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Tomasz Walkowiak Awarded the 2020 Steven Krauwer Award for CLARIN Achievements

 

The 2020 Steven Krauwer Award for CLARIN Achievements was awarded to Tomasz Walkowiak (Wrocław University of Science and Technology / CLARIN-PL).


Motivation of the Jury

Tomasz Walkowiak, PhD, is a researcher affiliated with Wrocław University of Science and Technology and a large CLARIN-PL team responsible for the construction, development and exploitation of CLARIN in Poland. Dr Walkowiak has been involved in the development of NLP technology for the Polish language even before the CLARIN infrastructure was established. Over years, he has become one of the main designers of the concept and architecture of the CLARIN-PL Language Technology Centre. With his knowledge and experience in the field of NLP and software engineering he has been very prominently involved into the Polish in kind contribution to CLARIN ERIC, especially in linking many language tools and applications to WebLicht and Language Switchboard, as well as sharing technical expertise with the CLARIN ERIC technological team.

In his home institutes, he has been involved in a range of projects and activities that are of high relevance to CLARIN and its users. Tomasz is well known for his devotion to cooperation with users going much beyond any formal obligations. He always have for providing advanced expertise to users (e.g. related to semantic classification of texts, topic modelling or stylometry), as well as practical help. He was one of the initiators and next main developers of the WebSty stylometric system (http://ws.clarin-pl.eu/websty.shtml). Tomasz initially designed this tool for the Polish language, but next expanded it to a multilingual version supporting several languages, mostly in response to users’ needs. For instance, French, Hungarian and Spanish versions received particular attention. Tomasz was also a co-author of a tool for statistical analysis of texts called LEM (http://ws.clarin-pl.eu/lem.shtml) (a tool for creating simple statistics of text parameters) that have been developed on request and in close cooperation of users from several areas of SS&H. WebSty, LEM and Topic (topic modeling tool) were the tools that laid the foundations for a portal offering text processing services via a web browser: http://ws.clarin-pl.eu It is based on a parallel, distributed and efficient processing of texts, which serves several millions of processing requests from users every year. Tomasz was the main architect, designer of this platform, as well he has been supervising works on its development. At the European level, he participated in a range of infrastructure related project. 

Tomasz was the main developer for tasks related to the integration of text processing tools in Polish with the Switchboard platform. Tomasz is keen to support all CLARIN-PL user involvement initiatives: he actively participates in workshops and seminars for infrastructure users; he conducts training courses for SS&H researchers, adapts NLP tools and resources to the individual needs of users, and co-runs a helpdesk.

Given all this evidence, we are convinced that CLARIN has benefitted exceptionally from Tomasz’s contributions, and that it can truly be stated that Tomasz made outstanding contributions towards CLARIN goals in the areas of language resource building, tool or service development, exemplary use cases, user involvement or knowledge sharing, and therefore we nominate Tomasz Walkowiak for the Steven Krauwer Award 2020, in the category CLARIN Achievement.

Interview with Tomasz Walkowiak

Watch the interview with Tomasz Walkowiak on the occasion of his Steven Krauwer Award.

The Award Ceremony

The 6th edition of the award ceremony took place during the virtual  annual CLARIN Annual Conference of 2020. The Steven Krauwer Award for CLARIN Achievements was initiated in 2017. As of this year multiple awards can be awarded. This year there were no nominations for the Steven Krauwer Award for Young Scientist Award.

The awards, named in honor of Steven Krauwer (the first executive director of CLARIN ERIC) are given annually to outstanding scientists or engineers in recognition of outstanding contributions toward CLARIN goals in the areas of language resource building, tool or service development, exemplary use cases, user involvement or knowledge sharing. Apart from the honour the winners receive an official certificate.