B.A., Swarthmore College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Carolyn AndersonAssistant Professor of Computer Science
I use computational, experimental, and symbolic methods to understand meaning in natural language.
My research focuses on understanding how context-sensitive meaning is encoded in natural language. I study words whose meanings change depending on who is using them, and when and where they are used.
I build computational models to understand how conversation participants use knowledge about each other's mental states. How do speakers think about their audience when deciding what to say? How do listeners use their knowledge of the speaker when figuring out the meaning of their utterances?
These aspects of language are among the most difficult for artificial intelligence to grasp, because they are situational, grounded, and interactive. In order to develop language technology that interacts with us in a natural way, we need to develop models that can adjust their language based on users' situations and knowledge states.
Visit my website for more information on my research, teaching, and other interests.