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ILCC Alumni

Our alumni have gone on to work in both academia and industry all over the world.

Older graduates

Below are just a few of the people who received their Ph.Ds prior to 2008 from ILCC or its predecessor institutes.

  • Fernando Pereira (Ph.D. 1982): Research director at Google.  Former chair of the Computer and Information Science department at University of Pennsylvania, head of the Machine Learning and Information Retrieval department at AT&T Labs, and research and management positions at SRI International.
  • Nick Haddock (Ph.D. 1988):  Managing Director at Atomic Intelligence. Involved in product management, engineering management, and consulting in the areas of text analysis algorithms, natural language processing, search technology, unstructured data management, information extraction, machine learning, and user interface design.
  • Lesley Stirling (Ph.D. 1988): Associate Professor and Convenor, School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne.
  • Robert Dale (Ph.D. 1989): Professor in the Department of Computing and Director of the Centre for Language Technology at Macquarie University, Sydney.  Editor of the journal Computational Linguistics. Chief Technology Officer at Arria NLG.
  • Bob Carpenter (Ph.D. 1989): Natural Language Scientist and Software Architect at Alias I, Inc., currently a research scientist in the Department of Statistics at Columbia University.
  • Patrick Blackburn (Ph.D. 1989): Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Science Studies at the University of Roskilde.
  • Nick Chater (Ph.D. 1989): Professor of Behavior Science, Business School, Warwick University.
  • Steven Bird (Ph.D. 1990): Associate Professor, Department of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne; Senior Research Associate, Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Jo Calder (Ph.D. 1991):  Partner at Managed-AIS, providing aeronautical information software and services.http://
  • Claire Gardent (Ph.D. 1991): CNRS Director of Research based in the  LORIA Computer Science research unit of Nancy, France.
  • Paul Taylor (Ph.D 1992): Former co-founder and CTO of Rhetorical Systems; founder and CEO of Phonetic Arts, a speech synthesis company recently acquired by Google.
  • Alan Black (Ph.D. 1993): Associate Professor in the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Co-developer of the freely available Festival speech synthesis system.
  • Paul Bagshaw (Ph.D. 1994): International coordinator of research in interface sciences at Orange Labs / France Telecom R&D.
  • David Beaver (Ph.D. 1995): Professor of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Karin Verspoor (Ph.D. 1997): Principal Researcher & Scientific Director for Health and Life Sciences, Victoria Research Laboratory, NICTA. Former Research Assistant Professor, Center for Computational Pharmacology, University of Colorado (Denver) School of Medicine.
  • Renata Vieira (Ph.D. 1998): Professor in the Faculty of Informatics, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
  • Matthew Aylett (Ph.D. 2000): Formerly with Rhetorical Systems, now founder and CTO of Cereproc, an Edinburgh-based company offering advanced speech synthesis technology.
  • Jason Baldridge (Ph.D. 2002): Associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, also associated with UT's Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation.
  • Julia Hockenmaier (Ph.D. 2003): Assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 
  • Colin Bannard (Ph.D. 2006): Assistant professor at the Department of Linguistics, UT Austin.
  • Chris Callison-Burch (Ph.D. 2007): Assistant professor in the Computer and Information Sciences Department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Recent graduates

Below is a more complete list of recent graduates, along with their thesis titles, supervisors, and immediate post-graduation occupations, where available.



  •  Alex Milowski: Enabling Scientific Data on the Web (Supervised by Henry Thompson).  After graduation: Postdoctoral scholar , School of Information, UC Berkeley
  • Michal Dziemianko:  Supervised by Frank Keller.  After graduation: Visual DNA
  • Desmond Elliott: A structured Image Representation for Language Generation and Image Retrieval (Supervised by Frank Keller).  After graduation: ERCIM Fellow at CWI Amsterdam
  • Diego Frassinelli: The Effect of Context on the Activation and Processing of Word Meaning Over Time (Supervised by Frank Keller).  After graduation: Post doctoral researcher at the University of Stuttgart
  • Prachya Boonkwan: Scalable Semi-Supervised Grammaer Induction using Cross- Linguistically Parameterized Syntactic Prototypes (Supervised by Mark Steedman).  After graduation: Researcher at National Electronic and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), Pathumthani, Thailand
  • Aciel Eshky: Generative Probablistic Models of Goal directed Users in Task Oriented Dialogs (Supervised by Mark Steedman). After graduation: Research Assistant at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
  • Greg Coppola: Iterative parameter mixing for distributed large-margin training of structured predictors for natural language processing (supervised by Mark Steedman). After graduation: engineer, Google.


