who are you?

I am a computational linguist. This is where I post little projects and scraps of projects. It's not intended to be completely anonymous, but it's not really meant to be tied to my name either. In other words, I'll tell people it's mine, but I don't want it to tell people about me. I don't know how well that will work, but we'll see.

Tell me about yourself.


What's a "discverb?"

Two years ago, I was applying to grad school. To get ready for the GRE, I wanted to create a site for sharing pictures that illustrated words in funny or memorable ways. (This was a pretty effective technique, and a lot of the word/picture combos I still remember.

The name "discverb" is an Anglicized quasi-Latin blendi from the words "discere" (to learn) and "verba" (words). The name was catchy and relevant.

I got the site together in PHP. In the process, I learned both PHP and that I hate PHP. Nevertheless, I finished the site but never launched it. The big problem was that I didn't want to moderate the site. Having a site where you can upload pictures is tricky, likely to be full of vulnerabilities, and require a lot of time spent on "community development" and moderating. Though useful tasks, I didn't want to commit a bunch of time to that.

Having never launched the site, I eventually used the domain to host a class project--a corpus-trained random word generator. It used trigrams to produce random words in a weighted fashion. This was the splash page for the domain for a few months.

Recently, since the domain was catchy, I decided to use it as a place for posting general little coding projects, mostly coli themed. Even the original inspiration remains relevant; instead of getting people to learn words, I'm getting computers to.