About

Edward Holsinger

Hi. I’m Ed. I’m a graduate from the University of Southern California where I received a Ph.D in Linguistics. I am a psycholinguist and data analyst; in my graduate work I used eye-tracking, and other methodologies from cognitive psychology to examine how language is processed and how linguistic information is represented and accessed. I am also interested in semantics and logic, from a theoretical, applied and experimental perspective. I’m also passionate about data science, data analysis and data mining, particularly with unstructured language data.

I live in Long Beach, in sunny southern California with my lovely wife Maria and two cats.

So How Many Language Do You Speak?

Fluently? Just English. While I have several years of study in Spanish, Modern Standard Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and know many things about many many languages, learning language is not primarily what I do as a linguist. Instead, my work primarily involved conducting cognitive psychology experiments and collecting and analyzing the data from those experiments to figure out how humans understand, represent and process language and meaning. In this endeavor I wear many different hats. I design and conduct experiments, utilize modern statistical methods and techniques from computer science, engineering and computational linguistics to analyze results, present results in papers and at conferences and develop new techniques and computational tools to streamline these processes.

So what do you do with that?

Linguistics is an extremely broad field and includes practitioners in language education, translation, computer science,  psychology, neurology, philosophy, language documentation, speech pathology and many others. The unifying theme is that all linguists are interested in language from some perspective, whether that means speaking languages, understanding how the brain processes language or engineering technology to understand or produce language. Every linguist has a unique journey.

In my personal journey, the skills that I have cultivated as a linguist are directly applicable to many modern technologies (Search, Text Data Mining, Automatic Translation, Speech Recognition, AI). Additionally, the ability to collect and wrangle meaning out of large and complicated sets of data, write coherent and intelligent English and clearly present complicated information to others are life skills that are applicable to almost any profession.

Currently I work to help assess and monitor data quality, relevance and integrity for Local Corporation. Previously I’ve worked as an instructor and curriculum developer in language education, as an experimental cognitive scientist and as a software developer. I’m always on the lookout for more data to interrogate, new and exciting technologies, more opportunities to to cultivate my skills collecting, analyzing and presenting large, complicated datasets and the chance to solve interesting problems all day.

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