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The covering sense of OVER

The preposition 'over' has long been studied by linguists since it has some semantic features which pose lots of problems for contemporary theories of polysemy and solving those problems might help realize how semantic networks are organized in the mind of a language speaker.

Having studied most influential studies on the subject matter, we came up with our own experiment design. We found one specific sense of 'over', namely its covering sense, of a particular interest as in most studies it hasn't yet deserved much attention and its semantic peculiarities have not been properly explained. We designed a survey which aims to specify those peculiarities and now we need to find some English speakers who, by taking part in the survey, could help us collect the necessary data for further analysis.

Grammar Maven

Language is enormously so complex -- so complex, that scientists still haven't worked out all of the grammar rules for English ... or for any other language.

Still, every adult, native speaker "knows" the rules of their language, even if they can't express them. Use your knowledge of language to help us figure out the rules of English.

Tweet Earthquake Dispatch

Tweet Earthquake Dispatch uses social networks to support earthquake response and report information about related hazards. Through the TED system, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center analyzes data from social networks to detect earthquakes within seconds of their occurrence. TED harvests real-time tweets through a continuous connection to Twitter. The system applies a query parameter to reduce the stream to tweets that contain the keyword earthquake in several languages. For each tweet filtered by keyword, TED archives the creation time and text, the Twitter user location, the Twitter tweet ID, and the time the tweet appeared in the TED database. Around the clock, TED also ingests seismically derived earthquake information from the USGS’s near-real-time internal global earthquake stream. TED archives the earthquake time, region, magnitude and hypocenter (latitude, longitude and depth). It also records the source of the scientifically derived earthquake information. TED detects two to three earthquakes a day, on average. Especially in regions with few seismometers, TED reports often come in before traditional seismic networks detect an earthquake, giving seismologists early warning. TED sometimes detects earthquakes entirely missed by USGS’s automatic processing system, thereby increasing the number of felt events known to the agency. In addition, the tweet text and attached images sometimes offer a rapid qualitative assessment of an earthquake’s impact.


How do babies learn language? In order to answer that question, we need to know more about babies' environments. What do they see? What do they hear?

We have a large corpus of videos of babies and toddlers going about their days. Need your help to analyze these videos. This project does not require any special expertise, just an interest in how babies learn and develop.

The VerbCorner Project

Dictionaries have existed for centuries, but scientists still haven't worked out the exact meanings for most words. This is a serious problem if you want to train computers to understand language. If we don't know what words mean, it's hard to teach computers what they mean. It is similarly hard to understand how children come learn the meanings of words, when we don't fully understand those meanings ourselves.

Rather than try to work out the definition of a word all at once, we have broken the problem into a series of separate tasks. Each task has a fanciful backstory -- which we hope you enjoy! -- but at its heart, each task is asking about a specific component of meaning that scientists suspect makes up one of the building blocks of meaning.

You can participate for as little as a few minutes or come back to the site over and over to help code the many thousands of words in English.

Fish Watchers

FishBase is an information system with key data on the biology of all fishes. The information will be used to create up-to-date distribution maps to assist in monitoring trends in biodiversity.

Divers, anglers, aquarists, and researchers can create their personal or institutional databases of where and when they have seen, caught, or acquired a particular fish. Biodiversity managers can create national fish biodiversity databases to keep track of local regulations and uses. Anthropologists can create a database on local knowledge about fish.

Similar to an encyclopedia, FishBase offers different things for different people. Fishery managers, teachers and students, taxonomists, conservationists, policymakers, research scientists, funding agencies, zoologists and physiologists, ecologists, geneticists, and the fishing industry, anglers, and scholars will find more than 100,000 common names of fishes together with the language/culture in which they are used and comments on their etymology.

Purposeful Gaming

Purposeful Gaming is a project that explores how computer games can be used to enhance and preserve historical texts, such as 19th-century hand-written field notes and early agricultural catalogs.

Because these materials cannot be read by Optical Character Recognition (OCR), people must transcribe them from scanned images. Some words are difficult to read, however, leading to different transcriptions of the same material.

When two transcriptions of the same text use a different word or spelling in the same place, that word is fed into the game. Each time players type the word, their interpretation is stored. Eventually, when enough people have typed the word, the game can create consensus about the correct spelling. These words are then sent back to the digital library that holds the texts, where they can be incorporated into the original transcriptions to make them more accurate and searchable.

Play a game. Save a book.


Mark2Cure allows anyone that can read English, regardless of background, to help in the process of biomedical discovery. Scientific literature is growing at a rate of more than 2 new articles every single minute. It is hard for scientists to know what to read and to read everything that is relevant. Mark2Cure works by teaching citizen scientists to precisely identify concepts and concept relationships in biomedical text. This is a task that anyone can learn to do and can perform better than any known computer program. Once these tasks are completed, advanced statistical algorithms take the data provided by the volunteers and use it to provide scientists with new tools for finding the information that they require within the sea of biomedical knowledge.

Cure Together

CureTogether is a worldwide health research project that brings patients and researchers together to find cures for some of the most painful, prevalent, and chronic conditions. Users anonymously track their own health care data, including medication schedules, symptoms, and treatment plans, and provide it other participants around the world.

By making aggregate health data available for analysis, CureTogether provides a conduit for citizens to work together to better understand their bodies, make more informed treatment decisions, and influence scientific research.

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