Anssi Yli-Jyrä

Docent (Adjunct Professor), Language Technology

  • P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40 B)

    00014 University of Helsinki


1991 …2020

Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests have grown around natural language processing and they deal with long-term computational and infrastructure challenges arising in data production and modeling.

I. Computational Aspects of Linguistic Form and Meaning 

  • Functional Linguistics / Graph-Based Representations of Meaning
  • Surface Constraints and Sub-regular Languages
  • Sequence Labeling Parsing / Sequential Graph Representations
  • Code-Theoretic Analysis of Transition-Based Parsing
  • Explainability of AI and Weighted Automata

II. Finite Representations of Infinite Sequence Relations 

  • Transducers
  • Alignment Models
  • Computational Phonology and Tonology
  • Semantics of Rewriting Systems

III. Research Infrastructures

  • Visting Center Facilities
  • Data Resources
  • Sensors
  • Living Labs
  • GPU servers

In NLP, I am currently 

My main current academic job is in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry where I am

  • a research coordinator at Viikki 
  • a Developer of Sensor and Data Acquisition technologies for the Living Lab infrastructure  at Hyytiälä
  • a member of the Construction Committee of new buildings to Hyytiälä  

Description of research and teaching

My research in Language Technology is on hold, due to my career path that has led me outside the Faculty of Arts. As my hobby, I aim to continue my fundamental research on structure representations within the context of Computer Science.  I am currently working on data infrastructures in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and learning social working skills as a research coordinator responsible for the development of longitudinal research facilities.

I have taught in different faculties, international contexts, and at my alma mater. Examples:

In 2012-2013, I served as the Head of Subject, in Language Technology teaching several other courses such as:

I am a Qualified Teacher and a member of the Teaching and Researching personnel of the University of Helsinki, but I am not teaching currently due to my current assignment as a Research Coordinator in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. 


Education information


  • Teacher's Qualification (University Pedagogics), University of Helsinki, 2006-2014
  • Title of Docent  in Language Technology (University of Helsinki), 2006
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, 2005 (language technology)
  • Second Master's Degree in Computer Science, University of Helsinki, 2005
  • Master of Arts in Computational Linguistics, University of Helsinki, 1997

Besides such academic degrees, I have informally studied Software Engineering, Development and Cooperative Work, Biblical Interpretation, Classical Music, and Electronics.

Curriculum vitae


  • Title of Docent, Language Technology, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2006
  • PhD in Language Technology, University of Helsinki, Finland, 13/9/2005
  • MSc (secondary) in Computer Science, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2005
  • MA in Computational Linguistics, University of Helsinki, Finland, 1997

Current and Previous Positions

  • Research Coordinator, (Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry), University of Helsinki, 2020
  • Academy Research Fellow 2013 - 2019
  • Deputy Professor of Language Technology, University of Helsinki, 8/2012 – 7/2013
  • University Researcher, University of Helsinki, 2008 – 2012
  • Application Specialist, CSC - IT Centre for Science, Finland, 1998 – 2008
  • PhD Student in Language Technology (on leave from CSC), U. Helsinki, Finland, 2002 – 2004
  • Research Adjunct in Computational Linguistics, University of Helsinki, Finland, 1997 – 1998
  • System Analyst, Bible Encyclopedia Publ. (Raamatun Tietokirja/AikaMedia), Finland, 1992 – 1997


  • Visiting Scholar (total 2 months) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, 2018-2020
  • Visiting Scholar (2 months) at the Inf. Sciences Institute, U. Southern California, USA, 2017
  • Academy Research Fellow, Academy of Finland, Finland, 2013 – 2018
  • Visiting Professor (1 week) at teh Inf.Sc.Dept., U. Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2013
  • Visiting Fellow (1 year), Clare Hall college, University of Cambridge, UK 2013 – 2014
  • Acad.Visitor (1 year) at the Machine Intelligence Lab., Dept.Eng., Univ. Cambridge2013 – 2014
  • Visiting Professor (2 weeks) at the Inst. Kiswahili Studies, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2012
  • Postdoc Research Fellow, Academy of Finland, Finland, 2009 – 2011
  • Visiting Fellow (2 weeks) at the School of Mathematics, Georgia Technical U., USA, 2008
  • Postdoc Fellow (2 months) at the Budapest U. Technology and Economics, Hungary, 2007
  • PhD Scholarship, Nordic Academy of Advanced Study, Norway, 2002 – 2004

Participation of Supervision of Graduate Students and Postdoc Fellows

  • Razie Ehsani (Visiting PostGrad/PostDoc, IşıkU), Finite-State Translation of Azerbaijani (advisor), 2018 
  • Uliana Petrunina (Visiting PostGrad, UTromsø), Weighted Disamb. of Russian Participles (co-advisor), 2/2018 – now
  • Jack Rueter (Post Doc, UH), UniversalDependency Syntax for Erzya (PI), 2017
  • Aarne Talma (PostGrad, UH), Deep Learning and Natural Language Inference (co-advisor), 2018 – now
  • Josi Purhonen (Master Student, UH), Synchronization of Morph. Analysed Editions of the Hebrew and Greek Bible, 2018–now
  • Miikka Silfverberg (PostGrad) (co-advisor) 2008–2016
  • 4 Masters students, UH, 2008–2016
  • Helsinki Language Technology Group (co-advisor), 2017–
  • Helsinki FST Technology Group, UH (co-advisor), 2008 –2013

