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Mathematics, grammars... and babies?!

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Heriot-Watt University, James Watt Centre 2

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh

EH14 4AS

United Kingdom

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A public lecture by Dr. Laura Ciobanu on the mathematics behind the languages we speak, and their connections to computer science.

About this Event

Colourless green ideas sleep furiously. Before you judge the author of this nonsense, notice that it is at least a grammatically correct sentence. In fact, it is a famous sentence due to the linguist Noam Chomsky, who investigated the principles from which spoken languages develop. While trying to come up with a theory to explain how babies learn to form sentences, Chomsky defined grammars. Similar to grammar learned in school, Chomsky's grammars are sets of rules about how to construct sentences.

In this talk, we will investigate to what extent Chomsky succeeded in determining why some sentences are correct while others are not. More importantly, the talk will also reveal how these grammars turned out to have unexpected applications in mathematics and computer science.

This event is part of Maths Week Scotland 2019. Dr. Laura Ciobanu is Assocciate Professor at Heriot-Watt University.

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Heriot-Watt University, James Watt Centre 2

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh

EH14 4AS

United Kingdom

View Map

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