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CLAS AI Workshop: Natural Language Processing

October 20, 2020 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

CLAS AI Workshop

CLAS AI Workshop
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This workshop will present an introduction to Natural Language Processing (NLP), the intersection of linguistics, computer science, and artificial intelligence. Our panelists will explore how NLP can empower both STEM and humanities researchers alike.

Speakers: Dr. Kevin Tang (Asst Prof, Linguistics), Dr. Raffaele Vacca (Asst Prof, Sociology), Dr. Till Krenz (Post-Doc, Anthropology) and Thomas Smith.


Kevin Tang (Ph.D. University College London) is a linguist with expertise in computational language sciences. His research interests are laboratory phonology, the phonetics-phonology interface, and psycholinguistics. He is specifically interested in speech perception, productivity, and lexicon modelling. His work integrates phonological theory with areas outside of linguistics, such as speech pathology and law. Methodologically, he leverages linguistic intuition, language processing, as well as naturally occurring data to aid speech recognition models, disfluency diagnostic toolkits, and language documentation of minority languages.



Raffaele Vacca is a sociologist and data scientist at the University of Florida based in the UF Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law as an assistant professor. Vacca is also affiliated with the UF Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) in the UF College of Medicine, and the UF Center for European Studies.

Much of his work is concerned with migration, immigrant incorporation, and health in Europe and the US. He is especially interested in the way networks of social interactions, relationships and support develop in immigrant communities and shape immigrants’ lives and health in different countries. He has conducted research on the Sri Lankan community in Italy, West African immigrants in Spain, Roma people in France, and Mexican farm workers in Florida. He also co-leads BEBR/CTSI Network Science Lab, which applies network analysis and computational methods to the study of collaboration, productivity, communities, and inequalities in science.


Till Krenz earned his PhD in sociology at the University of Magdeburg in Germany. His work is focused on ego-centered network analysis, methods of the social sciences and statistical programming. He is the maintainer of egor, an R-Package for ego-centered network analysis.

Till Krenz is working as a Post-Doc Researcher in the Network Science Program of the UF CTSI. His most reccent work is on the analysis of the evolution of multiplex collaborative research networks and the application of Natural Language Processing techniques to better understand, describe and sculpt collaborative processes in academia.


Thomas Bryan Smith is a doctoral candidate in Sociology and Criminology & Law at the University of Florida, and an incoming postdoctoral researcher in the Network Science Program of the University of Florida’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Thomas’ research leverages network science, natural language processing, and machine learning to examine the biosocial relationship between networks of social support and criminal behavior, and the structural and dyadic predictors of scientific collaboration. His recent work has focused on assessing the impact of law enforcement crackdowns on co-offending networks and describing the curvilinear relationship between topic overlap and scientific collaboration.


October 20, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


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