Meet the CDH Postdocs: Happy Buzaaba

This academic year, we welcomed three new postdocs to the Center for Digital Humanities. Read our interviews with CDH/MARBAS postdoc Christine Roughan and Perkins Fellow Wouter Haverals.

Headshot of Happy Buzaaba

Happy Buzaaba is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in African language technologies at the Center for Digital Humanities and the African Humanities Colloquium at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.

Tell us a little about your academic interests.

My current work focuses on developing technologies for low-resource African languages. This involves leveraging computational linguistics and artificial intelligence, with a passion for bridging technological gaps in language processing. Overall, I am aspiring to contribute to the global effort of increasing the representation of African languages in Natural Language Processing research.

What project(s) do you plan to work on during your time as a postdoc?

During my tenure, I am concentrating on developing fundamental linguistic tools for African languages. Recognizing the need for resources in this domain, my goal is to build tools that can support various applications, from machine translation to natural language understanding.

My research agenda also includes speech processing. By leveraging the rich oral traditions and diverse phonetic landscapes of the African languages, I aim to create speech recognition and synthesis systems for these languages.

Additionally, I am interested in developing embeddings for African languages which are essential for numerous language processing tasks and effective AI models.

What have you enjoyed about working at the CDH so far?

CDH has a diverse group of people with a wide range of expertise; working here has been an enriching experience. The diversity of the team offers a new learning opportunity every day and broadens my professional perspective. It’s rewarding to be part of a community that not only values diversity but also leverages everyone’s unique experiences as a strength to drive success.

Do you collaborate with other Princeton units? If so, how?

I have ongoing discussions with researchers in the computer science department and the Program in African Studies on the possibility to collaborate. Collaboration on projects that intersect with African languages, especially those that promise to enhance the digital presence and preservation of these languages, would be of great interest to me.

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