Bio

Willem Zuidema
Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
Cognition, Language and Computation lab
University of Amsterdam
Science Park 107, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

I am associate professor in computational linguistics and cognitive science at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation. I do research on these topics, direct the Cognition, Language and Computation lab and supervise several PhD and MSc students there. I teach in the interdisciplinary master’s programs Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, and Logic, and coordinate the Cognitive Science track in the MBCS. I sometimes give public talks on artificial intelligence and the evolution of language.

I have a long term interest in computational modelling of language processing and in the biological basis of language. Because of that cognitive interest, I was early contributor to deep learning in NLP, with work on neural parsing published as early as 2008 (Borensztajn & Zuidema, 2008, CogSci), and pioneering contributions on tree-shaped neural networks, including the TreeLSTM (Le & Zuidema 2015; published concurrently with groups from Stanford and Montreal). In 2016 we introduced Diagnostic Classification (Veldhoen, Hupkes, & Zuidema, 2016; Hupkes, Veldhoen, & Zuidema, 2018; Giulianelli, Harding, Mohnert, Hupkes, & Zuidema, 2018), one of the key interpretability techniques. We further performed research on the integration of formal logic and deep learning (Veldhoen & Zuidema, 2017; Repplinger, Beinborn, & Zuidema, 2018; Mul & Zuidema, 2019), Representational Similarity Analysis (Abnar, Beinborn, Choenni, & Zuidema, 2019) and contextual decomposition (Jumelet et al., 2019).

In the past, I have worked in the Behavioural Biology group at Leiden University in the Netherlands (2007-2008), and the Language Evolution and Computation Research Unit (now the Centre for Language Evolution) and the Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology (now the Institute of Evolutionary Biology) of the University of Edinburgh (2002-2004), the Artificial Intelligence Lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Brussels, Belgium (2000-2002), and the Sony Computer Science Laboratory – Paris in France (2000).

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