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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 nature of communication, through studying the computational/mathematical structure of language and the meaningful signs. She pursues the goal in the domains of computational linguistics and semiotics, natural language processing, information retrieval, and media studies. In computational linguistics, she is currently interested in formalizing the complexity of language data and also in finding the relationship between linguistic syntactic/semantic structures and statistical information bias underlying language data. In semiotics, her major work is on the semiotics of computer programs, resulting in the publication of journal papers, later collected into a book published by Cambridge University Press. Applying such fundamental research, she enjoys implementing language software applicaitons with students, 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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