Jasmeen Kanwal
PhD student, Linguistics and English Language
University of Edinburgh
website: www.jasmeenkanwal.tk

Education

University of Edinburgh (2015-present)
PhD, Linguistics and English Language (expected early 2018)
Supervisors: Simon Kirby, Kenny Smith, Jennifer Culbertson
Examiners: Hannah Rohde, Ted Gibson

University of California, San Diego (2011-2015)
MA, Linguistics

Balliol College, University of Oxford (2005-2009)
MPhysPhil (Undergraduate Master of Physics and Philosophy)
MPhil thesis: “The Role of Causation in Fundamental Physics”, Supervisor: David Wallace
MPhys project: “Does Dynamical Dark Energy Provide a Satisfactory Explanation for the Accelerating Universe?”, Supervisor: Sirichai Chongchitnan

 

Academic Employment History

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of St Andrews (Oct 2017 – present)
PI: Dr. Andy Gardner. Creating web-based simulations investigating the social evolution of digital organisms.

Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh (March 2017)
PI: Dr. Jennifer Culbertson. Transcribed/coded speech data from an artificial language learning study of native French speakers.

Post-doctoral Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh (Sept 2016 – Feb 2017)
PI: Dr. Kenny Smith. Developed online experiments (using Javascript, HTML, and p5.js) which allow groups of users on crowdsourcing platforms to interact in an artificial language, as well as to transmit artificial languages in iterated chains.

Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh (April – Sept 2016)
PIs: Dr. Kenny Smith and Dr. Olga Feher. Recruited participants and ran an artificial language learning experiment involving communication and cultural transmission.

Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh (Jan – May 2016)
PI: Dr. Martin Corley. Recruited participants, ran experiment, and analysed data for a psycholinguistic study investigating speech production using ultrasound and acoustic recordings.

Tutor, University of Edinburgh (Jan – March 2016)
Course: Child bilingualism – language and cognition.

Graduate Student Researcher, University of California San Diego (Summer 2013)
PI: Roger Levy. Developed & ran an online study investigating Russian noun stress production, recruiting native Russian-speaking participants via crowdsourcing platforms. Then fit a Naïve Bayes Classifier model to the results.

Teaching Assistant, University of California San Diego (Sept 2010 – June 2014)
Courses taught: Information Theory & Cryptography, Morphology, Semantics, Second Language Acquisition, Logic & the Scientific Method, Human Development, Intro to Western Literature & Argumentative Writing, Ethics, Language of Politics and Advertising.

Research Assistant, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (July – Sept 2008)
Programmed a tailored search algorithm in IDL for detecting transiting extrasolar planets in archived photometric data.

 

Additional Training

Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School (June 2012)
Completed coursework in dynamical systems theory, and collaborated with social and life scientists on an experiment investigating replicator dynamics in cultural transmission of an artificial language.

Geneva Summer School for Philosophy of Physics (July 2009)
Topic: Quantum Mechanics

Aim Higher Student Associates Scheme (June–July 2007)
Science and ESL teacher at Oxford Community School, as part of a paid teacher training program comprising 1/3 of the credits for a PGCE qualification

 

Publications

Kanwal J., Smith K., Culbertson J. and Kirby S. (2017). Zipf’s Law of Abbreviation and the Principle of Least Effort: Language users optimise a miniature lexicon for efficient communication. Cognition, 165, 45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.05.001.

Kanwal J., Smith K., Culbertson J. and Kirby S. (2017). Language-users choose shortened words in predictive contexts in an artificial language task. To appear in Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Kanwal, J. and Ritchart, A. (2016). The Role of Pitch in Punjabi Word Identification. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH 2016), 2826-2830.

Kanwal J., Smith K., Culbertson J. and Kirby S. (2016). The Evolution Of Zipf’s Law Of Abbreviation. In S.G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Fehér & T. Verhoef (eds.) The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11).

