Lea Frermann

Research Associate, ILCC, University of Edinburgh


I am a research associate at the Institute of Language, Logic and Cognition (ILCC), University of Edinburgh, working with Mirella Lapata and Shay Cohen.

From July to September 2017 was a visiting scholar in Michael Frank's Language and Cognition Lab at Stanford University.

I use machine learning methods and computational models to gain a deeper understanding of the structure and dynamics of meaning representations both in language and in humans. I develop Bayesian models of how children learn categories and their structured featural representations in a joint and incremental process. I am also interested in the dynamics of meaning in natural language. I have developed models of word meaning change over centuries. Most recently I have used deep learning methods to model the structure and development of plots in books and films.


Informatics Forum, Room 3.38
10 Crichton Street
Edinburgh EH89AB

l.frermann [at] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk

Mini Bio

2017 - now Research associate at ILCC, University of Edinburgh (collaborators Mirella Lapata and Shay Cohen)
2017 Visiting scholar at Language and Cognition Lab, Stanford University (host Michael Frank)
2013 - 2017 PhD at ILCC, University of Edinburgh (supervisors Mirella Lapata and Charles Sutton)
2016 Machine Learning Internship with Amazon Berlin (3 months)
2010 - 2013 MSc in Language Science and Technology from Saarland University (supervisors Ivan Titov and Manfred Pinkal)
2012 Erasmus Mundus Research exchange to NTU Singapore. Research project with Francis Bond.
2007 - 2010 BA in Linguistics, University of Bremen, Germany.

Invited Talks and Presentations

10 / 2017 Invited talk at Alan Turing Institute, London.
09 / 2017 Invited talk at CoAStaL Copenhagen Natural Language Processing Group
Title: Structure and Dynamics of Meaning in Humans and in Language
08 / 2017 Invited talk at Stanford NLP Seminar Series
Title: Of Space Piracy and Secret Baby Romances: Deep Multi-View Book Representations and a Scalable Evaluation Framework
11 / 2016 Keynote talk at the Drift-a-LOD workshop (co-located with EKAW), Bologna.
Title: Modelling fine-grained Change in Word Meaning over centuries from Large Collections of Unstructured Text
12 / 2015 Invited talk at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh), Machine Learning Invited Talks.
Title: Incremental Bayesian Learning of Semantic Categories and their Features
09 / 2015 Google NLP PhD Summit, Z├╝rich.
07 / 2012 Invited Paper at the First Workshop on Multilingual Modeling (in conjunction with ACL 2012), Jeju, Korea.
Title: Cross-lingual Parse Disambiguation based on Semantic Correspondence







Non-published Workshop Contributions