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January 12, 2007

William Schuler awarded a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship

CSE Associate Professor William Schuler’s research aims to integrate speech recognition and semantic interpretation into a unified model that allows people and computers to talk to each other. His work also builds bridges between human language processing and fields such as computer vision, robotics, and medicine.

In recognition of this work, the University of Minnesota awarded Schuler a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship for 2007–2009, a scholarship reserved for select junior faculty members who have the potential to make significant contributions to their respective fields.

Schuler joined the CSE department in 2003. His research explores ways to incorporate referential semantic context into the kind of statistical time-series models commonly used in speech recognition, in order to improve the accuracy of spoken language interfaces.

Schuler’s students receive hands-on experience with a processing system for human language, which could be used for tasks such as getting information from a medical database over the telephone or commanding a team of robots.

The federal government recently recognized Schuler for his work in natural language phonology, awarding him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in a ceremony at the White House last July.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the PECASE award is intended to honor the nation’s most promising researchers early in their careers within various fields. Schuler is one of only 20 PECASE recipients sponsored by the NSF this year. He is the second CSE faculty member to receive the award. Victoria Interrante, an associate professor in the department, was also awarded the PECASE in 1999.

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