How Science Connects the East and the West

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Elaheh Yousefiamiri moved from the far East to the very centre of Europe to study AIS. She is now working diligently on completing her master thesis. Born in Iran, Elaheh decided to pursue education abroad and received her bachelor’s degree in Mysore, India, before coming to Austria to attend the Applied Image and Signal Processing programme.

A Master Thesis on Natural Language Processing and the Persian Language

Elaheh comes from a background rich in history and culture.Persian myths and legends tell the stories of an ancient culture, many of these stories were passed down through the centuries and eventually transcribed into Farsi scripts. Today in modern Iran, the contemporary entertainment industry continues to add new texts, movies and songs to the existing oral and written tradition.

It is the rich culture of her homeland that provides Elaheh with a valuable starting point for her master thesis research, and the Persian language – Farsi, with its highly distinctive orthographic and phonetic features, lends itself as a research medium.

Her master thesis focuses on linguistic theory and Natural Language Processing, with a special emphasis on the concept of sentiment analysis. This field of research covers the processing of written language using programmes that associate annotated fragments with a corresponding semantic perception such as sentiments. This occurs by coordinating words and phrases on a scale ranging from a very good to a very bad emotion. Additionally, words are counted and classified according to their quantity and recurrence in a text.

In her research, Elaheh wants to combine her acquired scientific knowledge with her ethnic background, to determine whether the concept of sentiment analysis, taken from a Western perspective, can be transferred and applied to an Eastern language. Is it possible to interpret sentiments from a different culture, language and socio-cultural heritage, using methods developed for another culture? Her quest has most certainly been influenced by the experience of living among various cultures throughout the course of her studies.