  • Mark Granroth Wilding : Harmonic analysis of music using combinatory categorial grammar (supervised by Mark Steedman). After graduation: Research Associate, Computer Lab, The University of Cambridge
  • Trevor Fountain: Modelling the acquisition of natural language categories (supervised by Mirella Lapata). After graduation: Forward Deployed Engineer at Palantir Technologies and co-founder and publisher at Far Off Places
  • Katya Saint-Amand: Alignment of speech and co-speech gesture in a constraint-based grammar (supervised by Alex Lascarides, Mark Steedman). After graduation: Post doctoral Researcher, University of Edinburgh.
  • John Pate: Predictability effects in language acquisition (supervised by Sharon Goldwater). After graduation: Postdoctoral researcher at Macquarie University.
  • Emily Thomforde: Semi-supervised lexical acquisition for wide-coverage parsing (supervised by Mark Steedman). After graduation: Creator of computer game 'Coolson's Artisanal Chocolate Alphabet'
  • Sasa Petrovic: Real-time event detection in massive streams (supervised by Miles Osborne). After graduation: Software Engineer at Google.
  • Stella Frank: Bayesian models of syntactic category acquisition (supervised by Sharon Goldwater and Frank Keller). After graduation: Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Christos Christodoulopolos: An Iterated Learning Framework for Unsupervised Part-of-Speech Induction (supervised by Mark Steedman and Sharon Goldwater). After graduation: a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Liang Lu: Subspace Gaussian Mixture Models for Automatic Speech Recognition (supervised by Steve Renals).
  • Erich Zwyssig: Speech processing using digital MEMS microphones (supervised by Steve Renals).After graduation: Postdoc at SHINE (speech-acoustic scene analysis and interpretation), Center for Information Technology of Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento
  • Loic Dugast: Introducing corpus-based rules and algorithms in a rule-based machine translation system (supervised by Philipp Koehn and Miles Osborne).



  • Tom Kwiatkowski: Probabilistic Grammar Induction from Sentences and Structured Meanings (supervised by Mark Steedman and Sharon Goldwater). After graduation: postdoctoral researcher, University of Washington.
  • Olesya Razuvayevskaya: Developing educational games for children with ASC. VENECA - Virtual Environment for Navigational Education for Children with ASC (supervised by Helen Pain).
  • Anette Leonhard: Automated question answering for clinical comparison questions (supervised by Bonnie Webber and Claudia Pagliari).
  • Kira MourĂ£o: Learning Action Representations Using Kernel Perceptrons (supervised by Mark Steedman, Ron Petrick and David Willshaw). After graduation: postdoctoral researcher in ILCC, University of Edinburgh.
  • Oliver Watts: Unsupervised Learning for Text-to-Speech Synthesis (supervised by Simon King). After graduation: Postdoctoral Researcher, CSTR, University of Edinburgh.

  • Joel Lang: Unsupervised Induction of Semantic Roles (supervised by Charles Sutton and Mirella Lapata). After graduation: Presspectrum Technologies

  • Michael Auli: Integrated Supertagging and Parsing (supervised by Philipp Koehn and Adam Lopez). After graduation: Postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA



