Peter Dekker

Pleinlaan 9, 1050 Brussels, 3rd floor

Peter Dekker

PhD Student


I am a PhD student in agent-based models of language change, in Bart de Boer‘s ABACUS group at the AI lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. In my PhD project (start: 2019), I use agent-based models to study the social, cognitive and language-specific factors that drive language change. I apply my models to case studies from the languages of the world. In addition to agent-based models, I draw upon techniques from deep learning and bioinformatics. My research is supported by a FWO PhD Fellowship Identifying drivers of language change using neural agent-based models. I was previously funded by the Flanders AI Programme.

My general research interest is the application of computational methods to answer questions about language change and language ancestry. I studied Artificial Intelligence at Utrecht University (BSc) and the University of Amsterdam (MSc), where I wrote my MSc thesis Reconstructing language ancestry by performing word prediction with neural networks. I previously worked as a systems developer at the Dutch Language Institute, on collection and processing of language data, among others via crowdsourcing.