Research Students

This is a list of PhD students supervised by Professor Harold Somers, with information about their research, and what they have done after leaving me. If you are one of my students named below, please contact me to update your details.


Jeremy Carroll - Graph grammars: an approach to transfer-based MT (1989)
Jeremy went on to work at Hewlett Packard, where he was the lead architect in the creation of Jena 2.0, an open source Semantic Web framework. In 2008, he joined TopQuadrant, a leading semantic technology products company, as reported here.
C J Rupp - Semantic representation in a unification environment (1990)
After leaving UMIST, CJ went to work at IDSIA in Lugano for four years, and then was a senior researcher at Stuttgart on the Verbmobil speech translation project 1994-6. The next seven years were spent at Saarbrücken, working on various dialogue projects. In 2005 he returned to England, working on a text-mining project in Cambridge, then in 2008 returned to Manchester to work as a research fellow at NaCTeM, as his current web page shows.
Iris Arad - A quasi-statistical approach to the automatic generation of linguistic knowledge (1991)
Iris is now working as librarian at Sarah Herzog Hospital, Jerusalm, a research hospital specializing in geriatric and psychiatric health care.
Melina Alexa - Corpus-based sublanguage analysis for multilingual generation (1993)
Melina has worked in Mannheim, Germany since leaving UMIST. She had a number of research positions but for the last ten years has worked on speech technology for the publishers Duden. See here.
Vincent Tanda - Coordination in Bafut (1993)
Vincent is head of the Department of Linguistics at the Univesity of Buea, Cameroon.
Elena Bárcena - Grammatical representation of examples in interlingual EBMT (1994)
Elena worked as a postdoc on MT and NLP projects at the Univesity of Liège, before returning to Spain to work at UPV, Seville and Granada. More than ten years ago she joined UNED, the Spanish Open University, where she founded the ATLAS research group (AI Techniques for Linguistic ApplicationS). She is a senior lecturer in the Departamento de Filologías Extranjeras y sus Lingüísticas, UNED, Madrid. Among her teaching and research interests are English LSP, contrastive textual analysis, CALL, and MT. See here
Ian McLean - Structure representation in connectionism and its application to MT (1996)
After leaving UMIST, Ian worked as a software engineer in various jobs, specializing in mobile phones and digital TV. He currently works at Purple Labs in Warrington.
Zhao Ming Gao - Automatic extraction of translation equivalents from a parallel Chinese-English corpus (1997)
On graduation Zhao Ming returned to Taiwan where he is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the National Taiwan University. His teaching and research interests are CL, CALL and MT. His web page is here.
Archana Hinduja - An investigation of German word order for the purposes of a CALL sentence tool (2000)
Archana was an Assistant Professor, teaching German in the Department of Languages and Literatures at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, until 2004, when she moved back to England. She is now working on technology in the classroom at the Transformative Learning Technologies Centre of Manchester Metropolitan University.
Kevin McTait - Example-based MT (2001)
Kevin worked for a while for ELDA in Paris, but now lives in Beijing and is working freelance as a software designer, specializing in all manner of NLP applications.
Gautam (Piklu) Gupta - Corpus-based study of be-verbs in German (2003)
After Piklu left Manchester he worked for quite a while in the German Department, at the University of Hull. After that he had a number of research positions in Germany, including the Fraunhofer Institute, Darmstadt, the Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim and, most recently, in the Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft, University of Tübingen.
Amin Almuhanna - Scientific and technological term transfer into Arabic: a corpus-based study of Arabic noun+noun and noun+adjective compounds (2004)
I believe that on graduation Amin returned to his position in the Department of English of the University of Kuwait.
Zöe Handley - Evaluation of text-to-speech synthesis in CALL (2005)
Zöe worked as a language specialist in the Speech Technology Group at Toshiba, Cambridge for two years, then as a research fellow in the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Nottingham, where she worked on the development of pronunciation training software for EFL. Since 2009 she has been at the Department of Education at Oxford University, working as an OUP-funded Research Fellow investigating EFL CALL. Her personal web page is here.

University of Manchester

Marianne Johnson - An exploration into support for communication between health care practitioners and Somalis using assistive language technology in the context of asthma consultations (2007) (co-supervised by Ann Caress and Gareth Evans)
Now lives in East Grinstead, and works in healthcare.
Federico Gaspari - The role of online MT in webpage translation (2007)
Federico returned to Italy where he has a number of part-time appointments: teaching English in the Facoltà di Scienze Politiche of the University of Macerata, and as a research fellow in the Dipartimento di Studi Interdisciplinari su Traduzione, Lingue e Culture (SITLeC) in the University of Bologna at Forlì. He was also named as the research assistant on the EU-funded research project CoSyne, for which which he helped me to formulate the MT evaluation workpackage. Although I am no longer associated with that project, he was able to take up a part-time research post at Dublin City University working on the project.
Mohammed A. Attia - Arabic morphological and syntactic disambiguation for the purposes of MT within the LFG framework (2008)
Attia initially returned to his post as a Lecturer in Linguistics in the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, but quickly moved to a new job as a postdoc at Dublin City University where he is working on the GramLab project aiming at the automatic annotation of Arabic treebanks. His webpage is here.
Chen-li Kuo - Translating emphatic/contrastive focus from English to Mandarin Chinese (2008) (main supervisor: Allan Ramsay)
Kuo is now back in Taiwan looking for a postdoc research position.
Dimitra Kalantzi - Text simplification applied to captioning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (2009)
Dimitra returned to Athens and is working as a translator. She is currently undergoing training at the European Parliament in Luxemburg.
Tuomas Korhonen - Spelling corrector for dyslexic users (2009)
Tuomas is working as a software engineer in Freiburg, Germany.

Family tree

Students sometimes like to trace their research lineage. For example, students supervised by Yorick Wilks can cite Wittgenstein as their research grandparent (he supervised Yorick's supervisor, R. B. Braithwaite).
Sadly my family tree is rather stunted. My own supervisor was Rod Johnson who did not, himself, have a PhD, so I have no grandparent. And, as far as I know, none of the above-named students have gone on to supervise PhDs themselves, so I am still waiting for my first grandchild ... though since a number of them do have academic posts, I have not given up hope.