Tom McCoy Receives NSF GRF

We congratulate Tom McCoy, a first year PhD student, for receiving an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for his project entitled, “Assessing the Capacity of Computational Models to Make Linguistic Generalizations.” Tom will be working with Drs. Tal Linzen (JHU) and Bob Frank (Yale, previously JHU).

“We are studying how neural networks (a popular class of models for natural language processing) make linguistic generalizations from limited data. Generalizing from past experience to novel contexts is one of the areas where humans excel yet artificial intelligence struggles, so with this project we aim to shed light on the linguistic capabilities of both humans and computers. My other ongoing project, which is supervised by both of my co-advisors, Paul Smolensky and Tal Linzen, also involves developing techniques for understanding computational models; it aims to map generic neural network representations to a more interpretable computational formalism called tensor product representations.” — Tom McCoy

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Of over 12,000 applicants, 2,000 were offered fellowships.