The Human Intelligence and Language Technologies lab (HiLT) in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering hosted almost 40 high school students who participated in the regional competition for NACLO, the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad, on Jan. 28, 2016.
NACLO is an educational competition in Computational Linguistics, the science of designing computer algorithms to solve linguistic problems. It challenges students to develop strategies for tackling problems in real languages and formal symbolic systems.
No prior knowledge of linguistics or second languages is necessary to compete. However, schools such as R.L. Paschal High School in Fort Worth and Lovejoy High School in Lucas have linguistics clubs that help the students prepare for the competition.
This is the eighth year that UNT has hosted a regional competition, and UNT is one of four Texas universities that provided a location for students to compete. More student participants were in attendance at UNT this year than in 2015. Besides R.L. Paschal and Lovejoy, Denton High School and the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science brought students to compete.
Dr. Rodney Nielsen, Associate Professor, and Genene Murphy, CSE Staff, supervised this event, along with HiLT Ph.D. students Nishitha Guntakandla and Natalie Parde and undergraduate lab assistant Erin Eversoll. The competition took place from 9 a.m. to noon, and the participating students received certificates and T-shirts.
A special thanks to Dr. Ian Parberry for allowing his lab to be used for the competition.