Kanwal, J. and Ritchart, A. (2015). An experimental investigation of tonogenesis in Punjabi. In The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS 2015 (Ed.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Glasgow, UK: the University of Glasgow.

Marghetis, T., Kanwal, J., & Bergen, B. K. (2013). Placing Numbers in Behavioral Space: Activity Specific Interactions between Number and Space with a Single Response Button. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Beuls, K., Ferdinand, V., & Kanwal, J. (2012). Self-organisation of a learnable language: What happens when an alien language replicates through human brains. In 2012 IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL) (pp. 1-2). IEEE.

 

Peer-reviewed Conference Presentations

Kanwal J., Smith K., Culbertson J. and Kirby S. (July 2017). Language-users choose shortened words in predictive contexts in an artificial language task. Oral presentation to be given at CogSci 2017, London, UK.

Kanwal, J. and Ritchart, A. (Sept 2016). The Role of Pitch in Punjabi Word Identification. Oral presentation at Interspeech 2016, presented by A. Ritchart.

Drake, E. , Seidler, L. , Kanwal, J. & Corley, M. (Forthcoming, September 2016). Articulatory influences in Picture-Word Interference. Oral presentation at AMLAP2016, presented by E. Drake.

Kanwal J., Smith K., Culbertson J. and Kirby S. (March 2016). The Evolution Of Zipf’s Law Of Abbreviation. Oral presentation at EVOLANG11, New Orleans.

Kanwal, J. and Ritchart, A. (August 2015). Tonogenesis in Punjabi: an experimental investigation. Oral presentation at the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow.

Kanwal, J. (April 2015). The Principle of Least Effort and diachronic lexical change. Oral presentation at ‘Causality in the Language Sciences’, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropolgy, Leipzig.

Kanwal, J., Levy, R., & Bakovic, E. (May 2014). Analogy and predictability in Russian noun stress. Oral presentation at Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics (FASL) 23, Berkeley.

Kanwal, J., Levy, R., & Bakovic, E. (January 2014). Analogy and predictability in Russian noun stress. Oral presentation at the 88th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), Minneapolis.

Kanwal, J., Levy, R., & Bakovic, E. (November 2013). Analogy and predictability in Russian noun stress. Oral presentationat the 2nd American International Morphology Meeting (AIMM2), San Diego.

Marghetis, T., Kanwal, J., & Bergen, B. K. (August 2013). Placing Numbers in Behavioral Space: Activity Specific Interactions between Number and Space with a Single Response Button. Oral presentation at the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Berlin.

Kanwal, J., Ferdinand, V., & Beuls, K. (November 2012). Self-organisation of a learnable language: What happens when an alien language replicates through human brains. Poster presentation at the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL), San Diego.

 

Invited Talks

(March 15, 2016) Zipf’s Law Of Abbreviation and the Principle of Least Effort. Seminar at the Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM.

(September 28, 2015) The Evolution of Zipf’s Law Of Abbreviation. Talk in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, University of Rochester.

(Dec 1, 2014) The Principle of Least Effort and language evolution: a diachronic corpus study. Linguistic Complexity Seminar at the DDL (Dynamique du Langage) in Lyon, France.

 

Grants and Awards

University of Edinburgh PPLS-Gray Publication Prize, awarded to top postgraduate publications, June 2017.

Robert J. Glushko and Pamela Samuelson Foundation Travel Award, CogSci 2017.

Honourable mention for best contributed talk, Causality in the Language Sciences conference, Leipzig, April 13-15, 2015.

LabEx EFL Mobility Grant, 3-month grant to conduct collaborative research in Paris, Sept-Dec 2014.

Robert J. Glushko and Pamela Samuelson Foundation Travel Award, CogSci 2013.

 

Languages

Punjabi, Hindi, Spanish, French, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Latin, Homeric Greek (to varying levels)

Programming languages: R, Python, Javascript, HTML, Processing, p5.js, LaTeX, IDL.

 

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