Experiences from Two Latin American PhD Students in Ireland


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In this presentation, Alfredo Maldonado Guerra and Liliana Mamani Sanchez, two PhD candidates from Trinity College Dublin, a program funded by CNGL, talk about their background and experiences in Ireland as Latin American students, giving an overview of their research as well as discussing career prospects for Latin American graduates.

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  • When I use an emoticon , what does it mean, what is the emotion underneath Why is this important, to have a profile of users
  • Experiences from Two Latin American PhD Students in Ireland

    1. 1. A Latin American Perspectiveon Education in IrelandExperiences of two Latin American PhD students in IrelandLiliana Mamani SánchezAlfredo Maldonado GuerraTrinity College Dublin
    2. 2. Agenda• Alfredos case• Lilis case• Discussion• Q&A
    3. 3. Alfredos caseAlfredo Maldonado GuerraTrinity College Dublin
    4. 4. • Born in Monterrey, Mexico• Studied Computer Systems Engineering atTecnológico de Monterrey (1998)• Got interested in the interaction of computerswith human language• Most of my classmates ended up developingboring software and I wanted a challengeinvolving language and computersBackground
    5. 5. • Joined Microsoft Ireland as Spanish Terminologist (2000)Focus on Neutral Spanish and products specific toMexican Market• As extra-curricular activities I developed some databasetools to help organise terminological work• In 2006 I transitioned to a fully technical position:Linguistic Engineer– Continued working on terminology management tools– Developed a consistency terminology checker (NLP)Background
    6. 6. Photo by by artemuestra on FlickrPhoto by Scorpions and Centaurs on FlickrPhoto by infomatique on Flickr2008Maybe a good time to go back to college?Background
    7. 7. PhD at Trinity College Dublin• Joined TCD as a full-time student in July2009• Funding by CNGL• Originally research inspired by terminologybackground but it soon evolved to aninterest in polysemy of words in general(word-sense disambiguation)
    8. 8. Research Summary• Compositionality (transparency) of multi-word expressions / terms• Method based on word co-occurrencevectors• Competed in Shared Task (DiSCo 2011Workshop in Portland, Oregon)
    9. 9. Research Summary• Word sense-disambiguation and inductionTwo possible meanings of the word rock:Photo by deep_schismic on FlickrPhoto by Minerva Bloom on Photopedia
    10. 10. Research Summary• Word-sense disambiguation: Given a wordin context, determine its meaning• Word-sense induction: Given a collection oftexts (corpus), find out what senses a wordhas• Applications in machine translation, search,information retrieval, dictionary making(lexicography), terminology, etc.• Sense depends on words context:– Rock fractures in geological processes
    11. 11. Research Summary• Context representation: co-occurrencevector• First-order co-occurrence vector• Second-order co-occurrence vector• Compared performance of both vectortypes and concluded simpler first-ordervectors just as good as second-ordervectors
    12. 12. Research Summary• Context representation has thousands ofdimensions• Dimensionality Reduction– Singular Value Decomposition(computationally intensive)– Alternative based on consolidating redundantdimensions together (less computationallyintensive)
    13. 13. Education in Mexico and Ireland• Whole education (with exception of PhD)done in Mexico• Attended private schools (oftenconsidered more prestigious than publicschools) – Inequal access to qualityeducation• Still, leading research in Mexico is done inpublic universities (UNAM)
    14. 14. Education in Mexico and Ireland• Definitely more funding for researchavailable in Ireland than in Mexico.– Cuts in Ireland due to euro crisis• Career opportunities for technologygraduates looking brighter on bothcountries– Recent digital twinning of Dublin andGuadalajara– Flurry of startup companies
    15. 15. Education in Mexico and Ireland“What struck me most here in Monterrey,though, is the number of tech start-upsthat are emerging from Mexico’s youngpopulation [...] thanks to cheap, opensource innovation tools and cloudcomputing.”• Friedman, Thomas. The New York Times,23 Feb 2013 http://tinyurl.com/abwke7t
    16. 16. ¡GRACIAS!Alfredo Maldonado Guerramaldonaa@tcd.ie
    17. 17. Liliana’s CasePossibly the first Peruvianin TCDLiliana Mamani SanchezCNGL – Trinity College
    18. 18. My Rocky Road to Dublin
    19. 19. Research• Exploring topics in Computational Linguisticsand with short deployment time can be difficult.• Study of speculation in informal language(hedging)• Study of emotions in text independent oflanguage.• Research guided by my supervisor: Carl Vogel.
    20. 20. Linguistic Speculation inText• Speculation markers are used to qualifycommitment to the truth of what somebodyis saying.
    21. 21. Linguistic Speculation inTexthi jt...also might just downloadprogram again from here andthe install should pick up yourlicense with no interactionneeded from you.
    22. 22. Signals of Emotion• Emoticons and smilies conveying polarity ofsentiment: positive, negative, neutral.• Language independent signals ofemotions:) smile;) winklaughing:’( cryingangry:O surprisedPositiveNegativeNeutral
    23. 23. Different domainsAcademic writing• Grammatically correct• Limited use of first-personsentences.• Easier to be processedby software tools.Informal writing (Webforums)• Noisy text: typos,complex names, nonnatural language text,slang, etc.• Analysis of this kind oftext is still an ongoingresearch topic.User oriented analysis: Writer orientedReader oriented
    24. 24. Main questions to beanswered• Do speculation markers really conveyspeculation?• How the use of emoticons and speculationmarkers correlate to user categories?o I welcome this sort of post for everyone else reading this threado Thanks!! I was sort of thinking that..o Problem 1 is sort of resolved! :(
    25. 25. Potential applications• Analysis of sentiment in text in responseto marketing strategies.• Analysis of point of view in discussionforums.• User profiling in user generated content:– Identification of features that make of a user aproactive individual– Features that make a text likable
    26. 26. Education in Latin Americaand Ireland• Differences between public and privateeducative Institutions in my country.• Establishment of Computer Science as a bodyof knowledge.• Governmental and private investment inresearch is limited in my country, but it isincreasing.• Career opportunities for graduates in LA andIreland.
    27. 27. THANK YOU!Liliana Mamani Sanchezmamanisl@tcd.ie