Aligarh: The two-day international webinar on ‘Crafting Resources for Language Pedagogy at Digital Age’ of the Department of Linguistics, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) concluded with scholars from various parts of the country and abroad deliberating on solutions to the impact on education system of the pandemic enforced shift to online education and learning.
In the valedictory address, Prof Pushpak Bhattacharyya (Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai) discussed his research on Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Eye Tracking and Information Retrieval among other topics.
He delineated challenging problems in Natural Language Processing and the need to study machine translation.
Prof Bhattacharyya provided the webinar participants with a coherent analysis through articulate slides on the theory and techniques applicable to a wide range of problems such as transliteration, speech recognition and synthesis.
He discussed the role of data, distribution and probability to reduce burden on human thinking, hypothesis formation and vindication.
Through a slide presentation, Prof Bhattacharyya explained how Natural Language Processing is multi-dimensional and the art, science and technique of making computers understand the generate language.
He elaborated the design of Automated Essay Grading (AEG) system and its large variation.
Prof Bhattacharyya also explained how ‘Gaze’ features help in better prediction of subjective properties of texts gaze.
“These features are more reliable if we take into account the reader’s comprehension, however collecting gaze features is a time consuming and expensive affair,” he pointed out.
Delivering the presidential remarks, AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Zaheeruddin said that since the inception, the Department of Linguistics has been providing excellent teaching and indepth research in Linguistics with special reference to Urdu.
He pointed out that in the AMU Centenary Year celebration speech, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi acknowledged that AMU has worked to strengthen India’s relations with many countries and the research done by AMU scholars in Arabic and Persian languages and Islamic literature has given energy to India’s cultural relations with the entire Islamic world.
“Human aspect of the pandemic has been very painful and there have been serious challenges in education and pedagogy,” said Prof S Imtiaz Hasnain, Officiating Dean, Faculty of Arts.
He added: “To fight back the Covid enforced disruption and damage, educational institutes across the country have embraced the digital mode of education as a solution to fill the void left by classroom teaching. Digital education is now increasingly getting integrated into the mainstream.”
“It is hoped that a better time will soon come, when we will be able to tread the middle path between offline and online education,” said Prof Hasnain.
In the welcome address, Prof M J Warsi (Chairman, Department of Linguistics) said that very interactive and engaging sessions, highlighting the solutions to Covid-19 fallout and its impact on education in India took place in the two-day webinar.
He also spoke on the works of Prof Masud Husain Khan, the founder of the Department of Linguistics.
Dr Nazrin B Laskar conducted the programme and Dr Abdul Aziz Khan extended the vote of thanks.