Dieuwke Hupkes bio photo

Dieuwke Hupkes

Research scientist at FAIR, ELLIS Amsterdam enthusiast, interested in structures in language

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Curriculum Vitae

About me


My name is Dieuwke Hupkes. The first question that many people ask me when they meet me is How do I pronounce your name? So, here goes. My (first) name comes from a small province in the north of the Netherlands, called Frisia, where they speak Frisian. For those that can read it: the phonetic transcription of my name is dju’kǝ. The first part is pronounced more or less exactly as the English word “duke” in British English (d-you-k), the second syllable sounds like “uh”. The stress is on the first syllable, so altogether: DUKE-uh . Still difficult? Listen how I pronounce it myself.

Some more info about me: I am currently a research scientist at Meta AI Research. Before that, I did my PhD at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), under supervision of Willem Zuidema, and a brief postdoc at the Amsterdam unit of ELLIS.

In my dissertation – titled Hierarchy and interpretability in neural models of language processing – I studied artificial neural networks for natural language processing, with as main aim to understand what they may teach us about processing of structure. While artificial neural networks are of course far from the real brain, I hope that understanding the principles by which they can encode and process structure can teach us something that will lead to a better understanding of how language is processed by the human brain.

Already quite a while ago, I started my journey in academia studying physics. 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. 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.

In my free time, I spend a lot of time training for pole dancing competitions. In 2018, I won the national championships in the category doubles. Curious what it looks like? Have a look at my Instagram, or check our performances at the World Championships in 2017 or 2018!


  • October 20, 2023 – The GenBench taxonomy paper on generalisation in NLP just came out at Nature Machine Intelligence! Couldn’t be more proud of this massive team effort :).

  • November 30, 2021 – Podcast is out! Check it here, or listen on apple podcasts, spotify or soundcloud.

  • November 18, 2021 – Today I was interviewed by Sean Welleck for his podcast The Thesis Review. Can’t wait for it to come out!

  • November 11, 2021 – Our article Generalising to German Plural Noun Classes, from the Perspective of a Recurrent Neural Network! Very honoured and proud.

  • December 7, 2020 – Today I started as a research scientist at FAIR Paris! Looking forward to this new adventure :).

  • August 29, 2020 – Jelle Zuidema and I were interviewed by Trouw, the resulting two page (!) article appeared today!

  • July 9, 2020 – Check out this nice blog post that Iris Proff wrote about me and my research!

  • June 17, 2020 – In a hybrid virtual - physical setting, I finally got my title! It was an interesting experience, many thanks to those of you that were there, virtually or physically. You can find my dissertation here.

  • June 5, 2020 – In less than two weeks – on June 17, 13 o’clock, I will defend my dissertation. Due to the stange circumstances, it will be held online. Curious? It will be streamed on Youtube!

  • January 24, 2020 – I submitted my doctorate dissertation! I’m very much looking forward to the next steps.

  • November 15, 2019 – Today I gave a presentation at the University of Utrecht. Thanks Denis Paperno for inviting me, and thanks to the audience for asking so many interesting questions!

  • November 4, 2019 – My paper with Jaap Jumelet and Willem Zuidema got an honourable mention at CoNLL2019!

  • October 25, 2019 – There will be a next edition of BlackboxNLP next year at EMNLP’2020!

  • October 8, 2019 – On my way to Baltimore for a visit to John’s Hopkins! Thanks to Tal Linzen and Chris Honey for inviting me :).

  • October 4, 2019 – Together with Willem Zuidema, I’m interviewing Alexandru Baltag today at the ILLC open Day!

  • October 1, 2019 – I decided to make a news section on my homepage! First piece of news: Today I’m speaking at the Computational Cognition workshop in Instabruck!

Highlighted publications