Author Archives: Kenny

PhD for Alan Nielsen

By Kenny | May 10, 2016

Congratulations to Dr Alan Nielsen, who was awarded his PhD on 10th May – Alan’s thesis was titled “Systematicity, Motivatedness, and the Structure of the Lexicon”, and was supervised by Kenny Smith and Simon Kirby.

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The LEC is becoming the Centre for Language Evolution

By Kenny | May 6, 2016

We’re evolving! The Language Evolution and Computation Research Unit was established back in 1997 by Jim Hurford and Simon Kirby, and has grown substantially since then to become (we think) the world’s leading group of researchers working on language origins and evolution. To reflect our increased size, and also the increased breadth of the techniques [...]

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Jim Hurford, Fellow of the British Academy

By Kenny | July 17, 2015

LEC founder Prof. Jim Hurford has been elected to the British Academy, in recognition of his outstanding research. Congratulations Jim!

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PhD for Bill Thompson

By Kenny | May 25, 2015

Congratulations to Dr Bill Thompson, who was awarded his PhD on 25th May – Bill’s thesis was titled “Transmission, Induction, and Evolution”, and was supervised by Kenny Smith and Simon Kirby. Bill is currently working as a post-doc with Bart de Boer in the AI lab at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

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PhD for Vanessa Ferdinand

By Kenny | May 1, 2015

Congratulations to Dr Vanessa Ferdinand, who was awarded her PhD on 30th April. Vanessa’s PhD was supervised by Simon Kirby and Kenny Smith, and her thesis was titled “Inductive evolution: cognition, culture and regularity in language”. She is currently an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute.

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Justin Sulik off to LupyanLab

By Kenny | November 24, 2014

More job news: Justin Sulik, who recently completed his thesis in the LEC (supervised by Kenny and Jim, thesis title “Cognition at the Symbolic Threshold”), is off to join Gary Lupyan’s group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, starting January 2015. Good luck Justin!

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PhD for Cat Silvey

By Kenny | November 10, 2014

Congratulations to Dr Catriona Silvey, who was awarded her PhD on 7th November. Cat did her PhD with Kenny Smith and Simon Kirby, on “The communicative emergence and cultural evolution of word meanings”; since her viva she has been working in the Goldin-Meadow lab at the University of Chicago.

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Farewell to Vanessa, Cat and Bill

By Kenny | October 7, 2014

Very best of luck to Vanessa Ferdinand, Catriona Silvey and Bill Thompson, who have finished up their PhDs in the LEC and headed off to fantastic post-doc positions elsewhere. Vanessa (thesis title: “Inductive Evolution: the cognitive explanation of cultural change and regularity in language”) is off to the Santa Fe Institute, to take up an Omidyar [...]

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PhDs for James Thomas and Justin Sulik

By Kenny | October 2, 2014

Congratulations to Dr James Thomas and Dr Justin Sulik, who were awarded their PhDs this week. James did his PhD with Simon Kirby and Richard Shillcock (Informatics), on “Self-domestication and Language Evolution”; since his PhD he has been working as a post-doc with Richard. Justin was supervised by Kenny Smith and Jim Hurford, and his [...]

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Jennifer Culbertson joins the LEC

By Kenny | September 18, 2014

Jennifer Culbertson has joined the LEC as a Chancellor’s Fellow. Jenny works on the relationship between biases in language learning biases and typological universals, using artificial language learning and computational modelling techniques. We are very excited to have her on the team – welcome aboard Jenny!

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