This is the personal website of Al
yona Medelyan. I am the founder of Entopix
, a Natural Language Processing consultancy based in Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to that I was the Chief Research Officer at Pingar
, leading the research and development of their Text Analytics API.
I hold a Masters in Computational Linguistics from the University of Freiburg, and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waikato (supervised by Ian
After giving birth to our daughter, Maya, I have been looking for a more flexible and effective way of applying my skills. So I have decided to found an NLP consultancy named Entopix
. The name comes from the art form "entopic graphomania
", an automatic way of creating art pieces. I'm pleased that Entopix already has several customers and look forward to new adventures with this firm.
I recently gave a keynote at the NZ CSRSC 2013
, a Computer Science PostGraduates conference organized by students for students, which happens every year at a different New Zealand university.
For my talk, I run a survey to find out what happens to Kiwi CS graduates, which resulted in some interesting statistics. My slides and the summary of the results are summarized on my survey page
Last week I spoke at Text Analytics World
in Boston. The slides from my talk are now available on SlideShare
. The talk introduced the area of keyword extraction, how a typical algorithm works and how it can be evaluated meaningfully, and also summarized a use case, where Pingar API
has been installed on an Amazon cloud to extract keyphrases from nearly 2 million publications.
Recently I was interviewed by Sean Golliher at SemanticWeb.com
about Pingar's technology. The interview is one of the first ones in their new innovation spotlight series and focuses on Pingar's keyword and entity extraction algorithms, applying these to unstructured data, including a Twitter-based experiment. I also talk about generating taxonomies on the fly and how Linked Data is used in this research to get great results.
On the 1st of March this year I will be speaking at Strata
, an O'Reilly Media conference with a slogan "Making Data Work". Together with Anna Divoli
, I gave an interview about Big Data and its challenges that is now published on O'Reilly radar
and features on Forbes
. We talk about the practical applications of text analytics and how it can help large organizations that struggle with masses of unstructured data.
For two months this year (September and October) I have relocated to the Silicon Valley, where Pingar
has a new office. During this time I will be attending the SharePoint conference in Anaheim and the HCIR workshop
at Google, Mountain View. Earlier this year I have collaborated with Anna Divoli
from the University of Chicago. Our joint research paper on "Search interface feature evaluation in biosciences
" got accepted for presentation and poster at HCIR. The great news are that Anna will be now joining the Pingar team and relocating to New Zealand.
Staying in California for work is fantastic because it also gave Nathan and me the opportunity to do many fun personal trips: New York, San Francisco, Burning Man, Central California coastal road trip, LA...
I'm stoked that Pingar
is now not only re-branded but also released a set of extremely useful tools out to developers via an API. We provide research-based solutions for query analysis, text summarization, taxonomy mapping, entity and address extraction, text sanitization and profanity checks. The tools are constantly improving and their number is growing. And we even have API for Chinese NLP tools
, which is truly unique.
This month I was lucky to be invited to the Kiwifoo
, a gathering of tech and not so tech people, a wonderful place to get expired and make useful connection. However, what expired me even more, are the discussions in the Kiwifoo forum after the earthquakes in Christchurch. Immediately, participants came up with ideas for organizing accommodation, tech support, hot desk support and social media volunteering, but most importantly they made things happen
! Forum members influenced Trademe to create a support forum
, Google to link a resources page
from their landing page, a Christchurch recovery map
was put together by a team of volunteers. It's great to be a part of such an active community. New Zealand (& overseas) people strive to help so much that donation sites like Red Cross
break from too much traffic (now made working!).
A linguist/philosopher/IT enthusiast from Hungary Zoltan Varju
asked me to answer a few questions for his series of blog posts "The life of a computational linguist". Zoli previously interviewed Oliver Mason
, Jason Adams
and Hugo Liu
. Here are my answers
, which include thoughts on favorite theories & technologies and an honest description of what I do in real life. :-)
Over the last few months I have been porting Pingar's semantic algorithms from English to Chinese language. It was a challenging and interesting experience.
Chinese differs from English significantly, but in terms of extracting query refinement suggestions, extracting keywords and generating summaries, the same general techniques can be applied. A demo of the resulting product is shown in this video
from 1:30. The National Business Review reports about its launch at the Shanghai Expo