#TTOTS (The Traits Of The Searchable, December 01, 2018):

What makes Ujjain searchable? When did you last use a thesaurus? Does all search presuppose a structure, & can this structure be implicit? Is labeling necessary; when? How can one say if a text is structured? Are we all unique; but are we all also searchable because we belong to ‘groups’? Are all search problems matching problems? Is all search correlational? Can we search in different ways and find the same thing? Can different documents/texts/languages be coherent vis-à-vis each other? Is the final arbiter eventually the (human) searcher? Are you able to walk into any ‘library’ and use it with ease straightaway? To what extent can one determine (or estimate?) the identity of an unknown decomposed dead body? Does everything revolve around bones? Could our footprint give our face away? Are fingerprints gendered? How do we identify bird species? Why is image (or, even, sound) search difficult? How much can one disguise oneself? Could one search ambiguously and without, precisely, knowing what one is looking for? &, what kinds of searches are likely to remain very difficult in the future? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from forensic anthropology (Dr. Kewal Krishan, Panjab University, Chandigarh), computational linguistics (Prof. Amba Kulkarni, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad), & information sciences (Prof. Stephen Robertson, City University of London, London).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TTOTS show.

Dr. Kewal Krishan (forensic anthropology) is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh. His research interests are in the domain of forensic anthropology, and also include biological anthropology, examination of skeletal remains, forensic osteology, stature and sex estimation, anthropometry and forensic podiatry. Dr. Krishan completed his M.Sc. (1994) in Anthropology and Ph.D. (2003) in Forensic Anthropology from Panjab University. He has published more than 176 research articles in medical and forensic journals and has contributed five chapters to the Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, and the Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine published by Academic Press, Elsevier in 2013 and 2016 respectively. He is an elected fellow of Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) of Great Britain and Ireland, International Association of Law and Forensic Sciences (Egypt), and International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (USA). He is also a member of over a 20 international and national professional societies, including, Midwest Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Association (BARFAA), European Anthropological Association (EAA), American Association of Physical Anthropology, The Science Advisory Board USA, American Society of Forensic Podiatry (ASFP), National Academy of Sciences India (NASI), International Association of Identification (IAI), USA. Dr. Krishan has been awarded Elsevier Top Cited Award for an article in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. He has been delivered multiples lectures in forensic conferences in USA, Europe, South Korea, Thailand, & UAE.

ŸProf. Amba Kulkarni (computational linguistics, sanskrit studies) is Professor & Founder Head, Department of Sanskrit Studies, University of Hyderabad (UoH), Hyderabad. She has also been an Adjunct Faculty at the Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) Department, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar (2017), and was also a research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS, Shimla, 2015-2017). Her primary research interests are in the study of Panini’s ashtadhyayi from a computational & NLP perspective, and also showing relevance of Indian Grammatical Tradition to the field of computational linguistics, particularly, on use of Indian grammatical theories for computational processing of Sanskrit texts. Prof. Kulkarni completed her M. Tech. (1994) from IIT Kanpur, and Ph.D. (2010) in Applied Linguistics (‘Anusaaraka: An approach for MT taking insights from the Indian Grammatical Tradition’) from UoH. She has worked along with a consortium of institutes to develop several computational tools for Sanskrit and a prototype of Sanskrit-Hindi Machine Translation system. She collaborates with Prof. Gerard Huet (Inria, Paris), on the inter-operability of Sanskrit computational tools, and both of them together host the conferences in the field of Sanskrit Computational Linguistics. Prof. Kulkarni has published about 60 research papers and delivered over 50 talks in multiple conferences, such as, International Conference on Natural Language Processing (Goa, 2014), International Conference on Dependency Linguistics (Prague, 2013), & the International Conference on ‘Language, Society and Culture in Asian Context’ (MSU, Thailand, 2010). Prof Kulkarni has also co-edited six books, including, ‘Computational Sanskrit and Digital Humanities,’ (2018), ‘Sanskrit and Computational Linguistics’ (2016), & ‘anuvada ke upakarana: sanganaka tathA bhaashaae (Tools of Translation: Computer and Languages)’ (UoH, 1998). She is member of numerous committees, including, National Sanskrit Commission (MHRD, India). Prof. Kulkarni received the Vishishta Sanskrit Sevavrati Sammaan (2015) from The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi.

Prof. Stephen Robertson (information science) is currently retired from full-time work, but remains Professor Emeritus at City University of London (UK), Visiting Professor at University College London (UK), and a Life Fellow at Girton College (Cambridge, England, UK). Prior to this, he spent five years at University College London, 20 years at City University of London, and 15 years at Microsoft Research Lab (Cambridge). He has been researching in the field of information retrieval (IR) since 1968, and his main areas of research have been the evaluation of IR systems, particularly evaluation metrics, and probabilistic models. The latter led him in the early 1990s to invent the BM25 ranking function, which remains a benchmark for effective ranking of search results. Prof. Robertson completed a B.A. (1967) in Mathematics from Trinity College Cambridge, an M.Sc. (1968) in Information Science from City University, and then a Ph.D. (1976) in Library and Information Studies from University College London. He has published close to 150 research papers in journals such as: Transactions on Information Systems, TREC: Experiments and Evaluation in Information Retrieval (The MIT Press), & Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. He is an ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) fellow, and has presented in ~60 conferences, such as TREC (Text REtrieval Conference), & The International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ACM).  In 1981, he received a Fulbright Award and spent some months at the University of California Berkeley. He also received the Gerard Salton Award (2000) and the Strix Award (1998).

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TTOTS mentions: Pānini, & Patañjali, among others.