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Ph.D. Student
Office: SBS - N232
Dept. of Linguistics
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4376


I am currently a Ph.D.candidate (fourth year) in the Linguistics Department at Stony Brook University. I am also an affiliated student in the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS), and a member of the Computational Linguistics Lab. My advisor is Thomas Graf.

Research (in brief)

My research lies at the intersection between mathematical, 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? I approach these questions by drawing from different areas of theoretical computer science (in particular, formal languages and parsing theory), a perspective that is multi-disciplinary at its core, and has allowed me to work on a variety of topics spanning phonology, morphology, semantics, and sentence processing.

If you are wondering what any of this actually means, feel free to browse my Projects or Publications pages!

Past Affiliations

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.

Stony Brook Misc

I'm involved in several reading groups at Stony Brook linguistics. The Mathematical Linguistics Reading Group meets every week for about an hour to explore various ways in which mathematics informs our view of language and it is intended to be a multidisciplinary venue to discuss awesome research ideas. Topics we've covered in the past are model theoretic syntax, game theory, dynamic semantics, and modal logic. If you want to be added to our shared Google Drive, feel free to send me an email.

Another group I'm particularly engaged with is the student-run Neurolinguistics Reading Group. This is an informal bi-weekly meet-up to discuss current literature on neuro- and psycholinguistics. You can email me or Nazila Shafiei is you want to be added to our mailinglist.

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