NSF-NRT speakers: Dr. Carol Miller and Dr. Janet van Hell (Penn State)
December 8, 2023
9:00 am

NSF-NRT speakers: Dr. Carol Miller and Dr. Janet van Hell (Penn State)

Insights From Language Science Make Magnificent Machines: Updates on the NSF NRT LinDiv Program”

Janet van Hell, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Psychology and Linguistics
Director, Center for Language Science
Penn State

Carol Miller, Ph.D.
Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders  and Linguistics, Penn State

Friday, December 8, 9:00–10:30 a.m. EST
Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library

Human technology, such as smart voice assistants or computer-based intelligent tutoring systems, is largely based on standard American English and the misconception that there is a single, idealized variety of American English. This conflicts with the linguistic diversity of language users. The NSF Research Traineeship program “Linguistic diversity across the lifespan: Transforming training to advance human-technology interaction” (LinDiv), awarded to Center for Language Science faculty, trains students to bridge the gap between language science and human technology and create technological innovations that benefit a broad range of linguistically and culturally diverse language users.

The LinDiv program trains graduate students from seven graduate programs in five colleges: Communication Science and Disorders, Computer Science and Engineering, German, Information Sciences and Technology, Learning Design and Technology, Psychology, and Spanish. Starting in fall 2022, our LinDiv program currently trains fourteen graduate students. In this talk, we will present updates and insights from the LinDiv program, including newly developed graduate courses, first research projects, and newly established collaborations. One of these new collaborations is the NSF-funded AI Institute for Exceptional Education (University of Buffalo) that has been created to support speech-language pathologists and educators with cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology. We will also discuss how the LinDiv program opens up new career paths for our graduate students.