University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘Linguistics’ Category


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wrinkle in Time: It’s Maya Meetings time

To get ready for the Maya Meetings and workshops at The University of Texas at Austin March 23-27, Further Findings presents a story about David Stuart, one of the foremost experts on the Maya:

David Stuart, director of the Mesoamerica Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

David Stuart, director of the Mesoamerica Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

David Stuart was getting out of the Land Rover after the bumpy 50-mile ride through the Guatemalan rain forest to San Bartolo, an ancient Maya ruin in northern Guatemala.

William Saturno, the leader of the dig
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wrapping up Watson

Ken Jennings, the Watson avatar and Brad Rutter on the Jeopardy! set.

Ken Jennings, the Watson avatar and Brad Rutter on the Jeopardy! set.

It’s been a few days since the IBM Corp.’s Watson computer won big at Jeopardy! and still no computer overlords.

What we do have is a new sense of what computers and artificial intelligence (AI) can do and how they can be used.

Researchers, including some at The University of Texas at Austin, have worked for decades to get computers to understand natural language, the way people talk. Computers have a
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Texas alumnus gives insight into Watson

James Fan, who received his Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin, is a member of the IBM team that built Watson, the Jeopardy! playing computer.

James Fan, who received his Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin, is a member of the IBM team that built Watson, the Jeopardy! playing computer.

University of Texas at Austin alumnus James Fan was one of 25 IBM Corp. employees who worked for four years to build a computer that could play the quiz show Jeopardy! with the best of them.

He returned to campus Monday to watch the first round of the Jeopardy! match between Watson, the IBM computer (named
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Computers not ready to take over, even if one wins Jeopardy!

If IBM Corp.’s Watson computer passes the Trebek Test, it doesn’t mean it will pass the Turing Test the next day. Or achieve world dominance.

Ray Mooney

Ray Mooney

The Trebek Test will take place Feb. 14, 15 and 16 in the Jeopardy! Challenge. The computer plays the Jeopardy! quiz show against two of the best players in Jeopardy! history. Alex Trebek is the host of Jeopardy!

The computer must make sense of the tricky clues, search the tons of information it has digested, find
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Tower’s “lost” symbols, found

See the full-sized rendering of the tower's letters at http://www.utexas.edu/features/graphics/2010/tower_alphabets/tower_alphabets3.jpg.

See the full-sized rendering of the tower’s letters at http://www.utexas.edu/features/graphics/2010/tower_alphabets/tower_alphabets3.jpg.

It took a class of University of Texas at Austin students less than a semester to do what Harvard symbology professor Robert Langdon would have done in a rather hectic weekend.

But the students had the advantages of 1. being real and 2. not having to deal with deadly conspirators fighting to protect an ancient society whose secrets, if revealed, could change the world as Langdon has done in several Dan Brown books such
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Q&A: The rise and fall of Texas German

Following up on the university home page feature story, Vanishing Voices, here’s a Q&A that the writer Jessica Sinn had with with Hans Boas.

Hans Boas

Hans Boas

In about 40 years, Texas German – a language intrinsic to Texas that fuses English and 19th century German – will inevitably be extinct. Hans Boas, associate professor of Germanic studies, believes that once Texas German is gone, the last vestiges of Texas’ German cultural heritage will disappear as well.

In a race against time to create
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