Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Machine translation

Machine translation is one of the holly grails of artificial intelligence. The first approach to this problem was to construct a set of rules by studying the grammars of the two languages (called symbolic approach), but, as with other problems in AI, statistical tehniques (inferring "rules" from many translations of documents from one langauge to the other) seem to be more succesful now.
Each year NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology in US) organizes a contest of machine translation software. The results for this year shows Google as the front runner. I'm proud to see University of Maryland (where I got my master degree) as a top contestant. I know they have a good research group in this area. Go Terps! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Photos from Italy

I posted some pictures from my trip to Italy. They're not the best, you have to remove my face from some of them to obtain a better view :)

I visited Rome plus Naples and its surroundings (Pompeii, Sorento, and the Capri island). A lot of beautifull things to view in both places, and the time was short for seeing and "digesting" everything. So I hope to go back to see more of Italy "in the next future", as a friend of mine would say :)

Sunset over Ischia island, while on the route from Capri to Naples Posted by Picasa

Live dog in Pompeii :) Posted by Picasa

Cave Canem mosaic in Pompeii Posted by Picasa

Overview of Naples with a clouded Vesuvius in the left corner Posted by Picasa

Me and the Colosseum in Rome Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 15, 2005

Back to work

My vacation is over (pictures will be added later, if ever, as usually :), and I came back to work today, wondering again (as I entered my male only office) why is this imbalance between men and women working in computer science? :) I kinda found an answer today: in countries where math classes are mandatory for longer in secondary and high school, the imbalance seems to be weaker.
Read the details here.
So I should try to persuade the people in charge with our education system to add more math classes in the high-school, regardless of the speciality (in Romania high schools usually specialize in sciences or humanities) of a particular school :)