The Center for Natural Language Processing at Syracuse University lands more than $800,000 in research grants
The Center for Natural Language Processing at Syracuse University lands more than $800,000 in research grantsMay 07, 2002Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
The Center for Natural Language Processing, under the direction of Elizabeth Liddy, professor in the School of Information Studies, was recently awarded two research grants. The first is a $475,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for work on the National Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education Digital Library (NSDL). The second is a $389,805 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide public health care professionals and policy makers with access to valuable public health information in grey literature. Grey literature is that which not published in traditional, peer-reviewed journals.
The NSDL grant is the second such award the Center for Natural Language Processing has received. During the first round of NSDL funding, the CNLP-in partnership with the Information Institute of Syracuse, researchers at the University of Washington, and solutions-united of Syracuse-received a $490,000 grant to develop an automatic metadata generation system for the NSDL. The metadata tagging standards the researchers used were developed by the Gateway to Educational Materials Project (GEM), a project housed in the Information Institute of Syracuse, one of six research centers in the School of Information Studies.
The new NSDL grant, “Standard Connection: Mapping NSDL Educational Objects to Content Standards,” is similar to the first project in that it deals with automatic extraction of metadata values. However, the new project goes a step further with the development of a middleware tool for the automatic assignment of content standards and benchmarks to educational materials.
In order to meet emerging state and national content standards in K-12 curricula, educators must demonstrate how classroom activities and curriculum materials build competencies embodied in the standards, Liddy says.
While there is a strong movement to develop new materials to fit content standards, Liddy and her team of researchers contend there is a wealth of existing educational materials suitable for addressing those competencies even though the materials were not originally designed for that purpose. The new project will design a technology that automatically assigns content standards and benchmarks to educational resources in the current collections of the NSDL and to others harvested from the Internet. The standards will be based on the Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks developed by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) and the Achieve Standards Database. The project is a joint effort of the CNLP, the University of Washington Information School, McREL and various NSDL collection holders.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, “Modeling Public Health Interventions for Improved Access to the Grey Literature,” involves the development of a Natural Language Processing-based information technology that will provide access to reports of public health interventions published in grey literature via a variety of modes, including searching, navigation, summarization and visualization. The reports will be universally accessible on the New York Academy of Medicine’s Grey Literature Web site.
Public health professionals will evaluate the reports to determine the usefulness and ability of the system to provide accurate and complete access to the grey literature collection of public health interventions.
The project is a collaboration among the CNLP; Jana Bradley, director of the Master of Library Science Program in the School of Information Studies; and Anne Turner M.D., a post-doctoral researcher at the Oregon Health Science University.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, headquartered in Princeton, N.J., was established as a national philanthropy in 1972 and is the largest U.S. foundation devoted to improving the health and health care of all Americans.
The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University is a leading center for innovative programs in information policy, information behavior, information management, information systems, information technology and information services. The school has professional degree programs at the undergraduate and master’s levels and a research degree at the doctoral level. The school also has a distance education program at the graduate level.