Category Archives: Text mining

Specialization ‘Linguistic Engineering’ 2017—2018

Linguistic Engineering is a specialization in the Research Master Linguistics at VU Amsterdam. More details on the: Programme, Admission and Application.

Overview Courses Research Master Specialization: Linguistic Engineering
Overview Courses Research Master Linguistic Engineering, in Research Master LinguisticsView/download flyer Research Master Linguistic Engineering. Programme, admission and application.

Language technology is a rapidly developing field of research. In humanistic research nowadays a firm background in language technology is extremely valuable in the context of manipulating large datasets. The Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab (CLTL) offers a specialization in the research master Linguistics in which students are trained as linguistic engineer. A linguistic engineer has knowledge of language technology as used in computer applications (e.g. search engines) and of the relevant linguistics.

• The Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab (CLTL) is one of the world’s leading research institutes in Linguistic Engineering.
• Prof. Dr. Piek Vossen, winner of NWO Spinoza Prize, is leading the group of researchers and several national and international interdisciplinary projects, including the Spinoza project ‘Understanding Language by Machines’.
• Become part of an international group of researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

You can set up your own field of research as a PhD student or you can embark on a career at a research institute. Other opportunities are in the industry, which is in need of linguists with a technical background. Being a graduate of the CLTL will certainly enhance your chances.

flyer Research Master Linguistic Engineering

• Applicants must have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence or comparable Bachelor programme.
• Applicants who do not meet the requirement(s) are also encouraged to apply, provided that they have a sound academic background and a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of engineering and/or linguistics.


For more details on the programme, admission and application:
Dr. H. D. van der Vliet: +31 (0)20 598 6466
EMAIL: Dr. H. D. van der Vliet

Computational Lexicology and Terminology Lab (CLTL)
Language, Literature and Communication
Faculty of Humanities
VU Amsterdam
de Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

General information on the Research Master’s in Linguistics at VU Amsterdam.

1st VU-Spinoza workshop: Oct. 17, 2014


– an escape from the world of language –

Spinoza Prize projects (2014-2019)
Prof. dr. Piek Vossen

Understanding language by machines
1st VU-Spinoza workshop

Friday, October 17, 2014 from 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM (CEST)

Atrium, room D-146, VU Medical Faculty (1st floor, D-wing)
Van der Boechorststraat 7
1081 BT Amsterdam

Please RSVP via Eventbrite before October 03, 2014


Can machines understand language? According to John Searle, this is fundamentally impossible. He used the Chinese Room thought-experiment to demonstrate that computers follow instructions to manipulate symbols without understanding of these symbols. William van Orman Quine even questioned the understanding of language by humans, since symbols are only grounded through approximation by cultural situational convention. Between these extreme points of views, we are nevertheless communicating every day as part of our social behavior (within Heidegger’s hermeneutic circle), while more and more computers and even robots take part in communication and social interactions.

The goal of the Spinoza project “Understanding of language by machines” (ULM) is to scratch the surface of this dilemma by developing computer models that can assign deeper meaning to language that approximates human understanding and to use these models to automatically read and understand text. We are building a Reference Machine: a machine that can map natural language to the extra- linguistic world as we perceive it and represent it in our brain.

This is the first in a series of workshops that we will organize in the Spinoza project to discuss and work on these issues. It marks the kick-off of 4 projects that started in 2014, each studying different aspects of understanding and modeling this through novel computer programs. Every 6-months, we will organize a workshop or event that will bring together different research lines to this central theme and on a shared data sets.

We investigate ambiguity, variation and vagueness of language; the relation between language, perception and the brain; the role of the world view of the writer of a text and the role of the world view and background knowledge of the reader of a text.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Program ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

12:30 – 13:00 Welcome

13:00 – 13:30 Understanding language by machines: Piek Vossen
13:30 – 14:30 Borders of ambiguity: Marten Postma and Ruben Izquierdo
14:30 – 15:00 Word, concept, perception and brain: Emiel van Miltenburg and Alessandro Lopopolo
15:00 – 15:15 Coffee break
15:15 – 15:45 Stories and world views as a key to understanding: Tommaso Caselli and Roser Morante
15:45 – 16:15 A quantum model of text understanding: Minh Lê Ngọc and Filip Ilievski
16:15 – 17:00 Discussion on building a shared demonstrator: a reference machine
17:00 – 18:00 Drinks

For more information on the project see Understanding of Language by Machines.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ RSVP ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

Admission is free. Please RSVP via Eventbrite before October 03, 2014.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Location ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

Atrium, room D-146, VU Medical Faculty (1st floor, D-wing)
Van der Boechorststraat 7
1081 BT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Parking info N.B. Campus parking is temporarily unavailable.


We’re hiring academic assistants!

We’re hiring academic assistants!

Are you a Master Student in AI, Computer Science, Linguistics or Communication Science?
Do you want to get paid for working in an exciting research project that combines research strengths from different disciplines?

We are currently looking for student assistants for three interdisciplinary projects involving computational linguistics, computer science, communication science and history. Positions are for 1 day per week during the academic year 2014-2015.

The projects:

More information on the projects can be found on their individual websites.

How to Apply

Information on how to apply for individual projects can be found on the projects’ websites.

If you want to apply for more than one project, please send an email to the project managers [1] <>, listing:

– your undergraduate degree,
– the master courses you have taken and intend to take,
– a list of your grades,
– a brief motivation, indicating preference for a particular project (if any)
– an indication of your availability (starting date).

[1] Project managers are (in alphabetical order):

  • Antske Fokkens
  • Laura Hollink
  • Annette Ten Teije
  • Serge Ter Braake
  • Wouter Van Atteveldt
  • Marieke Van Erp

OpeNER Hackathon: June 30, 2014

OpeNER Travel Hackathon, June 30 2014 8:30 AM at Casa 400, Amsterdam

    At the hackathon you will have access to OpeNER’s comprehensive text analysis tools, which include named entity recognition, sentiment analysis and opinion detection.
    The OpenNER tools allow you to explore questions like who is mentioned in this text? Which opinions regarding the World Cup are given in this piece? What is the sentiment towards Amsterdam in this article?