Blog Topics

Why Diversity Matters (Selfishly)

Imagine your life is a dinner party you are hosting in your home. There are three levels of diversity you can add to your event:

  1. Let everyone come sit at your table
  2. Encourage everyone to bring their favorite dish - and taste as many as you reasonably can
  3. Invite any of your guests to give you a cooking lesson

Let's all level up, people. Because if we sit down every day and eat our favorite dish, we'll all die malnourished.


On Service to the Research Community

My friend Joel Tetreault is the founder of the “Computational Linguistics / NLP Conferences Calendar”, which he maintained from 2004 to 2016. This calendar is manually and expertly curated, giving high precision; also, since Joel was very reliable about adding conferences to it many conference organizers learned to let him know about upcoming deadlines, giving high recall.


Museum of Mathematics, George Hart, Vi Hart

Hooray for the opening of the Museum of Mathematics in NYC today! On this momentous occasion, I would like to shout out to two mathematicians I think show the joy, elegance and beauty of maths. And they are:

George Hart, a mathematician and musician I was privileged to know at Stony Brook University. A wonderful educator, as well as someone who really knows how to bring mathematics to life through sculpture and to "crowd source" it through his sculpture "barn raisings".


Career resources for young researchers in computational linguistics

In July 2012, I gave a presentation to the Young Researchers' Roundtable on Spoken Dialogue Systems. I talked about what motivates me in my work, and gave out my (sort of annually updated) handout on career resources. The talk and the handout are both attached to this post.



Do you get emails inviting you to present at a conference, to be on the editorial board of a journal, or to author a book chapter? Do these emails refer to one of your recent papers by title? Do they come from publishers or organizations of which you have never heard?

It's a spamference!

In general,

  • if your university librarian has never heard of it, it's not okay.
  • if they guarantee your paper will get in (for a fee), it's not okay.
  • if you have never heard of the editors or organizers (or there aren't any), it's not okay.


Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are one of those confusing but important things for job, fellowship and graduate school applications.

When you apply for graduate school or for a research or teaching job you may be asked for letters of recommendation or letters of reference. In the USA three or more letters are typically requested, and for many positions they should accompany the application. In other countries they may be requested just before you are invited to interview, or after you interview (or never). This means:



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