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Alpha Upsilon Alumna Soars at NASA

Erica Meszaros, a member of the Alpa Upsilon chapter at the College of Wooster, has gone on to use her classics education to work for NASA.  She was inducted into the society in 2006, served as Hyparchos during the 2007-2008 academic year, and Prytanis in 2008-2009.

Her undergraduate studies focused on learning Latin and Greek as mathematical languages, forming sentences like algorithms and grammatical rules like geometric proofs. At the same time, she took programming classes and became interested in the digital humanities.

Love of the classical languages and programming led her to join the M.A. program in Linguistics at Eastern Michigan University as well as the graduate certificate program in Artificial Intelligence . As her studies progressed, she sought ways to combine her interests in language and programming, leading to multiple research projects on natural langauge processing with NASA.
She carried out research with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to leverage concepts from lexicon design to allow for interoperative modeling of numerous spacecraft subsystems. Her recent research at NASA’s Langley Research Center has focused on using linguistic analysis tools to infer commander’s intent and improve human/autonomous system interaction, and developing a multimodal natural language interface for unmanned aerial vehicle operation.
“My work has always relied on my education in Classics, for everything from my research and writing abilities gained during my studies to my understanding of formal arguments to awakening my love for and interest in language and the digital tools with which we can analyze it, Mezsaros explained.   “I think it’s so important to remember that no road is closed to you because you majored in Classics. In fact, my success in academia and industry is rooted in the benefits that a Classics education brought me.”12628616_864446061433_7636055237432056462_o

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