Sad News: R.I.P. Fred Jelinek

The ACL sadly received the message about the unexpected passing away of Professor Fred Jelinek, on Tuesday night. Fred was one of the pioneers and founders of modern research in speech recognition and statistical machine translation and made enormous contributions to our field. In recognition of his contributions he received the ACL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. His death is a great loss for all those who knew him, and for the ACL community.

Here is a link to Fred's life and work in his own words: clsp.jhu.edu

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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:

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