Shay Cohen

Chancellor's Fellow (≈ Assistant Professor)

Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation
School of Informatics
University of Edinburgh

Prospective students who might be interested in working with me: please see the note here. Also, see the new data science Ph.D. programme.

About me

My broad interests are in the intersection of computational linguistics and statistical learning. I am interested in developing ways to computationally reason about structured objects. Such structured objects are prevalent in natural language processing, for example, in syntactic analysis.

Much of my research has relied on capturing the syntax of natural language using probabilistic grammars -- grammars that originate in linguistics and formal language theory, and that have been augmented with a probabilistic interpretation. My most recent work treats the problem of predicting syntactic structures from text using spectral methods (in the supervised or unsupervised settings) and other linear algebraic methods. Most recently, we applied these ideas to machine translation, social media and semantics.

Click here for a bio.

We are organising a workshop about representation learning in NLP at ACL 2016.

  • Topics in Natural Language Processing (INFR11113). Course website (Spring 2016). See also below.
  • Processing Formal and Natural Languages (INF2A). Course website (Fall 2015).
  • Lecture on linear classification at the Lisbon Machine Learning School (LxMLS), July 2015.
  • Topics in Natural Language Processing (INFR11113). Course website (Spring 2015). Course on PATH. Click here for a synopsis.
  • A tutorial about Spectral learning algorithms for NLP (NAACL, 2013). Similar tutorial with overlapping material at CMU (June, 2014).
  • Seminar at Columbia - Bayesian analysis for NLP (Spring, 2013).
  • A course at IBM about Probability and Structure in NLP (May, 2011)
Students and Post-docs
  • Shashi Narayan (postdoc, 2014-)
  • Marco Damonte (PhD, 2015-)
  • Nikos Papasarantopoulos (PhD, 2016-)
  • Joana Ribeiro (PhD, 2015-)
  • John Torr (PhD, 2015-; co-advised with Mark Steedman)
  • Current M.Sc. students: Chunchuan Lyu, Fuad Issa, Lingzhe Zhao, Jason Chen (co-advised with Shashi Narayan)
  • Past M.Sc. students: Alexander Clarke, Anna Donohoe, Sameer Khurana (2015), Chiraag Lala (2014)
  • Past interns: Dominique Osborne (summer 2015)
Here is a group picture from summer 2015.

Code and Data
Contact information

scohen [strudel]

10 Crichton Street
Informatics Forum 4.26
Edinburgh EH8 9AB
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0) 131 650 6542