In the Image Semantics project within the Learning and Language Lab, we are analyzing a video dataset gathered with headcams worn by infants and children, capturing their first person perspectives. We use these videos to get descriptive measures of the kinds of objects and events that children experience in comparison to how such things are talked about. Research assistants (RAs) in this project help us code the videos by annotating images with precise graphical outlines and word tags. Simultaneously, RAs develop research skills by reading and discussing background literature to learn about semantic categorization and how we can use this data to build statistical and computational models of children’s knowledge and language development.
An appreciation for detail, critical thinking, responsible independent time management, and responsive communication are essential. Curiosity, collaboration and respectful discussion with other project members, and initiative in problem-solving are valued and encouraged. RAs in our lab are expected to contribute nine hours of lab work each week and are asked to make a two-semester commitment because the training we provide is a significant investment. In particular, students who join the project now would be doing so for the remainder of the current semester and through the summer before continuing in the fall.
We are seeking a few students from any major who are graduating in Spring 2024 or later to join our team as image annotators. Registering for PSYC 290 in future semesters is optional; and there are no minimum GPA or previous research experience requirements for being part of the lab. We will review applications submitted by 3/19 with preference, with review beginning 3/13. To apply, please contact our lab manager, Katherine Koch (firstname.lastname@example.org), and in the e-mail provide:
1. responses to these questions:
a) Why are you interested in contributing to our lab and this project?
b) In what ways do you work well independently? In what ways do you work well collaboratively?
2. a completed ‘Psychology 290 Research Application’ (https://psychology.illinois.edu/system/files?file=2022-12/Psychology290_Research_Application.pdf)
- Note: This form has various sections for stating prior and related experiences and skills. We encourage you to think broadly about the aspects of your background (experiences, skills, academics, interests, etc.) you believe may be relevant to this project!
- Note: In the ‘Relevant coursework’ section, feel free to include courses you have taken in disciplines beyond psychology, such as math, statistics, computer science, and non-STEM areas that you think might be applicable to our lab’s research.