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Micha Elsner, a Ph.D. student researching natural language processing with Eugene Charniak and Mark Johnson in the Brown Laboratory for Linguistic Information Processing (BLLIP), was recently awarded an inaugural Google Fellowship. This two-year fellowship includes financial support for tuition and fees as well as funding for conference attendance and travel, a personal computer and an Android-powered phone.

Micha’s research focuses on computer programs for understanding discourse --- the way the meanings of individual sentences in a document merge to form the meaning of the whole. His work has been presented at several conferences, most recently at the NAACL-HLT 2009 Workshop on Integer Linear Programming for Natural Language Processing and the Conference on Human Language Technology and North American chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (HLT-NAACL 2009).

According to Google, “These awards have been presented to exemplary Ph.D. students in computer science or related research areas. We have given these students unique fellowships to acknowledge their contributions to their areas of specialty and provide funding for their education and research. We look forward to working closely with them as they continue to become leaders in their respective fields.”

"There is increasing interest in probabilistic mathematical models of discourse --- for both theoretical and practical reasons. Micha is already one of the leaders in this area." stated Eugene Charniak, Micha’s Ph.D. advisor.