Alexander Clark's Academic Home Page


I am currently (Autumn 2018) visiting at the Turing Institute in London.

I am a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at King's College London.

I am also an honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Computer Science in Royal Holloway University of London.

Research interests

A very brief research narrative: the majority of the papers I have written are to do with unsupervised learning of natural language, and its relevance to first language acquisition. I have approached this both theoretically and practically: trying to define what a good definition of learnability is, trying to prove that you can learn languages according to various models of learnability, designing algorithms, and writing computer programs that can learn models of language both from synthetic and natural examples.

I won the Omphalos competition, and the Tenjinno competition, which were two grammatical inference competitions in learning context free grammars and transductions, respectively.


Before arriving here I was a post-doc at ISSCO, at the University of Geneva working on the IM2 Project, a large Swiss project on Multimodal Information Management.

My first degree was in Mathematics from Trinity College, Cambridge. My Ph.D. is from the University of Sussex.

Past Projects

Statistical Models of Grammaticality: SMOG project page at KCL.


An implementation of the algorithm for strong learning of context-free grammars described in this JMLR 2013 paper is available here.

Code for POS induction here from the paper at EACL 2003 on distributional and morphological learning.

Grammatical Inference with String Kernels (ECML 2006, ML 2010). Code is here and the datasets we used are here.



Look on my publications page for copies of any of these, or for abstracts on this page.

Research Courses

The course page for the LSA 2015 summer institute course, Computational Learning of Syntax is here.

I taught a course at LOT 2012: the course page is here.

I taught a course at ESSLLI 2010. This was called Learnable representations of languages. The web page for this course is here.

Unpublished notes, drafts, squibs, etc.


Some of my published work contains errors; I list the ones that I know about here. If you find some more, please let me know.


Some videos of research talks are available on the web.

My tutorial at the NIPS 2009 workshop: (slightly rushed!)

Learnable Representations for Natural Language

A talk at ICGI 2008:

A polynomial algorithm for the inference of context free languages

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Last modified September 2018.