council and the only graduate student on the committee, which is made up of 13 faculty, students, and staff from throughout the University community.

18 October 2011:  I attended the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning's workshop on facilitating Interactive Classrooms. It was a great workshop put on by the head teaching consultants from the Sheridan Center; I think the number one thing I learned was about how to facilitate each different form of interaction in the classroom: teacher-->student, student-->teacher, student-->student, and student-->self. I hope to post my notes from the session sometime soon...

14 October 2011:  Yesterday, I gave a talk to the Brown CLPS faculty about my research on top-down effects on spoken word recognition. It was great to get feedback and interest from faculty with very different research interests and perspectives. The PowerPoint slides for my talk can be found here. Congrats, also, to Megan Reilly, another graduate student in the Blumstein Lab for giving a great talk on the effects of sound similarity and position on spoken word production processes.

6-7 October 2011:  Roger Levy of UCSD's Department of Linguistics was the inaugural speaker at the Ling-Lang Lunch Series here at Brown. He spoke on his recent and ongoing work on understanding sentence processing as a noisy channel model. I was his students host; Roger was one of my professors at the LSA Institute this summer in Boulder, CO.

26 September 2011: 
On the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship section of my webpage, I have updated the section to be more helpful, including posting more notes, slides, and 2 essay planning worksheets for the Research Proposal and the Previous Research essays. I hope they'll be helpful to students getting ready to apply who are having trouble organizing their thoughts and fitting it all into just 2 pages each! I had a hard time with that little real estate when I was applying.

22 September 2011: 
I will be the student host (Laura Kertz is the faculty host) for Roger Levy of UCSD's Department of Linguistics as the inaugural speaker at the Ling-Lang Lunch Series here at Brown. Roger was one of my professors at the LSA Institute this summer in Boulder, CO.

19 September 2011: 
I will be teaching in the CLPS 2000 class this Thursday, 22 September, the Professional Seminar taught by Leslie Welch for departmental graduate students. I will be leading a workshop on NSF and similar fellowship applications. The lecture will also qualify as my ITC (Individual Teaching Consultation), the last requirement for me to receive the Sheridan Teaching Certificate I from Brown University's Sheridan Teaching Center.

17 September 2011: 
The External Funding panel I was invited to be on by Dean John Tyler was very heavily attended (122 participants! This one had 90 participants!), so a second has been organized. Details below...I will be discussing advice for Brown students applying for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

External Funding Info Session and Q&A (#2)
with Associate Dean John Tyler and Student Panel
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
12:00-1:00pm
Petteruti Lounge, on the second floor of the Campus Center, 75 Waterman Street
Register here

7 September 2011:  Leslie Davidson with Integrated Learning Innovations (ILI) approached me about using my NSF Graduate Research Fellowship personal statement as a model in workshops her company puts together for the PEER comprehensive training program at the University of Tennessee. PEER is aimed at increasing diversity in the biomedical and behavioral research fields and is funded by an NIH R-25 training grant. Students are not charged to participate.

31 August 2011: 
I was invited by Dean John Tyler to be on a panel to provide advice to Brown students on applying for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The panel session will be held on Friday, September 16th at 12pm. Here is the information:

External Funding Info Session and Q&A
with Associate Dean John Tyler, and free lunch
Friday, September 16, 2011; 12pm
The Chancellor's Dining Room in the Sharpe Refectory (the other spaces were too small to hold all those registered!)
To Register: http://training.brown.edu/index.php?eventID=6249

27 August 2011: 
A joint manuscript with Omran Ehmoda and Eugene Charniak presenting a computational model of authorship attribution was just submitted...find it here! We apply it to the long-standing debate about Shakespearean authorship.

24 August 2011: 
I have officially joined Sheila Blumstein's Cognitive Neuroscience of Language lab here at Brown to continue my research on speech processing. I will also continue working with Laura Kertz.

15 August 2011:
Laura Kertz's Sentence and Discourse Processing Lab has been graced by a brand new Eyelink 1000 eye-tracker from SR Research. Can't wait to give it a test run...I plan to post suggestions for programming with Experiment Builder as I learn to use it this year.

3 August 2011: 
I am back from the Linguistic Society of America Institute! Check out my review of some of the courses I took there... Thanks so much to the LSA (for a tuition fellowship), Brown's Graduate School (for a housing and living stipend), and the CLPS Department (for travel stipend). It was an incredible experience and it wouldn't have been possible without the support from those sources. Looking forward to the 2013 Institute at Michigan in a couple years!