French version

At the end of January 2016 (Jan 28), the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottawa will be hosting a local Open Round competition of the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO). This event is meant to expose high-school students to linguistics, and to increase general awareness of linguistics as an academic discipline. In the competition, students solve analytical problems drawn widely from the world's languages. The problems require only general reasoning skills, but no special knowledge of linguistics or languages. Instructions will be written in English.

Linguistics is not usually introduced at the high-school level, so students who enter college are often unaware of it as a choice. Linguistics is the general study of language. It addresses such questions as the properties that languages have in common; how language is learned, produced, and understood; how languages change through time and vary across geographic regions or social strata; and the design of language technologies such as speech recognition, machine translation and information retrieval.

NACLO is held in the USA and in Canada. Ottawa-area students can participate at the local competition site at the University of Ottawa (or at their school if it chooses to become a site). The competition will be held on January 28, 2016, during three hours, 10 am to 1 pm.

Students can register for the contest online with the central North American organization: This principal NACLO site has rules and practice problems for students to review, and all details about the event. See practice problems at

NACLO is currently sponsored by the US National Science Foundation, Google, the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL), and Cambridge University Press. Top scorers in the Open Round in January will be eligible to compete in an Invitational Round in March. Winners of that competition will be eligible to participate in the International Linguistics Olympiad (ILO).

We have enclosed flyers advertising the event; please distribute them or otherwise pass on the information to interested teachers and students as you consider appropriate.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at .


The organizing committee

Professors: Diana Inkpen

Graduate students: Diman Ghazi, Colette Joubarne