[Elsnet-list] Looking for NLG post-doc, PhD student (Aberdeen BabyTalk project)

Ehud Reiter ereiter at csd.abdn.ac.uk
Thu Jan 26 15:46:44 CET 2006

Dear all -

Aberdeen University is looking to hire a research fellow
and PhD student for a new project, BabyTalk.  The goal of
Babytalk is to generate textual summaries of hospital data
about premature babies in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Summaries will be generated for doctors, nurses, and parents.
BabyTalk builds on our previous SumTime project, which focused
on generating weather forecasts; generating summaries of hospital
data is a much more challenging task, in part because the
input data set is much larger and more complex, and because
summaries are being used by very different people for very
different purposes.  BabyTalk also builds on previous research
in the Aberdeen Neonate project, which showed that good textual
summaries of data can really help doctors make good treatment
decisions.  BabyTalk is a collaborative project with Edinburgh
University's Medical School and Psychology Dept (and NHS Lothian),
who will collect corpora, provide domain expertise and run evaluations.

The research fellow (post-doc) position lasts for four years,
and the PhD position lasts for three years.  The funding for the
PhD student assumes he/she is an EU or UK national; non-EU students
can apply, but they will be expected to find additional funding
as tuition fees for non-EU students are quite high.

In addition to the formal BabyTalk positions, we **may** be able to
arrange funding for additional PhD positions for applicants who
satisfy EPSRC DTA rules (essentially UK nationals or EU nationals
who have spent a lot of time in the UK). I think BabyTalk provides
an excellent base for research into all kinds of NLG topics,
including (just off the top of my head)
* adapting texts to different users and tasks
* multimodal presentations which combine textual summaries
   and graphics
* different ways of evaluating NLG systems
* generating texts which meet emotional goals such as
   reassuring parents
* etc, etc
If you're keen on investigating some such topic in the context
of BabyTalk and satisfy the nationality rules, please let me know
and I'll see if an additional studentship can be arranged

For more information, please see
http://www.csd.abdn.ac.uk/research/babytalk/  - BabyTalk home page
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/jobs/display.php?recordid=YCS050R  - official
    advertisement for RF (post-doc)
http://www.csd.abdn.ac.uk/research/babytalk/Studentship.htm  - official
   advert for PhD student
http://www.csd.abdn.ac.uk/research/nlg/  - Aberdeen NLG group home page
http://acl.ldc.upenn.edu/E/E03/E03-1021.pdf  - EACL03 short paper
    which describes a *very* basic initial system we build a few
    years ago

I'm of course very happy to answer any questions about BabyTalk.
Also, if you do apply for one of the positions, could you please
let me know (our HR dept has unfortunately in some cases lost
applications, so its useful for me to have an independent list
of applicants)

					Ehud Reiter

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