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Media Advisory: Twenty-two Baltimore Area Students Prepare for the Computational Linguistics Olympiad at Johns Hopkins

January 21, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Phil Sneiderman
(443) 287-9960

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22. NOTE: Best times to view the student teams working on the linguistics puzzles are between noon and 12:50 p.m. Prizes will be given out between 12:50 and 1 p.m.

WHERE: The Human Language Technology Center of Excellence at Johns Hopkins, located in the Stieff Silver building in at 810 Wyman Park Drive, Baltimore.  (Directions available at: http://web.jhu.edu/HLTCOE/contact.html)

WHO: Twenty-two or more high school and middle school students from Baltimore-area schools will participate in a Computational Linguistics Workshop hosted by the Center for Language and Speech Processing. Students will compete in teams, generally made up of three to five people, during the workshop, although they will compete as individuals in the Olympiad. (A complete list of participating Baltimore schools is below.) Johns Hopkins graduate students will lead the workshop and give prizes to the best team. More details are at http://clsp.jhu.edu/NACLO .

WHAT: Computational linguistics is the science of understanding human language using logic, computer algorithms and math. Computational linguistics techniques are employed whenever a person uses Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and many other websites and applications.

In preparation for hosting a local team for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO), computational linguistics graduate students are leading a workshop on Saturday. The workshop will introduce area students interested in language, psychology, math or computer science to the computational linguistics field, give them a chance to practice the linguistics puzzles that they’ll face in the Olympiad and allow them to tour the Johns Hopkins University campus. They’ll learn how computational linguistics is used in research at major tech companies, discover new ways to solve problems and puzzles, learn to work together with other students and earn prizes. This event was preceded by classroom visits to five area schools.

The first-round competition is on Wednesday, Feb. 2. Students who make it to the second round will come back on Thursday, March 10. NACLO then selects the U.S. team for the International Linguistics Olympiad, which will take place in Portland, Ore., in July or August.

WHY: The event is being hosted by the Center for Language and Speech Processing with support from the Center for Educational Outreach (CEO) at Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering. The CEO’s mission is to encourage more middle school and high school students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math education and careers.

CONTACT FOR THE EVENT: Christine Newman from the CEO is the contact for the event. Her weekday office phone is (410) 516-4473. To reach her on the day of the event, her cell phone number is (301) 518-1076.

More information about the competition can be found at this website: http://www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu/

Participating Baltimore Area Schools

(Some schools will send more than one team)

Middle schools:

Garrison Forest

High schools:

Western High School
Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Bryn Mawr
St. Paul’s
Garrison Forest
Hereford High School
Liberty High School
North County High School
Richard Montgomery High School
River Hill High School
Roland Park Country School
South River High School


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