Dan Jurafsky, the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor in Humanities and a professor of computer science at Stanford, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dan Jurafsky (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

He is among the 443 new AAAS fellows chosen this year by their peers for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Jurafsky is also the chair of the Department of Linguistics in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford.

Jurafsky was selected for pioneering contributions to computational linguistics – the use of computational methods to study text and speech – and statistical natural language processing. He was also selected for being a dedicated teacher and mentor, and a brilliant exponent of the value to society of studying language.

Together with his students and colleagues, Jurafsky studies how text and speech processing algorithms can be applied to questions in the social sciences and humanities: how the meanings of words change over time; how police and community members talk to each other; how political polarization spreads; and how we talk about food, a topic he explored in his 2015 book, The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu, a James Beard Award finalist.

Jurafsky also works on engineering questions, such as how to better understand, interpret and improve modern neural networks for language processing.

AAAS is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to “advance science, engineering and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.” The organization promotes science and technology research and applications, and works to enhance communication among and between scientists, engineers and the public. AAAS publishes six peer-reviewed journals, including Science.