LSA fellow and life member Dan Jurafsky (Stanford University) was awarded the Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Science earlier this week for his landmark contributions to computational linguistics and the sociology of language. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced its award winners for 2022 earlier this week, recognizing their extraordinary contributions to science. Established by Richard C. Atkinson in 2013, the prize awards $100,000 to two individuals biennially.

Jurafsky's contributions to computational linguistics and its application to modeling the social, interactional, and cognitive aspects of human language and its processing were recognized by the NAS as a significant advance in the psychological and cognitive sciences with important implications for formal and systematic theory. His interdisciplinary approach to fundamental research questions has pushed the boundaries of computational psycholinguistics. Jurafsky's approach forges links between what are often discrete areas of inquiry: between human language processing and machine language processing, between spoken language processing and written language processing, between cognitive and social, and between individual sounds and entire discourses.

His work in data-driven, probabilistic computations to understand human language processing has enabled new scientific discoveries throughout linguistics, cognitive psychology, and social psychology. His work has also helped advance the study of race and gender in the computational modeling of language and its application to social justice. As co-author of the widely used computational linguistics textbook, Speech and Language Processing, and through his creation of free online lectures and materials, Jurafsky continues to inspire and teach new generations of students. Professor Jurafsky has been a longtime member of the LSA, a fellow since 2019, a frequent participant and instructor at LSA Institutes, and the first recipient of the Charles Fillmore Professorship in 2015.