I'm a natural language processing (NLP) expert with a background primarily in speech recognition and machine translation. You can view my updated CV on LinkedIn.
I've always had an interest in languages, having hopped countries with my family in my childhood, before becoming a US citizen. As a first-generation Russian-Jewish immigrant to the US, I speak English and Russian bilingually, and I continue to learn German, French, and Italian as a second language (to varying degrees of success), but I'm interested in language in general.
This interest is what spurned me early on to complete my Bachelor of Arts in linguistics with a minor in Russian language from UCLA. During my undergrad, I actually studied very little about computational topics, but thanks to some awesome friends, I got pulled into the world of programming. This gave me the chance to work in computer-assisted language teaching, and eventually, in automatic speech recognition (ASR).
From this, I learned the high level ideas behind natural language processing and computational linguistics, but realized that if I wanted to understand how it all works, I would have to dedicate some quality time with some quality books.
The US university system was way too expensive to go at for a second round (I still had loans from the first), so I instead entered into a European double-degree program on the Erasmus Mundus scholarship. I spent my first year at University of Saarland and my second at University of Trento. That was pretty aweseome, because not only did I get to study the topic I was interesed in, but also got to travel all around Europe during those two years, and I got a full-ride scholarship to do it.
Since then, I have chased new challenges in NLP, with my recent work focusing around speech recognition and machine translation.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time in nature, taking aerial acrobatics classes (particularly aerial silks), traveling, learning languages, and playing video games.
- Oct 2020-present: Joined the University of Edinburgh Statistical Machine Translation group as a research assistant under Kenneth Heafield
- Jan 2019-Sept 2020: Worked as a founding member of the machine translation team at lengoo, a Berlin-based translation start-up
- Oct 2016-Oct 2018: Defended my master's thesis in Language & Communication Technologies from University of Saarland & University of Trento, working in collaboration with SpeechTek at FBK on Automatic assessment of spoken language proficiency of non-native children
- Jan 2013-Sept 2016: Worked as a junior developer on speech recognition software at Sensory