[Baypiggies] bayPIGgies meeting July 12: Natural Language Toolkit

jim stockford jim at well.com
Sun Jul 8 05:41:59 CEST 2007



Thursday, July 12, 2007
Location: Google


Agenda-----------------------------


..... 7:30 PM ...........................
General hubbub, inventory end-of-meeting announcements,
any first-minute announcements.


..... 7:35 PM to 8:45 PM ................
Topic: The Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK)
Steven Bird, Ewan Klein, and Edward Loper

    Most human knowledge--and most human communication--is
representedand expressed using language.
    Language technologies permit computers
to process human language automatically; handheld computers
support predictive text and handwriting recognition; web
search engines give access to information locked up in
unstructured text.
    By providing more natural human-machine interfaces and
more sophisticated access to stored information, Natural
Language Processing has come to play a central role in the
multilingual information society.
    The Natural Language Toolkit is a suite of open source
Python modules, data sets, and tutorials supporting research
and development in Natural Language Processing.  NLTK
includes some 50k lines of Python, a 380-page book
(80% complete), and 300Mb of test data, all freely
downloadable from http://nltk.org/index.php.
    In this presentation, the developers of NLTK will
introduce the field of Natural Language Processing,
demonstrate the main features of NLTK, and describe ways
for the Pythoncommunity to participate in the ongoing
development effort.

About the presenters:

    Steven Bird is Associate Professor in Computer Science at the
University of Melbourne in Australia, and Senior Research Associate
in the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania,
specializing in R&D on models and tools for large databases of
annotated text.  Steven edits the book series "Cambridge Studies in
Natural Language Processing," and was recently elected president of
the Association for Computational Linguistics.

    Ewan Klein is Professor of Language Technology in the School of
Informatics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.  He has
also been Research Manager for the Natural Language Research Group
of Edify Corporation, Santa Clara, and was responsible for spoken
dialogue processing. Ewan was the founding Coordinator of the
European Network of Excellence in Human Language Technologies.
He has lead numerous academic-industrial collaborative projects,
most recently in biological text mining.

    Edward Loper is a doctoral student at the University of
Pennsylvania, conducting research on machine learning in natural
languageprocessing.  In addition to NLTK, Edward has helped develop
othermajor packages for documenting and testing Python software,
epydoc and doctest.


..... 8:45 PM to 9:00 PM ................
Mapping/Random Access

Mapping is a rapid-fire audience announcement of topics the announcers
are interested in.

Random Access follows immediately to allow follow up individually on
topics of interest.


..... The August Meeting  ................
The August meeting is Newbies' Night, Part 2, presenting the second
half of Alex Martelli's Python for Programmers talk.



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