McGill will host a regional portion of the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad this spring. What does this mean? Here’s a quote from the NACLO website:

This olympiad is a contest in which high-school students solve linguistic puzzles. In solving the problems, students learn about the diversity and consistency of language, while exercising logic skills. No prior knowledge of linguistics or second languages is necessary. Professionals in linguistics, computational linguistics and language technologies use dozens of languages to create engaging problems that represent cutting edge issues in their fields. The competition has attracted top students to study and work in those same fields. It is truly an opportunity for young people to experience a taste of natural-language processing in the 21st century.

Please pass the call below on to anyone who might be interested!

  • Are you a high school student in grade 6-12?
  • Ever wondered whether you could decipher an ancient script, decode Swahili, or count in Indonesian?
  • Now you can find out! No prior knowledge of linguistics required, just some curiosity and basic problem-solving skills.
  • Compete for a chance to go to the international competition and meet participants from all over the world.
  • And it’s free!

Participate in the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. It is a fun and educational contest, in which you will solve linguistics problems from a variety of languages (natural and artificial). No prior knowledge of linguistics or any particular language is required.  All you need to bring is your curiosity and enthusiasm.

The first round of the contest will take place on Thursday, February 2, from 10am to 1pm at McGill University (sign in starting at 9:15am; room to be announced on our website).  Students who perform well on the first round will be invited back for a second round, to take place on March 13. The winners of the invitational round will be eligible to represent North America at the International Linguistics Olympiad in Slovenia.

Check out the McGill site at or the general NACLO site for more information, or contact us at

There will be an information and training session at McGill on January 19th 5-7pm. Pizza will be served. Please RVSP if you’re interested at, and we’ll send you more information.

Local Montréal Organization team (from McGill & UQAM):
Faculty team: Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Heather Newell, Junko Shimoyama,  Lisa Travis, Michael Wagner
Student team: Aron Hirsch, Jeff Klassen, Elise McClay, Gretchen McCulloch, Jozina vander Klok