CSE Guest Speaker Explores Natural Language Processing and its Applications

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On May 5, 2015, the American University of Armenia (AUA) College of Science and Engineering (CSE) hosted Dr. Anna Vartapetiance for a talk on “Natural Language Processing (NLP) and its Applications.”

Dr. Vartapetiance gave a brief introduction to NLP and Computational Linguistics (CL), providing real world examples of their application to problems of deception detection, such as for court testimonies and child safety. The talk then focused on authorship identification, which is concerned with identification of real authors of verbal content. Although not a new concern, this field has been receiving increased attention in recent years due to the web and social media, which allows individuals both to impersonate and to masquerade, effectively anonymously, under multiple digital personas. In some cases, this kind of anonymity gives rise to bullying and other trolling behaviors.

Dr. Anna Vartapetiance earned her PhD from the University of Surrey in 2015. Her PhD work on deception detection utilized NLP to develop automated/semi-automated systems, in an attempt to recognize and flag various types of deception such as authorship identification and child sexual predator attempts. Dr. Vartapatiance obtained a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Information Systems from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a Master’s degree (Distinction) also in Information Systems from the University of Surrey, with her Masters Dissertation receiving the Best Dissertation Award.

Her research interests lie in ethics, deception detection, and authorship identification. Her most prominent work is focused on sexual predator detection, and has been published in the Springer Journal of Security Informatics. Her research has also been published in over 15 peer reviewed journals and conference papers, and as book chapters. Dr. Vartapetiance’s research has found application in systems that enhance ethical outcomes and issues related to national DNA databases, online gambling, virtual worlds, and machine ethics.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.


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