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Prof. Eric Atwell

University of Leeds, UK

Prof. Eric Atwell graduated from Lancaster University in 1981 with a BA degree in Computing and Linguistics, a unique degree programme at that time; he remained at Lancaster University as a research fellow for three years, then moved to Leeds University, first as a lecturer, then a variety of other roles and secondments, and currently Professor of Artificial Intelligence for Language. Eric’s research speciality is corpus linguistics and text analytics: Machine Learning and Data Mining analysis of a CORPUS of text – in English, Arabic, or other languages – to analyse the text and detect “interesting” and “useful” features or patterns. For example: Detecting terrorist activities, by analysis of documents from terrorist suspects, to highlight suspicious parts of the text; Analysis and text-mining of the Quran, to find links and patterns in the Quran verses and chapters which are of interest to Islamic and Religious Studies scholars; Detecting cause of death from verbal autopsy text documents describing the circumstances of the death. He leads research projects, including the Leeds contribution to EPSRC/ESRC/CPNI-funded 2.2M-pound research project IDEAS factory – detecting terrorist activities: making sense, as featured in The Engineer; JISC-funded project e-Health GATEwayto the Clouds to enable secure research access to anonymized e-Health patient records; HEA-funded project to collect web-based resources for teaching and research in Islamic Studies, and EPSRC-funded project Natural language processing working together with Arabic and Islamic Studies.

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