Published: April 1, 2015

Jena D. Hwang, a 2014 joint PhD in Linguistics and Cognitive Science and current National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the Linguistics department, is one of four recipients of the 2015 Robert J. Glushko Dissertation Prize awarded by the Cognitive Science Society and the Glushko-Samuelson Foundation. The prize, which is accompanied by a $10,000 award, recognizes dissertations representing outstanding, original and high impact scholarship in the field of cognitive science. The Prize committee considered 51 nominated dissertations that represented the full range of research in cognitive science. Dr. Hwang's thesis, Identification and Representation of Caused Motion Constructions, implemented a machine-learning algorithm that performed mappings from syntactic structures to semantic representations; it has application to tasks like summarization, automated translation, semantically based searches and inference generation, and represents one of the first computational dissertations to apply the theory of Construction Grammar to natural language processing algorithms. Dr. Hwang's s thesis, which was supervised by Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science Martha S. Palmer, was judged by the committee to be "excellent in scholarship and innovative, with likely far-reaching impact in cognitive science". Dr. Hwang was presented with the prize at the July 2015 Cognitive Science Conference.