Dr. Stephan Vogel

S Vogel
Research Director
Arabic Language Technologies
+(974) 4454 1438

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Being part of a research institute in start-up mode, helping to build a strong team doing world class research, and at the same time experiencing a different environment in terms of culture and language, geography and climate.

Research Focus at QCRI

As Research Director of the Arabic Language Technologies (ALT) group, Stephan is responsible for helping to define the overall research agenda of QCRI and of the ALT team in particular.

His own research focus is on machine translation, especially the so-called statistical machine translation (SMT), where statistical modeling and machine learning techniques are used to learn from existing (human) translations how to translate new sentences. In the team’s research they deal with fundamental questions like optimization in SMT, integrating morphology, novel reordering models, etc, but also how this can be turned into useful applications to support real-live multilingual communication and information access.

An additional interest, which Stephan hopes to explore more in the future, is to apply language technologies in educational applications. In particular, QCRI’s ALT team has started to develop CALL (computer assisted language learning) applications for Arabic.

Previous Experience

Before joining QCRI Stephan was research scientist at CMU, Pittsburgh, where he advised 10 PhD and 8 Master students, also visiting students from other universities, and led or participated in a number of research projects, funded by NSF and DARPA, including TIDES and GALE.

Professional Experience

  • 2005 - 2011 Assistant Research Professor at the Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • 2001 - 2005 Research Scientist at the Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA.
  • 2000 - 2001 Research Assistant at the University of Karlsruhe (now KIT), Germany.
  • 1995 - 2000 Research Assistant at RWTH Aachen, Germany.

Professional Associations and Awards



  • PhD, RWTH Aachen, Computer Science Department, 2000
  • M.Phil History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, England, 1985
  • Diploma of Physics, Philips University, Marburg, 1983

Selected Research

  • AshishVenugopal, Andreas Zollmann, Noah A.Smith, and Stephan Vogel. Preference Grammars: Softening Syntactic Constraints to Improve Statistical Machine Translation. NAACL HLT 2009, Boulder, Colorado, May 31 - June 5, 2009.
  • Stephan Vogel, Tanja Schultz, Alex Waibel, Seiichi Yamamoto. Speech Translation Strategies. In: Tanja Schultz and Katrin Kirchhoff (Ed.) Multilingual Speech Processing. Elsevier, Academic Press, 2006.
  • Stephan Vogel, PESA: Phrase Pair Extraction as Sentence Splitting. The 10th Machine Translation Summit; Phuket, Thailand, September 13-15, 2005.
  • Stephan Vogel, Ying Zhang, Fei Huang, Alicia Tribble, AshishVenugopal, Bing Zhao, and Alex Waibel, The CMU Statistical Translation System. MT Summit IX, New Orleans, LA, U.S.A., September 2003.
  • Stephan Vogel, Hermann Ney, ChristophTillmann. HMM-Based Word Alignment in Statistical Translation. International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING), Copenhagen, pp. 836-841, August 1996.

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