Language, art and music are extremely revealing about workings of the human mind

I was interviewed by Gisela Govaart about my research. The interview is published online here.


Language, art and music are extremely revealing about workings of the human mind” – An interview with Jelle Zuidema
by Gisela Govaart, January 2016

Jelle Zuidema is assistant professor in cognitive science and computational linguistics at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation. He does research on these topics, coordinates the Cognition, Language and Computation lab and supervises five PhD and several MSc students there. He teaches in the interdisciplinary master’s programs Brain & Cognitive Sciences (MBCS), Artificial Intelligence, and Logic, and coordinates the Cognitive Science track in the MBCS. Jelle was the organizer of the SMART CS events from 2011 until 2015.

Jelle Zuidema

“I started my studies with two programs in parallel at the University of Utrecht: Liberal Arts – where I focused on Literature – and Artificial Intelligence. In my final two years I dropped Liberal Arts, because I decided I needed to specialize; I got my degree in AI, with a specialization in Theoretical Biology. My thesis was on Evolution of Language, so it was a rather weird mix. I was first interested in evolution, and then my supervisor suggested: since you have this background in computational linguistics and logic, why don’t you look at the evolution of language. So it was a bit accidental, but immediately things started to fall into place, and I got really excited about the topic, and decided that I wanted to do my PhD on that as well. For my PhD I moved first briefly to Paris, and then I was in Brussels for two years, in the group of Luc Steels. After two years Brussels I moved to Edinburgh, and I actually got my PhD degree from the University of Edinburgh in the group of Simon Kirby.”

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