Jordan Kodner

PhD Student in Computational Linguistics

University of Pennsylvania

email: jkodner at-sign sas dot upenn point edu

I am a PhD student (entered 2015) in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Linguistics advised by Charles Yang and Mitch Marcus. My primary research revolves around computational models of child language acquisition and the role of both early linguistic input and innate linguistic knowledge in learning. One of my focuses is on how the process of acquisition unfolds on the population level to drive language change. For me, an ideal model of acquisition might not only explain the dynamics of learning in a single individual, but also the dynamics of a population of individuals over time.

My other focus is on how insights from child language acquisition can benefit natural language processing. Children excel at learning from precisely the kinds of small data sets that standard NLP fails on. So, progress on problems of acquisition is progress on problems in low-resource NLP.

From 2013 through 2015, I was an Associate Scientist at Raytheon BBN Technologies in the Speech, Language, and Multimedia group under Amit Srivastava (now ebay), Saurabh Khanwalkar (Bose), and Anoop Kumar (ISI).

I graduated with a BA in Linguistics and a BSE in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with theses on syntactic learning and color perception. I spent two years as a transcriber then lab assistant working on the Philadelphia Neighborhood Corpus.

Presentations, Posters, and Proceedings

Upcoming

2016

Funding and Fellowships

2017-2021
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship
2016, 2017
DARPA LORELEI (PI: Mitch Marcus; summers only)
2015-2017
Benjamin Franklin Fellowship

Project Affiliations

2015-
DARPA LORELEI (Work presented at SCiL, CogSci, ComputEL, NECPhon, and internally)
2014-2015
BBN/Entrada medical speech recognition
2014
Army MFLTS
2014
BBN M3S
2013-2014
DARPA DEFT
2013
DARPA VIRAT

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistantships

2017
LING 230 Sound Structure of Language (instructor: Rolf Noyer)
2016
LING 001 Introduction to Linguistics (instructor: Mark Liberman) (sample slides)
2012-2013
CIS 110 Introduction to Computer Programming (instructor: Benedict Brown)

Volunteering

2016-
Middle school tutor (West Philadelphia Tutoring Project)
2016
Comegys Middle School computer programming (Moelis Access Science)
2014-2015
Middle school tutor (Tutoring Plus / Cambridge Housing Authority)
2013, 2017-
Dino Hall and Fossil Prep Lab (Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University)

Advising

In summer 2017, I advised junior Deniz Beser on his project "Part of Speech Tagging for Low-Resource Languages." He won first place in the CIS department's Undergraduate Summer UnPoster Competition.

Departmental Service

Linguistics

2016-2017
PLC41 Finance Committee Chairperson and Postermaker
2015-2016
PLC40 Finance Committee Member and Postermaker
2016-2017
Prospective Student Liaison

CIS

2016-2017
Computational Linguistics and Lunch (CLunch) Organizer
2016
MASC-SLL Volunteer

Recent Collaboration


There is one other person who shares my name. He does photography.

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