Home > Winter Storm 2016

Winter Storm 2016

***Note that due to the likely Friday snow, Thursday 1/21 is now the LAST day of Winter Storm. Watch this page and email updates for tomorrow's schedule.***

**What's happening at Winter Storm today, 1/21**

  • Roundtable discussion: Flexible Speech Recognition (10am-12pm Taliaferro 0125)
  • Lunch talk: Luke Butler (HDQM) - Communicative Intent and Social Learning in Early Childhood. Free lunch provided! (12:15-1:30pm MMH 1400)
  • Follow-up discussion: Flexible Speech Recognition (2-3:30pm Taliaferro 0125)
  • Professional development session - Outreach strategies: engaging the next generation. Led by LSC Outreach Committee. (3:30-4:30pm Taliaferro 0125)

For a quick preview of activities, follow these links - or read on for more information about this year's event.

Research themes: roundtables, communication and research sessions
Lunch talks and panels
Professional development sessions
Technical skills workshops
Social Events

Winter Storm is the Language Science Center's free, two-week intensive annual workshop for language scientists, taking place this year January 11-22 (register here). This year, in light of the advent of the new NRT training grant, Winter Storm is getting an NRT Makeover! In keeping with the interdisciplinary research and professional development goals of both the NRT program and the Language Science Center as a whole, the aim of Winter Storm 2016 will be to stimulate cross-disciplinary discussions on a number of key research themes, and then to build on these discussions at various levels relating to research planning, communicating science to a broad audience, developing research teams, etc. 

To accomplish this, Winter Storm 2016 will be structured as a series of two-day-long cycles, each focused on a broad research theme.  Each cycle will include a faculty roundtable, student discussion of research questions and methods, and a science communication component. The goal here is to bring together diverse participants from every part of the language science community, to break out of typical disciplinary comfort zones, inspire fresh and unexpected ideas, and lay the groundwork for exciting new interdisciplinary research. Broad participation is strongly encouraged (even if a theme is not within your domain of typical interest/expertise)! 

Winter Storm will continue to include classic features such as daily lunch talks, professional development sessions and technical skills workshops. These features will largely resemble previous versions, with a few new twists!




Week One

Monday 11th

Tuesday 12th Wednesday 13th

Thursday 14th

Friday 15th

discussion #1
: Language Poverty and Learner Differences

Follow-up B
(Language Poverty and Learner Differences)

discussion #2
: Prediction and Millisecond-scale Information Management

Follow-up B
 (Prediction and Millisecond-scale Information Management)



(Language Poverty and Learner Differences)

(Prediction and Millisecond-scale Information Management)


Lunch talk:
Rochelle Newman

Lunch talk:
Thomas Conners
& Claudia Brugman CASL

Lunch talk:
Philip Resnik

Lunch talk:
Bob Slevc

Panel on science policy


Follow-up A
(Language Poverty and Learner Differences)

Learning to Code:
programming for beginners

Follow-up A
(Prediction and Millisecond-scale Information Management)


My dog ate my data! Best practices in data management


Taking Stock


Careers Panel

Navigating the Gray Areas


Happy hour!


Week Two
  Monday 18th Tuesday 19th Wednesday 20th Thursday 21st

    Friday 22nd

10am Martin Luther King Jr. Day

discussion #3
: Building Meanings in Computation and Cognition

Follow-up B
(Building Meanings in Computation and Cognition)

Roundtable discussion #4: Flexible Speech Recognition 



(Building Meanings in Computation and Cognition)



Grant Writing

Lunch talk:
Fred Genesee
    McGill University
(co-sponsored by MRC)

Lunch talk:
Lucas Butler



Follow-up A
(Building Meanings in Computation and Cognition)

General skills exchange

Follow-up A
(Flexible Speech Recognition)


3:30pm "Doing Policy" Outreach: Engaging Young People
6pm Party!


Roundtable Discussions

Each thematic cycle involves a spontaneous discussion between experts from diverse fields in language science (no preparation allowed!). The audience will observe the discussion and will have the opportunity to join in later in the session. The four themes all target issues relevant to researchers in multiple language science fields, and we are looking forward to bringing together different perspectives to spark new ideas and potential collaborations.

Theme 1: Language Poverty and Learner Differences
DJ Bolger (HDQM)
Yi Ting Huang (HESP)
Jeff Lidz (LING)
Rochelle Newman (HESP)
Alexa Romberg (HDQM)
Jade Wexler (CHSE)

Theme 2: Prediction and Millisecond-scale Information Management
Matt Goupell (HESP)
Bill Idsardi (LING)
Ellen Lau (LING)
Bob Slevc (PSYC)

Theme 3: Building Meanings in Computation and Cognition
Jeff Lidz (LING)
Alexander Williams (LING/PHIL)
Philip Resnik (LING/UMIACS)
Michael Israel (English)
Sudha Rao (CS/UMIACS)
Allyson Ettinger (LING)

Theme 4: Flexible Speech Recognition
Naomi Feldman (LING/UMIACS)
Jonathan Fritz (ISR)
Kira Gor (SLA)
Bill Idsardi (LING)
Rochelle Newman (HESP)
Carol Espy-Wilson (ECE/ISR)
Anton Rytting (CASL)

Follow-Up Sessions

The Follow-up sessions are designed to build productively upon the ideas generated in the roundtable discussions, while simultaneously exercising skills in thinking about scientific ideas at two different levels:

  • How do we do the science: Group work planning promising directions for research. Ideally, these will produce lasting interdisciplinary collaborations (possibly as precursors to the NRT research teams).
  • Why do these ideas matter: Grant-writing, pitches to funding bodies, engaging with broad audiences, etc.

In each thematic cycle, one of the two follow-up sessions (A and B) will be devoted to each of these levels. The relative order may vary from theme to theme.

Professional Development

Professional development sessions will include:

  • Preparing for diverse careers: how to market your skills and experience for jobs beyond the university
    Scott Fults Expert System
    Kate Anne Juhl Program Director, UMD Career Center
  • Getting involved: what "doing policy" really means
  • Navigating the gray areas: a discussion of ethical dilemmas in language science
    Jeff Lidz LING
    Philip Resnik LING

Technical Skills Training

Group workshops:

  • Learning to code: computer programming for beginners
  • My dog ate my data! Best practices for data organization and version control (with Ellen Lau, Jared Novick, and Nina Hsu)

Informal skills exchanges:

  • R-exchange (come with your R questions, and people experienced with the software will be available to answer)
  • General Purpose Exchange (we will poll interested participants for other things about which you would like to have questions answered, and we will recruit participants with experience in as many of those areas as possible)

Lunch Talks and Panels

Most of these sessions will be the traditional format of a single faculty speaker, but a couple of sessions will involve group panels on an issue of relevance to the language science community:

  • Bringing home the bacon: expert tips for successful grant writing
    Gaelle Kolb Grants Development Specialist, NACS
    Rochelle Newman HESP
    Colin Phillips LSC/LING
  • Pulling the Strings: understanding the landscape of science policy 
    Samuel Brinton Senior Policy Analyst, Bipartisan Policy Center
    Erin Heath Associate Director, Office of Government Relations, AAAS
    Erin Fitzgerald Minerva Program (US Dept. of Defense), Potomac Institute for Policy Studies

Science Is Social

As always, we will be getting together for a Happy Hour (Friday 1/15) and a party (Friday 1/22).