First-Person Report: Simone Paolo Ponzetto
For three years, Simone Paolo Ponzetto (30) has been a guest member of the Natural Language Processing group at EML Research, a private research institute focussing on Information Technology and its applications. He has been granted a scholarship by the Klaus Tschira foundation.
What project/theme are you currently working on?My project deals with automatically extracting structured information from semi-structured, collaboratively generated online resources such as Wikipedia and applying this information to Natural Language Processing tasks, e.g. conference resolution, namely the task of identifying different references within the same document referring to the same entity in the real world (for example that 'Prince', 'The Minneapolis genius' and 'The Artist Formerly Known As Prince' all refer to the same musician).
What are your plans for your academic career?I am about to graduate this year and I am currently exploring either the industry career path (the attraction being the possibility of creating real-world applications reaching millions of users) or an academic career (where the appeal is instead more production-free thinking). In both cases, the objective is the same: creating novel (and solid) NLP applications.
What do you think about Germany as a science and research location?It is an excellent location, with good facilities and networking opportunities - as long as this is combined with international networking, which is still necessary in such a global research community.
How do you like living and working in Germany? What kind of experiences have you had?My stay in Germany has worked out pretty well so far (in fact I would love to stay). On the work side, I learned during my Ph.D. how to pursue competitive research. On the social side, I learned what it means to stay abroad in the same place for more than one academic year and develop my roots in one place (e.g. great friends). Oh yes, I also learned a new language, but learning German properly is still a work in progress.
In a single sentence: Is there anything you really love in Germany?The sense of social consciousness (social awareness): the way people care about sharing a decent common society - i.e. people seem more aware that 'we're all in this together'.
academics.com :: March 2008
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