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 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. 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 have a job that allows me to try to find answers to the questions that intrigue me most.
Currently, in my PhD, I focus on understanding how recurrent neural networks can understand and learn the structures that occur in natural language, for me a problem that 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 language.
Recently, a large body of my work has been centered around developing techniques to understand better what is going on inside recurrent neural networks and trying to interpret their behaviour in the light of the vast (symbolic) knowledge of language that we have.
If you are interested, check my publications on diagnostic classification!
In my free time, I spend a lot of time training for pole dancing competitions with my fantastic duo partner Suzy. In fact, this year (2018), we won the national championships! If you are not convinced yet that it is a serious sport, have a look at our Instagram :).