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Trainers in "From Localization to Language Processing"
Mr. Laurent Elder, PAN Asia Networking, IDRC, Canada

Laurent Elder is the new team leader of IDRC’s PAN Asia Networking Program. He has worked for IDRC for 7 years, including 5 years in IDRC’s office in Dakar, Senegal. Most of that time has been spent working on ICT4D programs including leading IDRC’s Africa ICT4D program. Currently he is based in Canada.

Mr. Amar Gurung, Madan Puraskar Pustakalya, Nepal

Amar Gurung is the Director of the Nepali Language Computing Project at Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, Nepal. He is also the Country Project Leader for the Nepal Component of the PAN Localization Project as well as being the Project Manager for Nepal for the Bhasha Sanchar Project. He has a MA in Sociology from Tribhuwan University.

Dr. Choi Key-Sun, KAIST, Seoul, Korea

My interests in language engineering began with the localization of computers including code and font sets, editors and machine translation during graduate studies at KAIST in Korea and NEC in Japan. After returning to KAIST as a faculty member, I could run a national project for English-Korean MT system that was exhibited in MT Summit IX. This study led to projects for corpora and dictionaries including a Korean-Chinese-Japanese semantic-based wordnet, now made available for public use. Recognizing the importance of domain-specific language, I established a research center, Korterm, while actively engaged in standardization in ISO/TC37 as secretary for SC4 (language resource management). An interest in language resources related to agent technology led


me to join FIPA, where I chaired a technical committee on audio-video entertainment and broadcasting. While working at CSLI, Stanford University (1997) and NHK Laboratories in Japan (2002), I learned about language and media technology. I am now the conference chair of IJCNLP05 and the organizing chair of GlobalWordNet 2006.

Ms. Maria Ng Lee Hoon, PAN Asia Networking, IDRC, Singapore

Maria Ng Lee Hoon is a Regional Senior Program Specialist attached to the PAN Asia Networking (PAN) Program Initiative at IDRC. She has represented IDRC's ICT4D interests in the Asia and Pacific region, for almost three decades guiding its program of work and budget to reflect the concerns of the region. She has contributed substantially to developing IDRC's IS/IC/ITM/ICT4D programming in Asia, leading it from the disciplines of information systems, development communication sciences, information tools and methods to the current Internet and networking sciences, in keeping with the changing technologies. Prior to IDRC, she spent 10 years working within the library and management information systems of the Singapore Ministry of Defense and at the


National University of Singapore before joining IDRC in 1976. Maria's first degree is in English Language and Literature (Open U-UK) and she holds the MCLIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, UK). In recent years, Maria has been specializing in Distance Education and her qualifications include the MDE (Master in Distance Education) and AGDDE(T), the Advanced Graduate Diploma in Distance Education (Technology), both from Athabasca University, Canada.

Mr. Chea Sok Huor, PAN Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

He has a BS in Applied Science and Technology (BSAST) (specialization in Aviation) from Thomas A. Edison State College, Trenton, New Jersey, USA. He is a member of the Cambodian National Committee for Standardization Khmer Script in Computers (NCSKSC) since it was established in March 09, 2000. He represents the NCSKSC in research, development and documentation. He also liaises in these matters internationally on behalf of Government of Cambodia, specifically, communicates with Unicode Consortium, Center of the International Cooperation


for Computerization (CICC) in Japan and with Microsoft in development and implementation Khmer Script in MS Windows XP and MS Office XP. Earlier, Mr. Huor also worked for Cambodia National Election Committee (NEC) as Director of the Computer Center and a Deputy Director of Operations. He was responsible for almost 400 staff who undertook the preparation of an entire computer based electoral register for the 1998 Cambodian National Assembly Election and the 2002 Commune Council Election.

Dr. Sarmad Hussain, NUCES, Lahore, Pakistan

Associate professor & Head Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing. He is currently an associate professor at National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan, where he is also the founding head of Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing and coordinates MS programs in Software Project Management and MS Computer Science (specialization in Script, Speech and Language Processing). He has been working in the area of local


language computing since 1997. He has successfully lead and completed the Nafees Nasta'leeq font project (funded by IDRC, APDIP UNDP and APNIC) and is currently leading development of Urdu Machine Translation, Text-to-Speech system and Lexicon systems through a three year 30 person project funded by E-Government Directorate of Government of Pakistan. He is also leading Urdu Spell-Checker project and advising on Urdu Terminology Translation project for Microsoft, USA.. He is member of the national body of Pakistan for standardization of Pakistani Languages for computing and has authored the proposal which enabled complete Urdu support in Unicode. Within this committee, he is heading the Character set and Collation Sequence Standardization Sub-committee, which is currently working on standardization of Urdu, Pashto, Punjabi, Balochi and Sindhi languages. He is a member of Bidi List of Unicode, which looks into the standardization issues of bidirectional languages. Dr. Sarmad Hussain has been awarded with Dr. M. N. Azam prize for Computer Science (2002) by Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Government of Pakistan, for his services to Urdu language computing. He is also a nominated member of PTCL R&D Fund committee which is responsible to promote R&D in IT and Telecommunications in Pakistan.



