Hi! I am Jian Zhu, a Ph.D. candidate at Department of Linguistics, University of Michigan. I am also pursuing a joint Ph.D. in scientific computing at The Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE).

Briefly, my research centers on two themes:

  1. To understand:
    • how language variations and changes are shaped by cognitive and social factors, and
    • how language is acquired and (ir)regularized among all the linguistic variations.

    I take a computational approach to explore the dynamics of language.

  2. To make speech and language technology accessible to the wider lingusitic community.

    While people still debate over whether linguistics is helpful to NLP, it is undoubtedly that NLP will bebefit linguistic research immensely. One of my research focuses is to make availble some of the latest technolgy developments to my fellow linguists. In this line of research,

    • I have shown that Text-to-speech synthesis can be used as subjects to test phonetic hypotheses.
    • I have also explored methods to liberate phoneticians’ hands through automating extraction of articulatory features from ultrasound tongue imaging, an essential data collection method in articulatory phonetics.

I support Open Science. I usually make available my code and data to ensure the replicability of my research.