We are always looking for outgoing undergraduate students who want to get involved in computational and experimental research on language. Students can contribute to faculty research as research assistants during the academic year or over the summer. Students can also develop and pursue independent projects that take the form of an independent study, honors thesis project, or summer research project.
What type of student are we looking for?
We welcome all students interested in computational and experimental approaches to language science. Lab members come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, including linguistics, computer science, psychology, neuroscience, and even economics. We are looking for organized, self-motivated, independent, and reliable students who can multitask efficiently and work well as part of a team.
Students are encouraged to engage in all stages of research, including material preparation, participant testing, and data analysis. Students are also expected attend lab meetings, which are held regularly over the academic year. The ability to interact with faculty, other lab members, and participants who visit the lab is highly valued.
Sounds great! How do I get involved?
There is no formal application process to work in the lab. The idea is that you first identify a project, topic, or research area that you would like to pursue, and then contact a relevant faculty member to get started. But before that can happen, all students must successfully complete our course Study of Language (LING 220) to work in the lab. After that, students are encouraged to take courses relevant to their research interest.
If you want to do work on computational psycholinguistics, syntax, semantics, or sentence processing, contact Dan Parker. Students who wish to work in these areas should take the following courses: Syntax (LING 304), Psycholinguistics (LING 370), and Computational Methods in Language Science (LING 380). The following skills are not necessary to work in these areas, but they will be an asset: additional coursework in computer science, psychology, or neuroscience, knowledge of statistics, programming experience, computer skills such as Mac or Windows troubleshooting or knowledge of Linux/Unix.
If you want to do work on experimental phonetics or phonology, contact Anya Lunden.
If you want to do work on sociolinguistics or discourse analysis, contact Leslie Cochrane.
There are several funding opportunities made available by the Charles Center:
- W&M Honors Fellowships (applications due in March)
- Charles Center Summer Research Scholarships (applications due in March)
- W&M Student Research Grants (various application deadlines)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (applications available in November)