Lance W. Hahn, Ph.D.
Taylor Blaetz is a first year graduate student from Erie, Pennsylvania. As an undergraduate, Taylor worked on multiple research projects involving sentence structure and the use of colors to prime semantic associations. With his primary research interests being focused on cognitive psychology (language), the Semantics Lab was a perfect fit. Currently, Taylor is working on a project that is investigating whether or not informal language (commonly used on online social networks) is processed and utilized in a similar way to formal language. For example, are we parallel processing abbreviations (e.g., lol) as their own words rather than serially processing a string of letters? Following this project, Taylor hopes to create a spreading activation model of how informal language is acquired, processed, and used. Some of Taylors' other research interests include cognitive neuroscience and psychopharmacology. Following his time here at WKU, Taylor hopes to continue his education in a Ph.D. program focusing on electrophysiological aspect of semantics and language.
Will Walters was born in Lexington, Kentucky. He began his research with Dr. Hahn in 2013, the same year he began attending the Gatton Academy at WKU. He designed, implemented, and currently facilitates the code the lab uses to fetch raw data from Twitter for analysis. His current project is to analyze geographic frequencies of usage for specific examples of informal language demonstrated on Twitter. His plans for the future include research into Natural Language Processing, though nothing is very concrete at the time of writing.
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