Research Assistant Needed!

We are looking for motivated Cognitive Science students who are interested in obtaining research experience in computational cognitive modeling.

What are we studying? Languages differ in how they express the same situation. Where English has one preposition on (the cup is on the table, the coat is on the hook), Dutch uses two: op and aan (the cup is *op* the table, the coat is *aan* the hook). Having the same text translated into multiple languages (a parallel corpus) gives us a rich source of information about the between-language variation in how objects and events are labeled. In our research, we explore computational linguistic and cognitive modelling techniques to address questions in linguistics (how do languages vary in how they carve up the world?) and cognitive science (how do people learn word meanings in various languages?).

What do we expect? The student is expected to be able to program in Python, as well as sincere interest in computational linguistics and/or psycholinguistics and/or human cognition. The student’s tasks consist of programming parts of the parallel-corpus pipeline, helping to set up web experiments, and data visualization. The workload will be 8-10 hours a week.

What can you expect? The student will participate in an ongoing research project and interact with a team consisting of at least two other members: the supervisor (Suzanne Stevenson) and a postdoctoral fellow (Barend Beekhuizen). Weekly activities include developing computational models, attending one-on-one and group meetings with the supervisor and her team, and writing progress reports. Participation in this project gives the student an opportunity to get an actual research experience, to improve their programming skills, to gain new knowledge in the fields of computational linguistics and psycholinguistics, and to establish connections with the faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students in the Department of Computer Science.


CONTACT Barend Beekhuizen <>