Craig Thorburn

Research Summary

I am a PhD student in the Department Of Linguistics at the University Of Maryland in College Park and a member of the Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Lab (CLIP) in the Institute for Advanced Computing Studies (UMIACS). I am also a Language Science Fellow in the Maryland Language Science Center.

Before moving to Maryland, I received my Bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018 with a double major in Linguistics and Brain and Cognitive Science.

My research interests lie at the intersection of Computational Cognitive Modeling, Phonology and Neuroscience, where I aim to use computational models to study how the brain processes speech.


1407D Marie Mount Hall, Regents Drive, College Park, MD 20770

craigtho [at] umd [dot] edu

craigtho [at] umiacs [dot] umd [dot] edu

Papers And Presentations

Exton E., Oppenheimer K., Sailig L., & Thorburn C. (2022).

"Taking linguistics to Zoom school: Engaging children in virtual outreach"

Paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA). Washington, DC

Thorburn C., Lau E., & Feldman N. H. (2021).

"A reinforcement learning approach to speech category acquisition"

Poster to be presented at the Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD). Boston University, Boston, MA

Thorburn C., Lau E., & Feldman N. H. (2020).

"An evaluation framework for acoustic-phonetic models of speech processing."

Presented at the Mid-Atlantic Student Colloquium on Speech, Language and Learning (MASC-SLL). University of Maryland, College Park, MD [abtract] [poster]

Thorburn C., Feldman N. H., & Schatz T. (2019).

"A quantitative model of the language familiarity effect in infancy."

Presented at the 13th Northeast Computational Phonology Workshop (NECPhon). Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ [slides]

Thorburn,C., Feldman N. H., & Schatz T. (2019).

"A quantitative model of the language familiarity effect in infancy."

Proceedings of the Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience. Berlin, Germany [paper] [poster]

Thorburn, C. (2018)

"Uniform Information Density: Syntactic and Semantic Surprisal in Complementizer that-mentioning"

Presented at the Great Lakes Expo for Experimental and Formal Undergraduate Linguistics (GLEEFUL), Michigan State University, MI, USA.


Current (Fall 2021): LING449G: Perceptual Models Of Speech. Instructor: Craig Thorburn

When hearing speech, humans rapidly and robustly map from a continuous acoustic signal to an abstract representation of the sounds of their language. This seminar will explore models of this acoustic-phonetic perceptual mapping by drawing from a variety of methodologies and perspectives. We will discuss the merits and issues of linguistic, computational, and neuroscientific approaches and draw connections between these disciplines. A background in neuroscience or computational modeling is not required.

Office Hours: Schedule an appointment here.


LING321: Phonology I, Spring 2021 Teaching Assistant. Instructor: Dr. Peggy Antonisse.

LING321: Phonology I, Fall 2020 Teaching Assistant. Instructor: Dr. Peggy Antonisse.

LING200: Introductory Linguistics, Spring 2020, Teaching Assistant. Instructor: Dr. Tonia Bleam.

LING321: Phonology I, Fall 2019 Teaching Assistant. Instructor: Dr. Peggy Antonisse.