Two PhD positions are available in the AI lab at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel with Bart de Boer.
One position is on modelling an emerging sign language:
We are looking for a PhD student to work on modeling the emergence of sign languages, with a focus on modeling the social dynamics underlying existing signing communities. The project relies on specialist expertise of the Kata Kolok signing community that has emerged in a Balinese village over the course of several generations. The emergence of Kata Kolok, and the demographics of the village have been closely studied by geneticists, anthropologists, and linguists. A preliminary model has been built in Python, simulating this emergence. The aim of the project is to investigate, using a combination of linguistic field research and computational modeling which factors – cultural, genetic, linguistic and others – determine the way language emerges. There will be one PhD student in Nijmegen conducting primary field research on Kata Kolok and one based in Brussels (as advertised here) to be involved in the computational aspect of the project. Both positions are part of a FWO-NWO funded collaboration of the Artificial Intelligence lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Center for Language Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen and the advertised position is supervised by profs. Bart de Boer and Connie de Vos.
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The other is on modelling acquisition of speech:
We are looking for someone who has (or who is about to complete) a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, speech technology, computer science or equivalent. You will work on a project that investigates advanced techniques for learning the building blocks of speech, with a focus on spectro-temporal features and dynamic Bayesian networks. It is part of the Artificial Intelligence lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and is supervised by prof. Bart de Boer.
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The deadline for application is 1st July 2017. Other details available at the links above.
Questions about details of the positions themselves should be directed to Bart de Boer (firstname.lastname@example.org). However, I myself did my PhD with Bart at the VUB, so I’d also be happy to answer more informal questions about working in the lab/living in Belgium/other things (email@example.com).