Teaching Activities

  • Qualification, University Pedagogics (60 cr), University of Helsinki, Finland, 2015
  • ”Qualified for the associate professorship”, DTU Compute, Danmark, 2014
  • International Teaching at U. Cambridge (UK) and T.U. Darmstadt (Germany), 2013 – 2014
  • Pre-Conference Tutorial presenter, ACL 2014, Bulgaria, 2013
  • Deputy Professor in Lang.Technology, Dept.Modern Languages, U.Helsinki, Finland, 2012 – 2013
  • Local courses in Language Technology, U.Helsinki, Finland, 1994 – 14 different

Organisation of International Scientific Meetings

  • PC Co-chair of TWOLDAY 2005, FSMNLP 2008, FSMNLP 2009
  • OC Chair of FSMNLP 2005

Institutional Responsibilities

  • Debuty Head of Language Technology (2012–2013), U.Helsinki, Finland
  • Board member of the Department of General Linguistics (1998 – 1999), U.Helsinki, Finland

Commissions of Trust

  • Board Member of the Finnish Artificial Intelligence Society
  • Treasurer (2020-), SIGFSM, Assoc. for Comp. Linguistics, USA
  • Advisory Board member (2012–), SIGFSM, Assoc. for Comp. Linguistics, USA
  • Co-applicant (nominated), Proposal for a Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop, Germany
  • Co-founder (1997), Calfat Oy, Finland
  • Consultant member (2008–), Wycliffe Bible Translators, Finland
  • Coordinator of the Language Bank of Finland (2005 – 2007), CSC - IT Centre for Science, Finland
  • Evaluator for a Lecturer Position, UK
  • Founder and President of SIGFSM (2009–2012), Assoc. for Comp. Linguistics, USA
  • Guest Editor (for journals) Cambridge U.Press, Springer, CSLI Publications, IOS Press
  • Program Committee member with reviewing duties, premium venues in Comp.Sc. and Comp.Linguistics (selected): ACL 2012–2017, FSMNLP 2005–2017, SCiL 2018, IJCNLP 2013–2017, Swedish LT Confer- ence 2017, Math. of Language 2017/2015/2013; IWCLUL 2015; Human Lang. Technology 2012; Empirical Methods in NLP 2014, FormalGrammar 2007/2006; Recent Advances in NLP 2011, NoDaLiDa 2007.
  • Referee (proposals): Nat.Res.Found. (S.Africa), E.Aaltonen F., Wihuri F., Kone F., O. Öflund F. (Finland), Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Sweden), Lang.Bank of Finland; Finnish Nat. Electronic Library (Finland)
  • Referee (for journals): Natural Language Engineering (Cambridge), J. Logic and Computation (Oxford), Oxford Handbook of Comp.Linguistics (Oxford), J.Lang.Modeling (OASPA), Int.J.Foundations Comp.Sci. (World Scientific), SKY Journal (The Ling.Assoc.of Finland), Nordic J. African Languages (U. Helsinki), CSLI Studies in Comp.Linguistics ONLINE (CSLI Publications), Lang. Res. and Evaluation (Springer)
  • Standardisation Committee member (IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 2006 – 2007), ISO
  • Supervisor Pool member (2008–) of the LANGNET Graduate School, Finland

Membership in Scientific Societies, Networks and Associations

  • PI Board Member of BAULT - a multidisciplinary research community at the University of Helsinki (2010–) •
  • PI Member of the HLG Community, the Helsinki Logic Group (2010–)
  • Member of the Association of Computational Linguistics (ACL)
  • Northern European Association for Language Technology (NEALT)
  • Member of ACL Special Interest Group on Finite-State Methods (SIGFSM)

Major Research Collaborations

  • Kevin Knight, RNN Language Models, Information Sciences Inst., U.Southern California, USA
  • Trond Trosterud, Constraint Grammar, University of Tromsø, Norway
  • Edward Gibson, Sentence Processing, TedLab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez, Nonprojective Parsing, Dept. Computer Science, U. A Coruña, Spain
  • Mark-Jan Nederhof, Discontinuous Parsing, School of Com.Sc., U. St. Andrews, UK
  • Hellis Tamm, Quotient/Átomata theory, Inst.Cybernetics, Tallinn University of Technology
  • Bill Byrne, Automata in Machine Translation, Mach.Intell.Lab., Univ. Cambridge
  • Bruce Watson, Algorithm Taxonomies, Comp.Sc.Department, U.Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • András Kornai, Extended Finite-State Translations, Budapest Institute of Technology, Hungary


Education/Academic qualification

Pedagogics, Qualified teacher, Helsingin ylipisto


Award Date: 24 Jun 2015

Language technology, Ph.D., University of Helsinki

199813 Sep 2005

Award Date: 13 Sep 2005

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages
  • computational linguistics
  • parsing
  • morphology
  • syntax
  • Statistical machine translation
  • research infrastructures
  • dependency syntax
  • tonology
  • translation alignment
  • manual bitext alignment
  • 113 Computer and information sciences
  • finite automata
  • parsing technology
  • algorithms
  • coding theory
  • enumerative graph theory
  • finite models
  • grammar inference
  • 111 Mathematics
  • mathematical logic
  • descriptive complexity
  • aperiodic languages

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.