William Timkey

Logo

Computational Psycholinguistics Post-Bacc @ Cornell University

View My GitHub Profile

Hello! I am a first-year PhD student in the Department of Linguistics at New York University.

I completed a BA in Linguistics at Cornell in May 2020, and then spent a year as a Post-Baccalaureate researcher at Cornell working with Marten van Schijndel.

My research interests lie broadly within the field of computational psycholinguistics, specifically:

1) Inductive Biases: What can statistical models of language, such as deep neural nets, teach us about what is learnable from primary linguisitic data with a general-purpose learner.

2) Statistical Models as Theories of Human Language Processing: There has been a considerable amount of research in recent years which seeks to evaluate the lingusitic knowledge encoded in state-of-the-art language models like BERT and GPT-2. These models may not only provide insights into what is learnable from finite linguisitic data, but also uncover potential theories of real-time language processing in humans.


News


Publications

William Timkey and Marten van Schijndel. “All Bark and No Bite: Rogue Dimensions in Transformer Language Models Obscure Representational Quality” In Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP). 2021.

Matt Wilber, William Timkey, and Marten van Schijndel. “To Point or Not to Point: Understanding How Abstractive Summarizers Paraphrase Text” In Proceedings of the 2021 Findings of the ACL. 2021.


Teaching

I also have a passion for Teaching! Before coming to NYU, I was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Statisics at Harvard University. I believe a solid understanding of statistics is fundamental to good science in any field.

Fall 2021: STAT 104 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Economics @ Harvard University (Teaching Fellow)

Summer 2021: STAT 100 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods @ Harvard University (Teaching Fellow)

Spring 2021: STAT 102 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Life Sciences @ Harvard University (Teaching Fellow)

Fall 2020: STAT 104 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Economics @ Harvard University (Teaching Fellow)

Summer 2020: STAT 100 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods @ Harvard University (Teaching Fellow)

Spring 2020: INFO 2950 - Introduction to Data Science @ Cornell University (Teaching Assistant)

Fall 2017: CSE 199 - First Year Seminar in Computer Science @ SUNY Buffalo (Teaching Assistant)