Maarten van Gompel awarded the CLARIN Young Scientist Award

Submitted by Arjan van Hessen on 17 October 2015

The CLARIN Young Scientist Award has been awarded to Maarten van Gompel of the Radboud University Nijmegen for his groundbreaking work on FoLiA and CLAM. The award ceremony took place at the annual CLARIN Conference, held this year in Wrocław, Poland.

FoLiA is a flexible standardized format for annotated corpora that is in use for a large and growing number of data, both inside and outside of CLARIN. Examples include SONAR, VU-DNC, DutchSemCor, Basilex and Nederlab. It is in use in many applications and web services, e.g. T-Scan, Frog and UCTO (which one can find here), and in the  applications TTNWW and OPENSONAR developed in CLARIN-NL.

CLAM (Computational Linguistics Application Mediator)  is a tool to turn an existing tool quickly into a powerful ‘RESTful web service’. It has been used for many language and speech technology tools in the CLARIN project financed by the Netherlands and Flanders TTNWW. Thanks to  CLAM these tools have become available in the web services based work flow system of TTNWW.


The motivation of the jury to award Maarten van Gompel with this prize is:

Maarten van Gompel has been nominated by Professors Hans Bennis of the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam and Walter Daelemans of Antwerp University in recognition of the design, development, and support of CLAM (Computational Linguistics Application Mediator, a webservice shell) and FoLiA (Format for Linguistic Annotation, an XML standard). In their joint nomination letter, the nominators emphasize that “both tools have had a major impact on language resource infrastructure development in the Netherlands and Flanders in the past four years.”

Hans Bennis and Walter Daelemans conclude their nomination letter as follows:

“Maarten is a gifted programmer and researcher, who has demonstrated a clear appreciation and precise understanding of the need for open tools for crucial infrastructural steps in the development of, and research on linguistic resources. The tools he created to meet these aims are already widely adopted and can be expected to lie at the basis of many new developments. His deep commitment to these goals deserves recognition and encouragement; the CLARIN Young Scientist Award would be the most excellent means.”

Full text of the motivation.

The CLARIN Young Scientist Award was initiated in 2014 and is awarded yearly to an outstanding young scientist or engineer for major contributions to building language resources, developing tools and sharing knowledge. Apart from the honour the prize includes a certificate and a cash amount of 500 euro. More information on the award can be found here.