  • Alexandra Birch: Reordering Metrics for Statistical Machine Translation (supervised by Miles Osborne). After graduation: postdoctoral researcher in ILCC, University of Edinburgh.
  • Sharon Givon: Predicting and Using Social Tags to Improve the Accuracy and Transparency of Recommender Systems (supervised by Johanna Moore). After graduation: working at GingerSoftware.
  • Srini Janarthanam: Learning User Modeling Strategies for Adaptive Referring Expression Generation (supervised by Oliver Lemon and Johanna Moore). After graduation: working at Heriot-Watt University.
  • Abby Levenberg: Stream-based Statistical Machine Translation (supervised by Henry Thompson and Miles Osborne; winner of the European Association for Machine Translation best thesis award for 2011). After graduation: postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University.
  • Moreno Coco: Coordination of Vision and Language in Cross-Modal Referential Processing (supervised by Frank Keller). After graduation: Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Lisbon.
  • Partha Lal: Cross-lingual Automatic Speech Recognition using Tandem Features (supervised by Simon King). After graduation: working for a software company in Edinburgh.
  • Ravichander Vipperla: Automatic Speech Recognition for Ageing Voices (supervised by Steve Renals, Simon King and Joe Frankel). After graduation: postdoctoral researcher at EURECOM, based in France.
  • Sebastian Andersson: Conversational Speech Synthesis: the Need for Richer Speech Resources (supervised by Rob Clark).  After graduation: Language Architect at Lionbridge
  • Yansong Feng: Automatic Caption Generation for News Images (supervised by Mirella Lapata). After graduation:  Lecturer at the Institute of Computer Science and Technology, Peking University.
  • Sean Hammond: Children's Story Authoring with Propp's Morphology (supervised by Helen Pain and Mark Steedman)
  • Kate Ho: Requirements work in e-science projects (supervised by Stuart Anderson and Mark Hartswood). After graduation: Managing director of Interface3, a startup focusing on educational games. (UPDATE JULY 2012, WAITING ON CORRECTIONS)
  • Hieu Hoang: Improving Statistical Machine Translation with Linguistic Information (supervised by Philipp Koehn). After graduation: working with Asia Online, based in Thailand. Asia Online uses the translation software that Hieu developed for his thesis.
  • Neil McIntyre: Learning to Tell Tales: Automatic Story Generation from Corpora (supervised by Mirella Lapata). After graduation: working for Clevermed, an Edinburgh-based company who design software for hospitals. 
  • Thade Nahnsen: Automation of Summarization Evaluation Methods and their Application to the Summarization Process (supervised by Claire Grover).


  • Abhishek Arun: Probabilistic Inference for Phrase-based Machine Translation: A Sampling Approach (supervised by Philipp Koehn). After graduation: working for Microsoft Bing, London.
  • Leonardo Badino: Identifying Prosodic Prominence Patterns for English Text-to-Speech Synthesis (supervised by Rob Clark).
  • Peter Bell: Full Covariance Modelling for Speech Recognition (supervised by Simon King).  After graduation: postdoctoral  research int ILCC, University of Edinburgh.
  • Joao Cabral: HMM-based Speech Synthesis using an Acoustic Glottal Source Model (supervised by Steve Renals). After graduation: postdoctoral researcher at University College Dublin.
  • Vera Demberg: A Broad-Coverage Model of Prediction in Human Sentence Processing (supervised by Frank Keller; winner of the Cognitive Science Society's Glushko Prize for outstanding doctoral dissertation in Cognitive Science).  After graduation: research group leader, Cluster of Excellence for Multimodal Computing and Interaction, Saarland University.
  • Jeff Mitchell: Composition in Distributional Models of Semantics (supervised by Mirella Lapata).


  • Sam Brody: Closing the Gap in WSD: Supervised Results with Unsupervised Methods (supervised by Mirella Lapata).  After graduation: postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University.
  • Pei-yun (Sabrina) Hsueh: Meeting Decision Detection: Multimodal Information Fusion for Multi-Party Dialogue Understanding (supervised by Johanna Moore).  After graduation: postdoctoral researcher at IBM TJ Watson Research Centre.
  • Songfang Huang: Hierarchical Bayesian Language Models for Multiparty Conversational Speech Recognition (supervised by Steve Renals) .  After graduation: postdoctoral researcher at IBM TJ Watson Research Centre.
  • Sebastian Riedel: Efficient Prediction of Relational Structure in Natural Language Processing (supervised by Ewan Klein).  After graduation: postdoctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • David Talbot: Bloom maps for big data  (supervised by Miles Osborne).
  • Dong Wang: Out-of-Vocabulary Spoken Term Detection (supervised by Simon King).  After graduation: postdoctoral researcher at Eurecom, France.
  • Heriberto Cuayahuitl: Reinforcement learning of spoken dialogue strategies (supervised by Steve Renals).
  • Le Zhang: Modelling Speech Dynamics with Trajectory-HMMs (supervised by Steve Renals).
  • Giulia Garau: Combining spectral representations and speaker normalisation (supervised by Steve Renals).
  • Alfred Dielmann: Dynamic Bayesian networks for meeting segmentation (supervised by Steve Renals).
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