We would like to introduce you and your students to the North American Computational Linguistics
Olympiad (NACLO, http://nacloweb.org/).
NACLO is a pencil and paper contest in which students use analytical skills to solve puzzles in
languages that they do not know. In the course of solving the puzzles, students learn something
about the structure of human languages and how computers can process them. The contest introduces
students to possible careers in linguistics, languages, and computer science.
Who can participate in NACLO? The target audience for NACLO is students in 9th through 12th grade.
However, middle school students often enjoy the contest as well, and occasionally win. All students
are eligible as long as they are under 20 years old, do not yet have a high school diploma, and are
not enrolled in a degree program at a college or university. NACLO has no prerequisites and no
What kinds of students are interested in NACLO? Typical NACLO participants enjoy puzzles and
languages. Any students who enjoy the sample puzzles on the attached flyers are good candidates for
NACLO. Good places to start looking for NACLO participants are math classes, language classes,
computer classes, and gifted programs.
1. Registration is now open at http://www.nacloweb.org/register_student.php#
2. The NACLO open round is on January 25, 2018. Details can be found on the web site.
3. The top 100 students from the open round will participate in an invitational round on March 8,
4. Approximately 15 students will be selected for training sessions via teleconference in April and
5. Eight students will be chosen to represent the US at the International Linguistics Olympiad
(http://www.ioling.org) in Prague, Czech Republic, in July-August 2018.
How to Prepare for NACLO: Students can practice with past exams from the NACLO web site.
How to Participate: Please see the 2018 handbook at: http://nacloweb.org/
If you would like a flyer and a poster for advertising, please, contact Anna Feldman
We hope that you and your students enjoy the contest!
NACLO general co-chair
Research Professor at the Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
NACLO program chair and head coach
Professor of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Linguistics University of Michigan
NACLO Montclair State University Site Coordinator Professor of Linguistics & Computer Science
Montclair State University
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