Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Dragomir Radev Assembles Two-Volume Collection of NACLO Linguistics Puzzles

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Prof. Dragomir Radev has edited and complied Puzzles in Logic, Languages, and Computation, which has been published by Springer. The two-volume set brings together the best English-language problems created for students competing in the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO), which Radev cofounded in 2007.


Prof. Radev

NACLO is an annual contest in which high school student teams solve linguistic and natural-language processing problems. Close to two thousand students from across the United States and Canada competed in NACLO last year. Finalists from NACLO compete each year in the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL), and Prof. Radev has served as head coach of the US team at IOL since 2007.

The problems in the collection are representative of the diverse areas presented in the competition and designed with four principles in mind:

  • To challenge the student analytically, without requiring any explicit knowledge or experience in linguistics or computer science.

  • To expose the student to the different kinds of reasoning required when encountering a new phenomenon in a language, both as a theoretical topic and as an applied problem.

  • To foster the natural curiosity students have about the workings of their own language, as well as to introduce them to the beauty and structure of other languages.

  • To learn about the models and techniques used by computers to understand human language.

Aside from being a fun intellectual challenge, the Olympiad mimics the skills used by researchers and scholars in the field of computational linguistics.

Prof. Radev is a leader in the field of computational linguistics, which leverages techniques from computer science and linguistics and is concerned with the computational aspects of the human language faculty. His research takes place at the intersection of information retrieval, natural language processing, machine learning, bioinformatics, text and data mining, social networks, social media, collective behavior, text generation, information extraction, and artificial intelligence.

Prof. Radev received his PhD in Computer Science from Columbia University in 1999 and joined the faculty at Michigan in 2000. He received a UROP Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Research Mentorship in 2004, the Gosnell Prize for Excellence in Political Methodology in 2006, and the U-M Faculty Recognition Award in 2013. In 2011, NACLO was recognized with the Linguistic Society of America's Linguistics, Language and the Public Award. He is the Secretary of the Association for Computational Linguistics and an ACM Distinguished Scientist.

How to obtain the books:

Both volumes of Puzzles in Logic, Languages, and Computation are available through the publisher's website and from Amazon. All proceeds from the sale of the books are directed to NACLO and ELCLO, the CLO umbrella that includes AILO (Ireland), UKLO (UK), OZCLO (Australia), and NACLO (USA and Canada).

Springer website with hardcover and ebook purchase information:

Amazon webpage with hardcover purchase information:


Posted: October 14, 2013