Dr. Mumit Khan, BRAC University, Dhaka,  Bangladesh

He received his B.Sc. (1988) and M.Sc. (1991) in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Ph.D. (2003) in Software Engineering and Computational Sciences, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a member of the research staff at the Center for X-ray Lithography from 1991 to 1995, where he conducted research on physical modeling of advanced lithography, x-ray optical ray tracing, object-oriented methodologies for process modeling, programming in the large, and parallel and distributed algorithms. He then joined the Center for Nanotechnology in 1996 as the leader of Modeling and Simulation group, where he focused on software engineering methodologies for virtual laboratory design, very high level interpreted programming languages, stochastic models for ray tracing and particle tracking, and process modeling. He joined the faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at BRAC University in 2003, teaching courses on programming language and compiler design, automata theory and theoretical computer science. He has more than 40 publications on topics ranging from nano-structures, software engineering, object-oriented methodologies, computer-aided design tools, computer language and compiler design, low energy electron scattering, to optical and x-ray optical ray tracing. He is also an active contributor to many free software projects such as GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), GNU assembler and linker (Binutils), Cygwin, Tcl, GNU Octave, and GNU debugger (GDB). He led the MinGW team from 1997 to 2001 that brought the power of GNU development tools to Microsoft Windows platform. His current interests include Natural Language Processing, specifically the development of Bangla language computing tools.



Dr. Rajat Kumar Mohanty, IIT Mombay, India

He completed his Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from CIEFL, Hyderabad in 2003. Currently working as a Research Linguist in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay.



Mr. Adam Pease, Articulate Software, USA


Adam Pease is CEO of Articulate Software. Prior to founding Articulate Software he was Program Manager and Director of Knowledge Systems at Teknowledge, where he led research in ontology, linguistics and formal inference, including development of the Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO) the Controlled English to Logic Translation (CELT) system, the Core Plan Representation (CPR), and the Sigma knowledge engineering environment. He led integration teams for the DARPA High Performance Knowledge Bases and DARPA Quorum programs and project teams participating in the ARDA


Novel Intelligence For Massive Data (NIMD)  project, DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML), and other projects for the DoD community. He has published over 30 papers and is a member of the board of the Global WordNet Association.

Mr. Phonpassit Phissamay, STEA, Vientiane, Laos

He was admitted to Lviv Trade Economies Institute in 1990 and completed the full course of Lviv Commercial Academy in Ukraine (Former Soviet Union) in 1995, specializing in "Management Information Systems."  This qualification is equivalent to a double major in engineering and economics. By the special decision of the State Examination Commission, Mr. Phonpasit Phissamay was entitled scientific degree of Master of Science in Economics. He has been working for Science Technology and Environment Agency (STEA) of Government of Laos since 1995. He was initially appointed as computer programmer, to develop the database system for government organizations of Laos. In 1999 he was nominated as manager of PAN-Laos project, enabling the first e-mail system in Lao PDR, supported by Pan Asian Networking program of International Development and Research Center (IDRC). In 2000, he was appointed as Director of Information Technology Center, which is responsible for the IT research, development, training and service for Laos. In this role he has established the IT training center at STEA, and has been coordinating and conducting IT training there. In addition, he has also been appointed as the secretary of Lao Nation Internet Committee in 2001, which administers the Lao National Internet Gateway and Government ISP.

Mr. Subir Pradhanang, MPP, Nepal

Subir Bahadur Pradhanang is a Development Engineer in the Nepal component of the PAN Localization Project at Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya. He is involved in the localization of GNU/Linux distribution consisting of OpenOffice.org, Mozilla, etc. He has had experience in Linux training as well as in system administration being an RHCE. Besides, he is also an active member of the OSS sub-committee of the Computer Association of Nepal.

Mr. Shafiq ur Rahman, NUCES, Pakistan

Associate Professor, M.Sc. in EE&CS, George Washington University, USA (1989), B.Sc. UET, Lahore (1983). His areas of interest are Computational Aspects of Urdu and Font Development, Parsing and Computational Grammars, Semantic Web, Network Security, Design Patterns.


Dr. Ruvan Weerasinghe, UCSC, Colombo, Sri Lanka

He is presently the Director of   University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC). He has been an ERCIM scholar at INRIA, France (2001) and a Fulbright Scholar at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA (2002). He is currently involved in two donor funded e-Learning and Web-based training projects at the UCSC and is Chairman of the University Network and Website Committee. Apart from his university roles, he is also part of the National Committee standardizing the Sinhala UNICODE and Keyboard layout standards, a founding member of the National Internet Committee and the National Domain Name

Registry, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Lanka Software Foundation, a strategic Open Source initiative in Sri Lanka.

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