Idiap welcomes its first female professor

Head of the Computation, Cognition & Language Group at Idiap, Lonneke van der Plas was nominated professor by the University of Malta. She is affiliated to this university since 2014.

Lonneke van der Plas has been promoted to associate professor at the Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology in Malta, “Researchers at Idiap and the University of Malta have common interests when it comes to language technologies,” explains Van der Plas. “Both have expertise in developing technologies for so-called low-resource languages/varieties, such as Maltese, Irish or Swiss German, and take part in projects focusing on developing technologies adapted to languages for which limited resources are available, for example labelled data.” Even with millions of speaker, many languages are still suffering from the lack of related technologies, such as grammar and spell checkers, which creates a bias towards mainstream languages like English.

Beyond the common scientific interests, this nomination could reinforce the ties between the two institutions to submit common European projects. “It’s really good news for Idiap, which is always keen on developing its academic networks and having colleagues with academic titles,” explains Hervé Bourlard, Idiap’s director.

More information

- Malta’s Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology
- Computation, cognition & language research group
- Recent publication by Idiap and the University of Malta on cross-lingual transfer
- EU project on bridging the technological gap