Graeme Hirst is Professor and Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Toronto. His research covers a broad range of topics in applied computational linguistics and natural language processing, including lexical semantics, the resolution of ambiguity in text, the analysis of authors’ styles in literature and other text (including plagiarism detection and the detection of online sexual predators), and the automatic analysis of arguments and discourse (especially in political and parliamentary texts). Hirst’s recent research includes detecting markers of Alzheimer’s disease in language; determining ideology in political texts; and the identification of the native language of a second-language writer of English. With colleagues in Canada, the U.K. and the Netherlands, he was a co-PI of a Digging Into Data grant on processing linked parliamentary data.
Hirst is the author of two monographs: Anaphora in Natural Language Understanding and Semantic Interpretation and the Resolution of Ambiguity. He is the editor of the series Synthesis Lectures on Human Language Technologies (Morgan & Claypool Publishers), which has become the leading venue for monograph publication in computational linguistics and natural language processing. He was also one of the six coordinating editors of the 14-volume Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd edition), published by Elsevier in 2006. He has supervised 24 PhD and 45 research Master’s graduates, and is the recipient of two awards for excellence in teaching. In Google Scholar, his h-index is 54, with more than 16,000 citations to his publications, including four papers with over 1000 citations each.
Hirst was Chair of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics for 2004–05 and Treasurer of the Association for 2008–17. In 2017, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association. In 2019, he was made a Fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics “for deep and influential work in numerous topics in NLP, Knowledge Representation, Linguistics, and related areas, as well as for sustained service to ACL as Treasurer and other positions, and for teaching and advising over many years”. In 2020, he received the association's Distinguished Service Award.
Professor of Computational Linguistics