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Category:   E-Job
Subject:   PhD Studentship on "Generating and Grounding Referring Expressions" at University of Saarland, Germany
Email:   mariastaudte_(on)_googlemail.com
Date received:   04 Mar 2013

PhD Studentship "Generating and Grounding Referring Expressions" in NLP/Psycholinguistics Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany The Embodied Spoken Interaction (ESI) group at the Saarland University, headed by Dr. Maria Staudte, invites applications for a PhD studentship, available from June 1st, 2013 (75% TV-L E13). People look at what is being talked about. By following referring expressions (RE) to their referent, a person can ground that expression in the environment and fully understand and validate the utterance that contains it. In turn, fixating the intended referent signals to the speaker that the listener has understood. Thus, listener eye-movements fulfill several roles: While (privately) seeking visual information linked to the utterance content, they also (publicly) reflect (un-)successful reference resolution or, more generally, belief states of the listener to the speaker. In a dynamic and complex environment, such as the GIVE challenge, in which other tasks are involved as well, it becomes increasingly difficult to infer *what* precisely listener eye-movements reflect *when*. Understanding such patterns and how they can be exploited most efficiently by a system generating navigational instructions is a major concern of this research project. The proposed PhD project will develop strategies and algorithms for a RE generation system that is informed about the user's visual attention at any given time by modern remote eye-tracking technology. Besides the developing component, this research is also empirical and will involve the design of user studies and data analysis to develop and test these strategies. Alternative settings, such as in-car tracking along with navigational instructions, are also conceivable in order to explore effective ways of using listener gaze for giving efficient and safe instructions. Applicants should hold a Master degree in computational linguistics, computer science, cognitive science or equivalent, and should have an interest in modeling and understanding the dynamics of gaze and speech in interaction. Good programming skills are necessary. Experience with experiment design and statistics are an advantage but not required. Most importantly, the successful applicant should be enthusiastic about the general research questions and be prepared to learn new methods. The Embodied Spoken Interaction (ESI) group is part of the "Multi-modal Computing and Interaction" Cluster of Excellence (http://www.mmci.uni-saarland.de/) at Saarland University which provides a very fruitful and constructive research environment with excellent opportunities for exchange and cooperation. The group has access to numerous state-of-the-art eye-tracking laboratories, a 64 channel EEG/ERP lab, and modern computing infrastructure, and conducts research at the level of international excellence. The candidate will be expected to contribute to the high standards of the group and to be actively involved in the preparation and publication of new results. Further information about the group can be found at: http://www.mmci.uni-saarland.de/en/independent_research_groups/esi Applicants should submit their research statement, a CV, a copy of their school and university degrees, a representative reprint (thesis or paper if applicable), and names and contact information of two references. The position remains open until filled, but preference will be given to applications received by 1 April. All documents should be e-mailed as a single PDF to: Dr. Maria Staudte e-mail: masta_(at)_coli.uni-saarland.de Department of Computational Linguistics Saarland University 66123 Saarbruecken, Germany __________________________________________ - ELSNET mailing list Elsnet-list_(at)_elsnet.org - To manage your subscription go to: http://mailman.elsnet.org/mailman/listinfo/elsnet-list

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