Menno van Zaanen

Menno van Zaanen

Menno van Zaanen is a professor in digital humanities. He works at the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR), where he is responsible for the digital humanities programme. Menno is particularly interested in incorporating the use of computational techniques in the field of humanities. His PhD in the area of computer science dealt with building systems that learn (linguistic) grammars from plain sequences (sentences). These empirical grammatical inference systems result in patterns that can be used for further analysis of the data, for instance in applied machine learning, computational linguistics and computational musicology. During his MA (computational linguistics) and MSc (computer science) studies, Menno used techniques from the one field and applied them to situations in the other, such as proofing tools and error correction, machine translation and multimodal information retrieval. Such techniques can be applied to humanities data, but for them to be fully successful, the results still need to be interpreted in the context of humanities.


PhD Computer Science, University of Leeds, 2002

MA Computational Linguistics, University of Amsterdam, 1998

MSc Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1997

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, Macquarie University, 2008

Work experience:

Professor, North-West University

Assistant professor, Tilburg University

Researcher and lecturer, Tilburg University

Research fellow and casual lecturer, Macquarie University

Research fellow, Tilburg University

Research fellow, University of Amsterdam

Language at the centre of the fourth industrial revolution

Menno van Zaanen Seminare en essays 2020-03-03

"If we can manage to collect linguistic data, improve the availability of HLT tools, and, as a result, provide more equal support for all of the official South African languages, we can tackle intellectual decolonisation."