DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Natalie Parde, a graduate student in the University of North Texas College of Engineering, has won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her work researching natural language processing – which makes it possible for computers to understand how humans talk and write.
Parde, who studies computer science and engineering, will receive $32,000 per year for up to three years as part of the research fellowship. The fellowship also includes three years of NSF support, a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to UNT for each supported year, access to the XSEDE Supercomputer, and international research and professional development opportunities.
"This fellowship is huge for me," Parde said. "It'll let me pursue my research interests with the amount of freedom and flexibility not normally afforded to researchers still working on their doctoral degrees, and it will allow me to have a deeper understanding of the overall research process, from the proposal to planning experiments and submitting progress reports to the National Science Foundation."
Natural language processing makes it possible for computers to understand how humans talk and write. Parde's research involves tapping into the educational side of natural language processing to develop tools teachers, students and others can use to learn more while using computers.
Parde attended UNT for her undergraduate degree as well, and plans to continue researching natural language processing in the future, she said.
"The faculty and students at UNT have a great, close-knit dynamic that you can't find at a lot of other universities," she said. "I like that UNT's College of Engineering embraces the interdisciplinary aspects of research. It's not uncommon to find computer science and linguistics students working in the same lab, for example, or electrical engineering and music students. I think promoting collaboration like that leads to the development of better, more innovative research."