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Assistant Professor
Office: LNCO or Zoom these days
Dept. of Linguistics
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

CV (updated 01/15/2024)

I am an Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Utah. I am a computational psycholinguist, also interested in mathematical approaches to linguistic theory (mostly dealing with issues in theoretical syntax and phonology). At U of U, I direct the MathEmatics of Language and cOgnition Lab (MeLo). I am also affiliated with the Speech Acquisition Lab, and a member of the inter-departmental CLARG group.

Research (in brief)

My research lies at the intersection between computational, theoretical, and experimental linguistics. Essentially, I believe that language as a cognitive faculty can be characterized in fundamentally computational terms. My work pivots around three central questions: What are the representational primitives underlying the language system? What are the essential computational processes of language processing? How do these components interact with core cognitive resources like memory? These questions are deeply connected with my interest in theory building and evaluation, both in linguistics and in cognitive science broadly. I approach these issues by drawing from different areas of theoretical computer science (formal languages, parsing theory, computational complexity theory), linguistic theory, and experimental methods. This perspective is multi-disciplinary at its core, and has allowed me to work on a variety of topics spanning phonology, morphology, semantics, (generative) syntax, and sentence processing.

If you are wondering what any of this actually means, feel free to browse my Publications page (or Scholar Profile), or give a look at my Ph.D. dissertation: "Structure and Memory: A Computational Model of Storage, Gradience, and Priming". You can also hear me talk about some topics I care about here and here. If you are a student interested in collaborating with me, please check out my Lab page and some of my recent publications before getting in touch!

Past Affiliations

Before coming to Utah, I got my PhD in Linguistics from Stony Brook University, as an advisee of Thomas Graf.

In a previous life, I studied to become an Automation Engineer. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the University of Pavia (Italy), with a thesis on the identification of models for the automatic control of an Artificial Pancreas.

I then got a Master's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering (again from the University of Pavia), with a specialization in Automation and Complex System Theory. My Master's Thesis was partially written during a Research Internship in the Multimedia Systems Lab of the University of Naples "Federico II", where I developed a probabilistic framework for the detection of unexplained user behaviors in online social networks.

After my graduation I spent one year as an RA at the University of Naples "Federico II", where I kept working on modeling Online Social Network's user interactions, and on NLP techniques applied to Healthcare systems.

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