Photo of Menno van Zaanen
  • Warandelaan 2, Dante Building, room D 339

    5037 AB Tilburg


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Personal profile

Research interests

My research concentrates on the automatic acquisition from sequences. This includes the development and application of machine learning systems on sequential data, such as natural language or music.  In this context, I am mainly concerned with grammatical inference.  Grammatical inference is the learning of grammars or structure in sequences.  This learned structure can be used within applications.  Example applcations where this structure can be used are: machine translation, music classification (in, for example, classes of emotions or composers), or question answering systems.


Assistant professor;
School of Humanities,
Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands,
September 2009-now.

Researcher (researching implicit structure in sequences) and lecturer;
Implicit linguistics project,
ILK/Computational Linguistics,
Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands,
January 2008-August 2009.

Research fellow (applying symbolic machine learning to question answering);
AnswerFinder project,
Centre for Language Technology,
Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia,
November 2004-December 2007.

Research fellow (researching information retrieval in text and images);
ToKeN2000 project,
ILK/Computational Linguistics,
Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands,
November 2002-October 2004.

Research fellow (researching structure in different modalities);
Cognitive Systems and Information Processing project,
ILLC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands,
November 2001-October 2002.

Current courses

Click here for my courses.


  • Automatic Translation
  • Computer Linguistics
  • Information Retrieval
  • Computer Science
  • Machine Learning
  • Speech Technology
  • Computer
  • Automatic Language Analysis
  • Language And Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Models
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Mining
  • Document Retrieval

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Research Output 2003 2018

What's (not) in a Keystroke? Automatic Discovery of Students' Writing Processes Using Keystroke Logging

Conijn, R., van der Loo, J. & van Zaanen, M. 2018 (Accepted/In press) Companion Proceedings 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientific

Analyzing reading strategies: bridging the gap between close and distant reading

van de Ven, I., van Zaanen, M., Cuppen, I. & Aurnhammer, C. 5 Jul 2017

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output

De buurtconcentratie van etnische minderheden

Saleh, F. M. A. 2017 Delft: Uitgeverij Eburon. 185 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisScientific

Open Access

Identifying writing tasks using sequences of keystrokes

Conijn, R. & van Zaanen, M. 2017 Benelearn 2017: Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Benelux Conference on Machine Learning. p. 28-35 7 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Meaning of Sentiment Analysis for Companies

van Zaanen, M. & Dewi, L. M. 2017 The 3rd PIABC (Parahyangan International Accounting and Business Conference). p. 487-498 11 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Activities 2004 2017

  • 2 Editorial activity
  • 1 Organising a conference
  • 1 Oral presentation


Conijn, R. (Contributor), van Zaanen, M. (Contributor), Gelderloos, L. (Contributor), Emmery, C. (Contributor), de Wit, J. (Contributor)
16 Nov 201717 Nov 2017

Activity: Organising a conferenceScientific


van Zaanen, M. (Speaker)
1 May 2015

Activity: Oral presentationScientific

Applied Artificial Intelligence (Journal)

van Zaanen, M. (Editor)

Activity: Editorial activityScientific

Grammars: A journal of mathematical research on formal and natural languages (Journal)

van Zaanen, M. (Editor of special issue)

Activity: Editorial activityScientific

Projects 2002 2004

TOKEN 2000

van Zaanen, M.


Project: Research project

Prizes / Recognition

Distinguished Paper Award

Rianne Conijn (Recipient) & Menno van Zaanen (Recipient), 9 Jun 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)