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Kumiko TANAKA-Ishii

Kumiko Tanaka-Ishii is a professor at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo.

The goal of her research is to gain understanding of the mathematical nature of language, sign systems, and communication. She pursues the goal in the domains of computational linguistics, statistical physics and natural language processing. In computational linguistics, she is currently interested in formalizing the complexity of language from a viewpoint of reflexivity, and also in finding the relationship between linguistic syntactic/semantic structures and statistical information bias underlying language. As a philosophical basis, she has some work on the semiotics of sign systems, partly archived in a book published by Cambridge University Press. Applying such fundamental research, she enjoys discussion about language with students and implementing software applicaitons, which could aid human language processing and communication. Some of her students are CEOs and CTOs of the successful companies, established based on their research results.

She received her Ph.D. (1997, natural language processing), M.E.(1993, functional programming language), and B.E.(1991, mathematical informatics) from the University of Tokyo. During the period 1995-1996, she was an invited researcher at LIMSI-CNRS in France. She worked for the Electrotechnical Laboratory for three years before becoming a faculty member of the University of Tokyo in 2000 where she worked for 12 years. She was a professor of Kyushu University during 2012-2016 and then moved to the current working place. She is a mother of boy and girl twins.


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