Guy Lapalme

GUY LAPALME worked as a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (DIRO) at the Université de Montréal between 1980 and 2018. In nearly forty years of scientific activity, Guy Lapalme has established himself as a reference in the field of natural language processing (NLP) on the national and international scene, as demonstrated by the following numerous recognitions: In 2010, the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland) recognized his achievements and awarded him an honorary doctorate “for his seminal work in automatic natural language processing, his contributions to logical formalisms in language technologies, and his contribution to computational linguistics applied to French.” In 2011, CAIAC (Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association) awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award for his scientific excellence and contributions to the field of artificial intelligence. In 2013, he was elevated to the rank of Senior IEEE member. And finally, in 2019, the University of Montreal awarded him the title of Professor Emeritus, only the 5th in DIRO’s 50+ year history of excellence.

Guy Lapalme has published over 350 articles in refereed journals and conferences in both French and English. He is regularly invited to present his work at institutions around the world and has been invited to France several times as a professor for periods of several months. Over the course of his career, Guy Lapalme has supervised 54 master’s students, 28 doctoral students and 11 postdoctoral researchers. Of these, 18 have pursued academic careers as professors or university researchers and 3 have created companies in the field of language processing.

In the mid-1980s, he helped founding Incognito (for informatique cognitive), one of the first research groups in artificial intelligence at the University of Montreal. Since 1997, his work has been carried out in the RALI (French acronym for Applied Research in Computational Linguistics), which he led with two colleagues, Jian-Yun Nie and Philippe Langlais. RALI is still one of the largest university-based NLP research groups in Canada. Since its creation, RALI researchers have obtained more than $2 million in sales and contracts and more than $6.5 million in grants from major funding agencies and industry. Guy Lapalme was heavily involved in the vast majority of these achievements.

In addition to a strong activity in statistical machine translation and translation tools, Guy Lapalme has established close ties with industry through NSERC-funded collaborative research projects with Canadian companies such as Terminotix, NLP Technologies, Druide Informatique, KeaText, Nuance, LittleBigJob, and with government agencies such as Environment Canada. Collaborating with industry on specific issues while ensuring that students graduate on time is an art that Guy Lapalme has successfully developed. That’s why, in 2010, he was asked to present an invited lecture on the topic of university-industry cooperation at the annual Artificial Intelligence Conference.

Guy Lapalme’s career is a happy mix of innovative research and openness to the practical world through long-term collaboration with partners from both academia and industry.


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