ME! and My Excellent DMP Experience

Summer 2003

Journal        Tidbits

About ME!

My name is Catherine Jones and I am a senior (ok, ok -- "super" senior; i.e. second year senior) at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO (straight north of Denver).  My major is computer science and my minor is Spanish.  I will be graduating in December '03 (finally!), which is only a semester extra (from the normal four year plan) and that is only because I studied abroad in Spain for a semester (Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain).  For those of you who feel the need to contact me to find out more about ME! and my experience in the DMP summer program, email ME!  Other than that, nothing too extraodinary about me.

 << ME! at my desk at UWM

Links to sites that shaped who I am:
    The computer science department at CSU
    International Studies Abroad (ISA) - the program that I did my study abroad with (I would highly recommend this to anybody and everybody!)
    And of course, the CRA-W Distributed Mentor Project site!

    The Dragonlance fantasy series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
    The Settlers a great computer that deals more with economics of a tribe not just war
    CSU's Marching band I have been involved in marching band and drumline for 3 years in high school and 2 years in college.  I played in the pit, or the sideline         percussion--mainly mallet instruments.  In high school, I also played the clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, and guitar.  I have also been playing piano since I was 7 years old.
     Yahoo! games I love playing card games and board games

Usual assortment of academic accolades-
    Phi Beta Kappa national honorary society
    Upsilon Pi Epsilon international honorary society for the computing and information disciplines
    Mohilner Award Scholarship for my junior year
    Heidenfelder Scholarship for Academic Achievement and Service for Fall '03
    Dean's list freshman-junior year
    Presidential scholarship freshman and sophmore year

What the future may hold. . .
As for what I want to do when I graduate, I still have no idea.  Which is why I am very lucky to have an opportunity working with DMP.  It has given me experience researching and working with my major in ways that I have never been able to experience in the classroom setting of the university.  I would like to work in the industry for at least a year before grad school.  What my dream future would be is to move to Spain for a year, working at a computer-related job over there, so I can become fluent in Spanish and get computer experience at the same time (and not have to deal with school for a while!!).  Then I would go to grad school for computational linguistics and work somewhere doing machine translation.  Actually, what I REALLY want to happen is for me to win the lotto and thus be indepently wealthy so I can travel to all the different countries of the world!

About my mentor 

My mentor's name is Susan McRoy.  She is an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Her areas of interest/research are: artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, knowledge representation and cognitive science.  This is her second year sponsoring DMP students, though her first year was 6 years ago.  She is also one of the faculty members of The Natural Language and Knowledge Representation Research Group (NLKRRG) and is the assistant director of the Decision Systems and Artificial Intelligence Lab (DSAIL) where I am working this summer.

About Allison

Allison Penner is also working under Professor McRoy as part of the DMP program.  So her website would be a great way to compare what two different students do under the same professor.  I am very happy that I had another student working with me.  She picked me up from the airport and we are sharing a dorm room, so I have some one else to be totally lost with and to travel with and everything like that.

<<Allison at her computer at UWM

Description of my research project

View my slide show about my Cloze Project (.pdf)
View my final report about the Cloze Project (.pdf)
View my User Manual for the Cloze Project (.html)

First of all, Allison and I both annotated some dialog files both semantically and using an annotation scheme called DAMSL.  The annotations will then be compared against each other and analyzed (Allison is working on this).

I will also be working on implementing a test similar to the Cloze test to be used in a previous project implemented by the NLKRRG group.  The Cloze test is a test designed to test students' comprehension on text that they have previously read.  It is usually a portion of about 250-300 words.  The first sentence is kept intact and after that, every fifth word is deleted, with a blank so that students can fill in the correct missing word.  My project is to implement this test in Java using the swing package to implement the GUI.  The program needs to administer the test, and then grade it.  Researchers have found that results are about the same whether or not you account for "partially correct" answers, such as correct part of speech.  Therefore, I will just do a direct comparison for the grading.  After I get this initial Cloze test working, I will expand it to delete one low frequency word in a certain window size (e.g. 1 low frequency word will be taken out of every 8), so that the majority of the test does not involve "the" and "and", etc.  Another type of test I will be implementing will be where the user can choose which words will be taken out for the test, in case the other two methods don't suit the user.  The user can also choose how many words the want between blanks, if 5 doesn't suite them, and also the window size for the low frequency test.  This test is intended to fit in to the already implemented tutor program called Equuleus, which I will be in charge of integrating.

After finishing up the Cloze Project with two weeks left, my professor and I thought it would be interesting to see how feasible it would be to expand thier English text generator (YAG) to generate Spanish text.   The main task of mine will be to get the correct word form for verbs and nouns taking into account different aspects that would change the word like plurality and tense.

Other Info About my Summer

Journal  of my work
A week-by-week look at my time spent at work, describing what I was doing, my results and findings, my frustrations and other random thoughts I had that I thought would fit well into a journel entry.

Travels, trials and other random tidbits about my summer

A description of what I did with my extra time here in Milwuakee ranging from my weekend adventures to tips for students going to a new campus.