Ph.D. Program CMU-PORTUGAL in the area of Language and Information Technologies


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Ph.D. Program CMU-PORTUGAL in the area of Language and Information Technologies

The Language Technologies Institute (LTI) of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) offers a dual degree Ph.D. Program in Language and Information Technologies in cooperation with Portuguese Universities. This Ph.D. program is part of the activities of the recently created Information and Communication Technologies Institute (ICTI), resulting from the Portugal-CMU Partnership.

The Language Technologies Institute, a world leader in the areas of speech processing, language processing, information retrieval, machine translation, machine learning, and bio-informatics, has been formed 20 years ago. The breadth of language technologies expertise at LTI enables new research in combinations of the core subjects, for example, in speech-to-speech translation, spoken dialog systems, language-based tutoring systems, and question/answering systems.

The Portuguese consortium of Universities includes the Spoken Language Systems Lab (L2F) of INESC-ID Lisbon/IST, the Center of Linguistics of the University of Lisbon (CLUL/FLUL), the Centre for Human Language Technology and Bioinformatics at the University of Beira Interior (HULTIG/UBI) and the linguistics group at the University of Algarve (UALG). These four research centers (and the corresponding Universities), share expertise in the same language technologies as LTI, although with a strong focus on processing the Portuguese language.

Each Ph.D. student will receive a dual degree from LTI and the selected Portuguese University, being co-supervised by one advisor from each institute, and spending approximately half of the 5-year doctoral program at each institute. Most of the academic part willtake place at LTI, during the first 2 years, where most of the required 8 courses will be taken, with a proper balance of focus areas (Linguistic, Computer Science, Statistical/Learning, Task Orientation). The remaining 3 years of the doctoral program will be dedicated to research, mostly spent at the Portuguese institute, with one or two visits to CMU per year.

The thesis topic will be in one of the research areas of the cooperation program, defined by the two advisors. Two multilingual topics have been identified as primary research areas (although other areas of human language technologies may be also contemplated): computer aided language learning (CALL) and speech-to-speech machine translation (S2SMT). The doctoral students will be involved in one of these two projects aimed at building real HLT systems. These projects will involve at least two languages, one of them being Portuguese, the target language for the CALL system to be developed and either the source or target language (or both) for the S2SMT system. These two projects provide a focus for the proposed research; through them the collaboration will explore the main core areas in language technology.

The scholarship will be funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal.

How to Apply

The application deadline for all Ph.D. programs in the scope of the CMU-Portugal partnership is June 1, 2007. In order to apply, candidates should fill in the corresponding form at the LTI webpage and simultaneously send an email to the coordinators of the Portuguese consortium and of the LTI admissions (Isabel /Trancoso/Alan Black):

Isabel.Trancoso at inesc-id dot pt
awb at cs dot cmu dot edu

All questions about the joint degree doctoral program should be directed to these two addresses.

The applications will be screened by a joint committee formed by representatives of LTI and representatives of the Portuguese Universities involved in the joint degree program. The candidates should indicate their scores in GRE and TOEFL tests.

Despite this particular focus on the Portuguese language, applications are not in any way restricted to native or non-native speakers of Portuguese.

Additional Information

For more information about LTI Ph.D. courses and areas of research, visit the LTI webpage
For more information about the consortium of Portuguese universities involved in this program, visit the corresponding webpages: