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1960-2015 

Obituary written by Roger Evans

The Association for Computational Linguistics mourns the passing of Adam Kilgarriff. a remarkable computational linguist and long term ACL member.


A long time ago now (maybe 1988?), Gerald (Gazdar) and I supervised Adam's DPhil at the University of Sussex.  Adam was my age, give or take a year, having come to academia a little late, and was my first doctoral student.  Adam's topic was polysemy, and I'm not really sure that much supervision was actually required, though I recall fun exchanges trying to model the subtleties of word meaning using symbolic knowledge representation techniques - an experience that was clearly enough to convince Adam later that this was a bad idea. In fact, Adam's thesis title itself was Polysemy.  Much as we encourage concision in thesis... Read More

The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) mourns the passing of Jane J. Robinson, former president of the ACL.

The Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) is the premier international scientific and professional society for people working on computational problems involving human language, a field often referred to as either computational linguistics or natural language processing (NLP). The association was founded in 1962, originally named the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics (AMTCL), and became the ACL in 1968. Activities of the ACL include the holding of an annual meeting each summer and the sponsoring of the journal Computational Linguistics, published by MIT Press; this conference and journal are the leading publications of the field. 

What is Computational Linguistics?

Computational linguistics is the scientific study of language from a computational perspective. Computational linguists are interested in providing computational models of various kinds of linguistic phenomena. These models may be "knowledge-based" ("hand-crafted") or "data-driven" ("statistical" or "empirical"). Work in computational linguistics is in some cases motivated from a scientific perspective in that one is trying to provide a computational explanation for a particular linguistic or psycholinguistic phenomenon; and in other cases the motivation may be more purely technological in that one wants to provide a working component of a speech or natural language system. Indeed, the work of computational linguists is incorporated into many working systems today, including speech recognition systems, text-to-speech synthesizers, automated voice response systems, web search engines, text editors, language instruction materials, to name just a few.

Popular computational linguistics textbooks include: