[robotics-worldwide] PhD Research Studentship: Computational Linguisitics of Human-Robot Interaction (Univ. Hertfordshire)

Kerstin Dautenhahn K.Dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk
Fri Jun 27 12:04:18 PDT 2008

Research Studentship in Computational Linguistics of Human-Robot
Interaction Adaptive Systems Research Group, University of Hertfordshire

Science and Technology Research Institute

Applications are invited from candidates with good BSc/BA or MSc
degrees in computer science, electronic engineering, physics,
biology, linguistics, or other relevant disciplines to join projects
as research students for a three year period in order to undertake
and complete a PhD in the following area:

Ref 4: Computational Linguistics of Human-Robot Interaction

Contact for informal inquiries: Prof.  Chrystopher L.  Nehaniv
(E-mail: C.L.Nehaniv at herts.ac.uk)

Project and Requirements:

The PhD studentship will support research to pursue recent fundamental
advances in the investigation and deployment of new computational
linguistics methods for use in studies on the emergence of the
development of communicative competencies in embodied artificial
intelligence systems.  In particular, the candidate will explore
how a robot can achieve the enactive creation of meaningful
representation via grammatical constructions during the course of
development and learning in a physical and social environment.  The
candidate's research will be carried out as part of a multidisciplinary
team led by Prof.  Nehaniv and will employ methods of construction
grammar and social learning in human-robot interaction.  Experimental
platforms used for this work will include the KASPAR and iCub
humanoid robots.  This research will support work in the EU-funded
project I-Talk (http://italkproject.org/) on the emergence of
language using the feedback loop between social learning, individual
learning and language acquisition.

The ideal candidate will be self-motivated with good writing and
communication skills, an excellent programmer, and with a very
strong background in computational linguistics and natural/artificial
language grammars.  It also desirable that the candidate have
exposure to one or more of: developmental psychology, human-computer
interaction, pragmatics and language acquisition, interactive systems
and autonomous robotics, artificial life, artificial intelligence,
neuroscience, and/or mathematical theory of communication (information
theory), as well having some familiarity with sensors, networking,
scripting, and multithreading.

Successful candidates may be eligible for a research studentship
award from the University (equivalent to 12,940 British pounds per
annum bursary plus the payment of the standard UK student fees).

The Adaptive Systems Research Group founded in 2000 by Prof.  K.
Dautenhahn and Prof.  C.  L.  Nehaniv is an internationally leading group
in Artificial Life and AI Social Robotics comprising over 30 research
academic, postdocs, and other researchers.

For further information and an application form, contact Mrs Lorraine
Nicholls, Research Student Administrator, STRI, Faculty of Engineering
and Information Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane,
Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB, United Kingdom.  Tel: +44-(0)1707 286083
Fax: +44-(0)1707 284185 or

email: stri.admissions at herts.ac.uk.  The short-listing process will
begin on 25th July 2008.

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