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Canadian Linguistics Olympiad (CLO)
What is Computational Linguistics?
"Hey Siri, what is the weather in Calgary?" In our daily lives,
we now take it for granted that we can talk to a machine, and
it will answer our questions. This starts as a physics problem,
analyzing a sound wave and converting this into information a
computer can work with. Next is a computational problem,
parsing the question to find out what the speaker means. After
some data retrieval, more computation picks the right words,
and turns these into the right set of sounds to send back out the
speaker. Linguists study how this sound to meaning and back
again process works in humans; Computational Linguists go
the extra step of modelling that process using logical methods
that can be programmed into software, or used for large scale
data retrieval and analysis. How does Google know how to finish
your question? Computational Linguistics plays a role.
What is the CLO?
The Canadian Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) is a competitive
exam for High School students with an interest in linguistic
problem solving. In 2019, the School of Languages, Linguistics,
Literatures and Cultures at the University of Calgary will again
be a testing site. To participate, you must be under 21 years
old on the testing date, and have never been a full-time college
or university student. Additionally, you must be a Canadian
citizen, OR a current high school student in Canada.
Top scorers in the open round will be invited to a second round
from which the national team competing in Ventspils, Latvia in 2020
will be selected.
CLO Open Round Testing in Calgary
The testing date is January 23, 2020, which is a Thursday (so
students who participate will need to arrange an absence with
their teachers). The exam will be from 10am-1pm in room
CHE 212 (Craigie Hall E-Block, second floor). Please
arrive no later than 9:45am on the exam morning.
For campus maps, click here. CHE 212 is close to the Plus-15
connecting Craigie Hall to the Arts Parkade.
To register for the exam, visit the CLO website
CLO Boot Camp for Students
The Linguistics program is hosting boot camp problem solving
sessions for local high school students here at the University.
Led by our faculty and students, these sessions will each cover
six problems from previous contests. The sessions will both
cover the same basic concepts, but with different questions,
so students may attend one or both. Beyond practicing for the
exam, this is an excellent chance for students to meet prospective
professors and TAs, and get a taste of Linguistics more broadly.
After the training sessions, there will be an opportunity to tour
some of our Psycholinguistics Labs to see what kinds of active
research we are working on.
Space in these Boot Camp sessions is limited by the room capacity,
capped at 35 each session. To register for one of these sessions,
send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or email me directly.
Practice problems can be found at the NACLO site for the former
North America-wide competition.