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I am an associate professor at the NYU Department of Linguistics.Lucas Champollion portrait picture

On leave from NYU from June 2024 through August 2025 (Humboldt fellowship)


My main work is on the formal semantics of natural language. I also have a background in computational linguistics, natural language processing and formal language theory.

As a formal semanticist, I try to translate every word to a math expression so that when you put together all the words in a sentence, you get a larger math expression that is true if the sentence is true, and false if the sentence is false. I do this in order to find the precise meanings of certain words and the way these meanings come together in sentences. As a computational linguist, I try to teach computers how to read, and how to figure out the meaning of what they have read.

My current research is only on formal semantics, not on computational linguistics.

For a list of publications with downloadable papers, see the Research page.


I teach undergraduate introductions to linguistics and computational linguistics. For a list of undergraduate courses taught with downloadable resources, see the Undergraduate Teaching page.

All of my graduate-level classes are about semantics. For a list of graduate courses taught with downloadable resources, see the Graduate Teaching page.

I often teach at summer schools in North America and Europe. For more information, see the Summer Schools page.

Book: Parts of a Whole

My book, Parts of a Whole: Distributivity as a bridge between aspect and measurement, has been published by Oxford University Press. The book collects in one place all the work I have carried out on algebraic semantics and mereology from about 2009 to 2016, and presents it in a unified and self-contained way. For more information, see the Book: Parts of a Whole page.

Video Presentations

This split-screen video gives an impression of my research and software programming, and of my teaching style. I explain and summarize a recent L&P paper on the interaction of compositional semantics and event semantics, and I use the Lambda Calculator (jointly programmed with Dylan Bumford, Josh Tauberer and Maribel Romero) to step through derivations. (Thanks to Kristina Liefke and Roland Poellinger of the MCMP for providing the video.)

Switch on HD and full screen to see the derivations, or watch on YouTube.

This video summarizes a recent paper I coauthored with Dylan Bumford and Robert Henderson on donkey sentences. (Thanks to Abralin for hosting and recording the talk.)


From 2010 to 2012, I was a postdoctoral researcher (wissenschaftlicher Angestellter) at the Tübinger Zentrum für Linguistik (TüZLi) at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen.

I received my Ph.D. degree from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania in December 2010. My dissertation advisors were Cleo Condoravdi at Stanford, and Aravind K. Joshi at Penn. From 2009 to Summer 2010, I was a visiting researcher at the Natural Language Theory and Technology Group at the Palo Alto Research Center (formerly Xerox PARC) and an exchange scholar at the Department of Linguistics at Stanford.

I received a Master of Science in Engineering from Penn’s Department of Computer and Information Science in 2007.


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