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Colloquium - Hirst

ECCR 265

Fine-Grained Differences and Similarities in Meanings in Natural Language Processing
University of Toronto
Graeme Hirst photo

Writing or speaking requires making choices from words and syntactic constructions that have similar but not identical meanings. Are two parties "foes" or "enemies"? Did John meet Mary or was Mary met by John? An important component of language understanding is recognizing the implications of the nuances in the speaker's or writer's choices. I will describe our research on computational aspects of linguistic nuance, focusing on the differentiation of near-synonyms and on the consequences that arise for knowledge representation formalisms and machine translation. In addition, I will discuss how contemporary views of meaning in computational linguistics need to be broadened to take into account the choices that the speaker or writer makes.

Graeme Hirst is a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto, whose research covers a broad but integrated range of topics in computational linguistics, natural language understanding, and related areas of cognitive science. He is the author of two monographs: Anaphora in Natural Language Understanding and Semantic Interpretation and the Resolution of Ambiguity. Hirst has received two awards for excellence in teaching, and has supervised graduate students in more than 35 theses and dissertations, four of which have been published as books.

The Department holds colloquia throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. These colloquia, open to the public, are typically held on Thursday afternoons, but sometimes occur at other times as well. If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming colloquia, subscribe to our Colloquia Mailing List. If you would like to schedule a colloquium, see Colloquium Scheduling.

Sign language interpreters are available upon request. Please contact Stephanie Morris at least five days prior to the colloquium.

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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