This is the personal website of Alyona Medelyan. I run Entopix, a Natural Language Processing software development company and 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 Witten and Eibe Frank).
I am the author of the Open-Source automatic topic indexing tool Maui.
My highlight from the beginning of 2015 has been running the Superheroes STEAM-ahead event, for which I raised $3000 using crowdfunding, attracted more than 300 school girls and their mums, and organised a successful career fair with 10 NZ companies and organisations. It was a huge undertaking but thanks to the STEAM-ahead team everything run smoothly, and the feedback from attendees was fantastic. I was invited to a blog post on the widely-read Public Address page about why I decided to run this event, and was surprised to receive a thank you letter from the Minister of Women's Affairs. Doing this in parallel with running Entopix and looking after my 2 year old daughter would not have been possible without the support of my mother.
This year I'm giving a tutorial and a talk at the New Zealand Python conference KiwiPycon 2014 in September in Wellington. Both will include an introduction to Natural Language Processing and tools available in Python, whereas in the tutorial we will get "our hands dirty" testing out the libraries on interesting datasets.
I am very pleased to have been selected as one of the 15 members of the Global Google Anita Borg Alumni Planning Committee. This means that I will spend about 5 hours per month for one year partnering with Google to build and guide the direction of the community. Our first planning meeting is at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, taking place June 25th-26th.
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.
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