We have a new class of very talented grad students this fall! Here are their photos and self-descriptions (as of last spring). Please join us in welcoming them to the department!
Ignacio Cases (University at Albany, State University of New York)
Since I was a kid I have been passionate about Mesoamerican languages, writing systems, and ancient astronomy, shared with an enthusiasm for artificial intelligence and computers. At SUNY Albany, I got an MA in Anthropological Linguistics developing computational methods applied to Maya hieroglyphic writing. My current interests are centered in computational linguistics approaches to historical sociolinguistics within Mesoamerican languages, with special attention to language contact and variation and language modeling. I have worked in several sites in the Maya area, serving at the moment as co-epigrapher in the archaeological project Peten Norte-Naachtun in the Guatemalan rainforest.
Matt Lamm (Columbia University)
I grew up in New York, and went on to do my undergraduate studies in Math and South Asian Philology at Columbia. I’ve just about completed a two-year Masters at Oxford, where I’ve worked on a range of things: formal semantics, computational linguistics, language acquisition, and queer theory, to name a few. I’m looking forward to joining the department at Stanford, where I hope to explore an overwhelming number of things, like computational models of sentiment and other hypernetwork-scale discursive patterns, some computational historical Indo-Aryan, and even some continued language and gender theory. Outside of work, I talk about literature incessantly, and spend all the extra time I can get reading and writing. (My current favorite place in the UK is the National Gallery.)
Zachary Wilkins (Case Western Reserve University)
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, I received my B.A. from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Case Western Reserve University, with a minor in mathematics. I am currently finishing my M.A. thesis in the Department of Linguistics at the University of North Carolina, for which I designed an experiment to look at pragmatic comprehension of tautologies in adults and children. I have lived just under two years in South America, and empirically I am most interested in Spanish and Guaraní and how the two languages interact in the region. Before starting my PhD at Stanford this fall, I will be on fellowship to live in Asunción, Paraguay and continue my studies of the Guaraní language. At Stanford I hope to continue to work on pragmatics and language acquisition, as well as develop broad knowledge of computational linguistics, especially models that address how people construct meaning in context. When I’m not doing linguistics, I’m discovering good restaurants with good people, jumping on the latest tech craze or enjoying Argentine food and culture.
Ciyang Qing (University of Amsterdam)
I am from Nanning, the “Green City” in southern China. I did my undergraduate study in Information and Computing Science at Peking University and I am now a Master of Logic student at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), University of Amsterdam. My main research interest is in computational experimental semantics/pragmatics. I want to understand how we use language to interact with each other, and ultimately use this knowledge to build smarter machines. My non-academic interests include fantasy, games (both board and digital), food and music.
Rob Voigt (Vassar College)
Coming from a background in Chinese literary and cultural studies, I got into computational linguistics during my M.A. here at Stanford, and haven’t looked back since! In general I’m interested in applying computational methods to questions of social meaning and sociolinguistic variation. Most recently, I’ve been working with video data to better understand the relationship between body movement, emotiveness, and acoustic prosody. Random life items: from Washington D.C.; love playing and listening to all kinds of music (let’s jam); will never turn down an invitation to sushi.
Robert Xu (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Originally from Zhuhai, China, I received my B.A. from Wuhan University and M.A./M.Phil. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Currently I am interested in prosodic variations in speech perception. Additional interests include the prosody-semantic interface, the bilingual lexicon, and forensic phonetics. Outside of linguistics, I enjoy theater, music, comedy, and seeing fossils in museums.