Duolingo: Improving Language Education with Data – Burr Settles (DuoLingo)

October 14, 2014 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21218

Duolingo is a free online education service that allows people to learn new languages while helping to translate the World Wide Web. Since launching two years ago, Duolingo has grown to more than 40 million students from all over the world, and our mobile apps were awarded top honors from both Apple and Google in 2013. In this talk, I will discuss our architecture and present some examples of how we use a data-driven approach to improve the system, drawing on various disciplines including psychometrics, natural language processing, and machine learning.

Burr Settles is a lead scientist and software engineer at Duolingo, an award-winning language education website and mobile app. Previously, we was a postdoc in machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University, and earned a PhD in computer sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His book “Active Learning” an introduction to learning algorithms that “ask questions” was published by Morgan & Claypool in 2012. In his spare time, Burr gets around by bike and plays guitar in the Pittsburgh pop band Delicious Pastries.

Center for Language and Speech Processing