My name is Dieuwke, I am a PhD student at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, under supervision of Willem Zuidema. I am employed within the the Language in Interaction project since July 2015.
I started my journey in academia studying physics, but at some point I had to admit that although I think physics is very interesting and I love abstract systems, my true passion is really the beautifully complex system that is natural language. Ever since I can remember I have loved thinking about structures in language, which I always found to be so generic on the one hand but so specific and restricted on the other. While doing a master in Logic at the University of Amsterdam I was very lucky to discover the field of computational linguistics (and in particular syntactic parsing). I am still very glad that I got the chance to do a job that allows me try to find answers to the questions that intrigue me most.
Currently, in my PhD work, I focus on (artificial) neural network models for (semantic) parsing, a problem that for me touches on the core of understanding natural language. Although artificial neural networks are of course nothing like the real brain, I hope that understanding the principles by which they can encode processes can still teach us something that will lead to a better understanding of how language could be implemented in the brain.
In my free time, I still spend quite a substantial amount of my time thinking about language and learning new ones. I am also a pretty fanatic pole dancer (participating in competitions with my duo partner) and I like playing the piano.