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Piek Vossen

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Prof. Dr. P.Th.J.M. (Piek) Vossen (1960) is full Professor of Computational Lexicology at the VU University Amsterdam, Head of the Computational Lexicology & Terminology Lab (CLTL),  co-founder and co-president of the Global WordNet Assocation (GWA).In 2013 he won the prestigious Spinoza Award of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and he is also a member of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (KNAW) and the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (KHMW).

He is/has been involved in the many national and international projects, among which: Acquilex, EuroWordNet, Meaning, Cornetto, DutchSemCor, KYOTO and GlobalWordNetGrid. His latest project NewsReader developed the ‘History Recorder’, a computer program that ‘reads’ the news each day and precisely records what happened when and where in the world and who was involved. Furthermore he developed 4 research projects with the Spinoza-price: “Understanding of Language by Machines – an escape from the world of language”. In his latest project “Make Robots Talk” he develops communication models for social robots so that robots can learn from people through conversation.

Vossen published more than 300 (peer reviewed) articles in national and international journals, conference proceedings, book chapters and (hand)books. He has given invited numerous keynote lectures at several conferences and other occasions, is a regular organizer of and referee for (inter)national conferences and journals, and has served on many scientific, advisory and programme committees. He also serves as a member of PhD-committees in the Netherlands as well as abroad.

He is a member of several advisory boards and institutes, such as the Network Institute, DEFT Events Advisory Board of the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Ontology-Lexica Community Group, CLARIAH and the European Language Resources Association (ELRA).

His research interests are WordNets, Computational Lexicon, Ontologies, Computational Linguistics, Language Technology and Computer-Applications, both within a single language and from a multilingual perspective. Vossen is interested in the relation between lexicons and ontologies, from a theoretical point of view as well as from their usage in computer-applications in which meaning and interpretation play a role. He sees the lexicon as a fundamental resource to anchor meaning and interpretation in useful computer behaviour. Computer behaviour can make use of communicative models and insights from communication science. The organization of the lexicon and the knowledge stored in it need to take that usage as a starting point. He combines linguistics and computer science to model understanding of natural language texts by computers.

Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam The Netherlands
Phone: (+31) 20 598 6457