Thing-a-day #3: Plan for an outreach session

I love to talk about linguistics. Now that I’m in grad school I get to talk about linguistics pretty much all the time. Sometimes I’ll come into my department office and talk to people about linguistics instead of doing my actual linguistics work. (It’s a problem.) So one of the most exciting things for me is when I get to go talk to non-linguists about linguistics. This academic year I have given a talk at the Maryland Council of Teachers of Math conference and another at the Montgomery Blair High School linguistics club, and on Friday I’m going with a group of students from my program to talk to some middle school kids about computational linguistics and NACLO. We got together today to plan out how our session will go.

We only have 45 minutes, which gives us enough time to introduce ourselves, explain what computational linguistics is (using examples like Google Translate and Siri), and have them try out a couple of NACLO problems.

I’m a little jealous of these kids, to be honest. If NACLO had existed when I was in high school …

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