RIT Hosts Language, Technology and Media Symposium April 15

Experts explore connections among linguistics, technological innovation and communication

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Professor Richard Sproat from Oregon Health and Science University will explore the history of language technology at RIT’s Language, Technology and Media symposium April 15.

Today’s linguistic experts are studying the impact that language and communication technology have on societal learning, playing and selling, and they will reveal their findings at Language, Technology and Media, a symposium beginning at 1 p.m. April 15 in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Hall (room 2400).

“This innovative symposium brings together scholars and the local community to examine the transformative relationships among language, technology and mass media in the era of globalization and online information access,” says Stanley Van Horn, director of RIT’s English Language Center.

“We will explore relevant applications connected to language and their social significance,” adds Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, visiting assistant professor in RIT’s Department of English.

The symposium—free and open to the public— features presentations from three national experts.

1:15 p.m.—Richard Sproat, professor, Oregon Health and Science University, presents “Language, Technology and Society,” which traces the history of language technology from its inception over 5,000 years ago to present day applications, highlighting its impact on society.

3 p.m.—Amit Ray, professor, RIT, presents “Wikipedia in Translation: Writing Worlds in Common(s).” The talk examines what can be learned about Wikipedia by recalling moments in media history and what Wikipedia has taught society about how humans interact in virtual environments.

4 p.m.—Tej K. Bhatia, professor, Syracuse University, presents “Bilingual Creativity, Multiple Mixing and Global Advertising,” which examines global advertising from the viewpoint of the bilingual/multilingual mind and linguistic creativity. His presentation also explores the relevance of mixing languages, scripts and accents in advertising.

Question-and-answer sessions follow each presentation.

The symposium is co-sponsored by RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, English Language Center and Department of English.

For more information on the symposium speakers, go to people.rit.edu/coagla/ltm2011.