Roger Levy asks theoretical and applied questions about the processing and acquisition of natural language, with a focus on how linguistic communication resolves uncertainty over a potentially unbounded set of possible signals and meanings. Levy examines such problems as how a fixed set of knowledge and resources can be deployed to manage uncertainty and derive meaning from natural language, how the underlying knowledge that supports this processing is represented in the brain, how those representations support language production, and how those representations are acquired. Combining computational modeling of large data sets with psycholinguistic experimentation, Levy’s work furthers our understanding of the cognitive underpinning of language processing, and helps us design models and algorithms that will allow machines to process human language.
Levy joins the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences as an associate professor with tenure, following a faculty appointment in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego. Levy received his BS in mathematics from the University of Arizona in 1996, followed by a year as a Fulbright Fellow at the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Study, Taipei, Taiwan and a year as a research student in biological anthropology at the University of Tokyo. In 2005, he completed his doctoral work at Stanford University under the direction of Christopher Manning, and then spent a year as a UK Economic and Social Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. Levy has received such distinguished awards as the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.