Welcome to the Center for Research in Language (CRL)
CRL brings together faculty, students and research associates who share an interest in the nature of language, the processes by which language is acquired and used, and the mediation of language in the human brain.
CRL is housed in the Cognitive Science Building on the Thurgood Marshall Campus at the University of California, San Diego and boasts an interdisciplinary academic staff comprised of specialists in a wide variety of fields:
It is with great and wrenching sadness that we announce the passing of
Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science Jeffrey L. Elman, who died
suddenly on Thursday, June 28. He was 70.
Born January 22, 1948, Elman joined the UC San Diego faculty in 1977 and
for four decades served the campus with extraordinary dedication. Elman
was an original and prolific scholar, deeply committed to research and
to education at all levels. He served as dean of the Division of Social
Sciences from 2006 to 2014. He mentored many students and, as an
accomplished administrator, he helped to expand UC San Diego's
educational and research programs. He will be deeply missed by the
department, the Division of Social Sciences and the university.
Holder of a Chancellor's Associates Endowed Chair, he was most recently
founding co-director of the Halicioglu Data Science Institute at UC San
Diego. A founding member of the Department of Cognitive Science, the
first of its kind in the world, he was also founding director of the
Center for Research in Language and founding co-director of the
university's Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind. After he stepped down
as dean in 2014, he agreed to become the campus's first director of
Online and Technology Enhanced Education to support the expansion of
educational access at UC San Diego.
Elman was a pioneer in artificial neural networks and an internationally
recognized scholar in the field of language processing and learning. His
early TRACE model of speech perception, with Jay McClelland, remains one
of the major theories in the field. In 1990 he developed the Simple
Recurrent Network architecture (the so-called "Elman net") that is today
widely used in many fields to model behaviors that unfold over time. In
recent research, he was using a wide range of scientific methods,
including computational simulations, neuroimaging and behavioral
As dean, Elman provided a strong vision for the Social Sciences at UC
San Diego as a division that supports research, teaching and service in
the public interest. He led a dynamic and highly ranked academic
division that focuses on some of the most pressing and important social
issues of our time. He spearheaded the development of the Yankelovich
Center for Social Science Research, a center that fosters innovative,
interdisciplinary research addressing issues of social importance. Also
under his leadership, the Center on Global Justice was formalized as an
organized research unit; the Department of Education Studies received
department status; and the Center for Research on Educational Equity,
Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) launched the visionary
CREATE STEM Success initiative, linking faculty, staff and students
across multiple campus divisions and the local education community, in a
shared effort to support K-20 STEM education in the San Diego region.
Prior to his service as dean, he served as chair of the Department of
Cognitive Science, from 1995 to 1998, and as associate dean of the
Division of Social Sciences from 2002 to 2006.
Elman earned his bachelor's degree in social relations from Harvard and
his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin.
Among his honors is the prestigious David E. Rumelhart Prize, which he
received in 2007 in recognition of his groundbreaking contributions to
the theoretical foundations of cognitive science. Elman was elected a
Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
Elman is survived by his spouse, Raymond Eller, his children Jeremy
Elman and Erin Elman, Emily Elman and Nate Flansburgh, and his
grandchildren Henry and Elise Elman, Stella and Oliver Flansburgh.
A memorial gathering is being planned. When finalized, information will
be posted on the websites of the Division of Social Sciences, the
Department of Cognitive Science and the Halicioglu Data Science
So-One Hwang, CRL postdoc, won the Mouton de Gruyter Prize for Best Early Career Presentation for her talk "Temporal Integration Windows in Sign Language Processing". Her co-authors on the presentation were Clifton Langdon, Concetta Pucci, William Idsardi & Gaurav Mathur.
Doctoral student Ryan Lepic won the Sign Language Linguistics Society (SLLS) Best Student Poster Award for his poster "Motivation in two-handed signs: A cross linguistic investigation of word form" in collaboration with Gal Belsitzman, Carl Borstell & Wendy Sandler.
Doctoral student Jonathan Udoff won the SLLS Best Student Presentation Award for "Mouthings and their Reductions: A Kinematic Approach" in collaboration with Ignatius Nip.