Hello!

I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado. I'm working on a joint PhD in Linguistics and Cognitive Science through the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS). My research is in natural language processing (NLP). I'm focused on developing better computationally feasible representations of figurative language. This involves developing lexical resources as well as using state-of-the-art machine learing approaches. I am planning on defending my dissertation in May of 2019, and I am currently exploring the job market. I'm hoping to find a group of excited researchers who are interested in developing novel approaches to computational semantics. It is my belief that breakthroughs in the field will require not only modern deep learning but also more traditional linguistics analysis.

Skills

Computational Background
Programming Languages
Python • Java • C++
Toolkits
Scikit Learn • NLTK • Keras • Gensim • PyTorch
Web Development
HTML • CSS • Javascript • PHP
General
Windows/iOS/Linux • Bash • Excel/Google Sheets • Git/SVN • XML/JSON/SQL
Linguistics Background
Basics Phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, discourse analysis, pragmatics
Syntactic Frameworks
Dependency parsing, Combinatory Categorial Grammars (CCG), Construction Grammar (SBCG)
Semantic Frameworks
Predicate logic, PropBank and Abstract Meaning Representations (AMRs)

Research Projects

Dissertation: Computational Approaches to Metaphor
Advisors: Martha Palmer and Jim Martin
My dissertation research focuses on computational approaches to processing metaphors and other figurative language. Specifically, I'm working towards developing better representations of syntax, which has shown to be indicative of many kinds of metaphor. This is done by applying deep learning methods to syntactic structures to better represent meaning and improve classification. I hope to then use these methods to develop better formal semantic representations for non-literal language. Some preliminary work has been published at the Workshop on Figurative Language:
Lexical Semantics
Supervisor: Martha Palmer
I work with Professor Martha Palmer on a variety of computational lexical resources, including VerbNet and PropBank. My responsibilities include ensuring compatability with outside resources, implementation of new infrastructure, developing interface tools for other researchers, and improving the accuracy, consistency, and coverage of the resources. Our current work involves linking VerbNet with the Generative Lexicon and improving consistency among semantic predicates, and improving automatic classification with better annotation. For more, see the VerbNet website

Education

University of Colorado, Boulder

Expected Graduation: May 2019
Joint PhD in the Institute of Cognitive Science
Advisors: Martha Palmer and Jim Martin
My primary department is Linguistics. I work on NLP for figurative language, particuarly using representations of syntax to aid computational metaphor processing.

Indiana University, Bloomington

Grad. January 2011
MA in Computational Linguistics

Michigan State University

Grad. May 2009
BA in Linguistics

Work Experience

FindMyAudience

2015 | Boulder, Colorado
NLP Consultant
I worked for FindMyAudience, a technology startup, to identify possible audiences for authors and publishing companies. Together we developed methods for identifying book similarities and consumer interests from social media and other sources using continuous word representations and latent semantics models.

Avaya

2013 | Westminster, Colorado
NLP Researcher

As a research intern, I did analysis of social media data (Twitter and Facebook) using machine learning algorithms, particularly clustering, to determine trends in user interactions with public company sites. We identified differences in positive and negative reactions to a variety of companies using topic modelling onsocial media, allowing for better interaction between companies and their customers