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Language science student wins Marshall Scholarship, headed to Edinburgh

Nataliya Stepanova, Language Science Day 2019

Nataliya Stepanova -- a Math and CS double degree student and Linguistics minor, and an alum of LSC’s PULSAR undergraduate research program -- has become the University’s sixth (ever) recipient of a Marshall Scholarship. Pandemic permitting, she will be heading to Scotland in the Fall to earn a Master’s in Speech and Language Processing at the University of Edinburgh.

Nataliya joined PULSAR as a Sophomore, and while in the program got involved in multiple research projects with language scientists at the Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security. She also spent a summer in Korea on a Critical Language Fellowship, strengthening her Korean language skills.

After working with a team led by Polly O’Rourke examining the effect of transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation on second language learning, Nataliya’s more recent research has been focused on social media analysis. She is working with Anton Rytting and others at ARLIS and START, examining the spread of social media posts in Eastern Europe and developing computational models to predict how widely posts will be shared. This work has contributed directly to her longer-term goals for research in NLP and social media analysis, and developing smart policies to address information sharing on social media.

Nataliya has enthusiastically sought out connections across different fields throughout her time at UMD and this has given her a broad and multidisciplinary understanding of language research. One of the attractions of Edinburgh for Nataliya is their interdisciplinary strength in language, and she hopes to take courses and interact with researchers in areas beyond NLP, such as their renowned Cognitive Science program.

Congratulations to Nataliya for this well-earned honor, and we look forward to following her future accomplishments!

Read more in this Maryland Today article about Nataliya.

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