The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has awarded an Early Career Award to Dong Nguyen (Computer Science). The prize is intended as an incentive for young talented researchers who have gained their PhD at most seven years ago. Nguyen obtained her PhD cum laude at the University of Twente in 2017 and therefore receives the prize remarkably early in her career. Two of the three winners in the domain of Natural Sciences and Engineering are affiliated with Utrecht University: in addition to Nguyen, Niko Wanders (Geosciences) also won the prize.
Dong Nguyen's research field is natural language processing: automatically processing and analysing natural language. She plays an important role in setting up the new field of computational sociolinguistics. Since last May, Nguyen holds a tenure-track position at Utrecht University, and in June she received a Veni grant from NWO. In her Veni project, she investigates how computers can learn the social aspects of language use with neural networks.
In 2017, Nguyen obtained her PhD cum laude at the University of Twente. For her PhD thesis, she won the the Overijssel PhD-Award (2017) and the Gerrit van Dijk Prize for the best thesis in Data Science (Dutch Data Science Awards 2018). Already before obtaining her doctorate, Nguyen was awarded the prestigious Alan Turing Fellowship to conduct independent research for a period of three to five years. With this scholarship she did research for over two years at the Alan Turing Institute (the UK's national institute for data science and artificial intelligence), while being affiliated with the University of Edinburgh.
Nguyen’s research has already appeared in the media several times, including in the New York Times, Volkskrant and NRC and on Radio 538.
Early Career Awards
The KNAW presents a maximum of twelve Early Career Awards each year, divided over four domains, including Natural Sciences and Engineering. The prize includes a sum of 15,000 euros and a work of art. The prizes will be awarded during a during a celebratory gathering of the KNAW in early 2020.