Honory doctorates 2002

Prof. dr. Julia Hirschberg

Honorary supervisor Prof. Dr. M.G.J. Swerts - 2018 –Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

Julia Hirschberg (Liberty, Missouri, 1950) is an American historian and computer scientist known for her research on computational linguistics and natural language processing.

Prof. Julia Hirschberg

She initially studied history, in which she received her PhD in 1976 before studying computer sciences (and receiving her PhD for this as well, in 1985).

She currently holds the Percy K. and Vida L. W. Hudson Chair in Computer Science at Columbia University (New York). An important aspect of this is pattern recognition. In this process, spoken language provides all kinds of clues: volume, pitch, pauses between words, ums and ahs, nervous laughter, and more other small features can betray liars. Hirschberg is one of the researchers who are "teaching" computers to detect emotions in speech in this way. The algorithms Hirschberg developed allowed the computer to pinpoint a liar in 70 percent of the test situations. Computer programs that succeed in uncovering 'hidden' emotions can—in the future—be used for all sorts of practical applications. Hirschberg has received several awards for her work.

More about history and academic heritage

The Tilburg University academic heritage is a very diverse set of archives, visual materials, collections, devices, recorded stories, et cetera that relate to the history of the university.