Doctoral Dissertation of Chih-Hao Tsai >

July 2001

Tsai, C.-H. (2001). Word identification and eye movements in reading Chinese: A modeling approach. Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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p. viAcknowledgements

This study spanned six years since I first decided to work on this topic in 1995. Persistence was certainly critical, but it took more than persistence to develop, carry out, and complete this study.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to my advisor George McConkie. This study could not have been made possible without his continuous support, encouragement, and guidance in the past seven years. I also want to thank my committee members, Jerry Packard, Dick Anderson, and Kevin Miller for their help, advice, and suggestions throughout my work.

I thank colleagues in our lab, Gary Wolverton, Lester Loschky, Shun-Nan Yang, Yu-Chi Tai, and Xianjun Zheng for their support in almost every dimension of life and work: technical, informational, social and emotional.

Gary Feng from Kevin Miller's lab had a very similar pace of doctoral research as mine. We had weekly lunch meetings for about a year, and those meetings were very interactive and supportive. I am also grateful to Shiou-Yuan Chen, who was one of Gary's colleagues and graduated in 2000, for his support and input in earlier phases of this study.

In 1998, the lack of progress in this project made me almost want to give up, not just the project, but also my academic career. Ovid Tzeng and Daisy Hung lent me a hand by inviting me to work in their lab at National Yang-Ming University for a year to let me take a break while staying in academia. That year was full of inspirations, and I was especially grateful to have worked with Ovid, Daisy, and the following people during that year: Liz Bates, Ching-Ching Lu, Jie-Li Tsai, Chia-Ying Lee, Wen-Jui Kuo, Jun-Ren Lee, Yi-Min Tien, Chun-Chia Kung, Shih-Kun Cheng, Ching-Fen Hsu, and Chiung-Ju Chuang.

p. viiBack in 1995-1996 when I just started exploring this topic from a computational perspective, everything was hard because I did not have a strong technical background. Yi-Ru Li, then a computer science graduate at National Cheng-Kung University, generously let me study the source code of his word identification program. Plus the knowledge I learned from Chih-Chuan Cheng's computational linguistics courses, the computational line of work was finally able to get started.

I would also like to mention two of my friends in the Linux and open source software communities, Pai-Hsiang Hsiao and William Yeh. Working and discussing with them helped me improve my knowledge and skills in Chinese computing and natural language processing.

Finally, I want to take this chance thank my friends on the Internet and those who visited my website in the past seven years for sharing my thoughts and feelings.

© Copyright by Chih-Hao Tsai, 2001