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Paul Smolensky

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Residence  United States
Fields  Cognitive science
Name  Paul Smolensky
Nationality  USA

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Born  May 5, 1955 (age 60) (1955-05-05)
Institutions  The Johns Hopkins University
Alma mater  Harvard University, Indiana University
Known for  Optimality theory, phonology, syntax, acquisition, learnability, processing, restricted Boltzmann machines
Education  Indiana University Bloomington (1981), Harvard University (1976)
Awards  Rumelhart Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship for Social Sciences, US & Canada
Books  Optimality Theory: Constrain, Learnability in Optimality, The harmonic mind, Developments in Connecti

Notable awards  Rumelhart Prize (2005)

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Paul Smolensky (born May 5, 1955) is a professor of Cognitive Science at the Johns Hopkins University.


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Along with Alan Prince, he developed Optimality Theory, a representational model of linguistics. Optimality Theory is popularly used for phonology, the subfield to which it was originally applied, but has been extended to other areas of linguistics such as syntax and semantics.

Paul Smolensky Opinions on Paul Smolensky

Smolensky is the recipient of the 2005 Rumelhart Prize for his pursuit of the ICS Architecture, a model of cognition that aims to unify Connectionism and symbolism, where the symbolic representations and operations are manifested as abstractions on the underlying connectionist networks. Among his other important ideas is the notion of local conjunction of constraints - the idea that two constraints can combine into a single constraint that is violated only when both of its conjuncts are violated. Local conjunction has been applied to the analysis of various "super-additive" effects in Optimality Theory. With Bruce Tesar (Rutgers University), Smolensky has also contributed significantly to the study of the learnability of Optimality Theoretic grammars.

He is a member of the Center for Language and Speech Processing.

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Paul Smolensky Wikipedia