Future Leaders Fellowship

The “Making Numbers Meaningful” project is funded by the UKRI as part of the Future Leaders Fellowship. It is housed at the University of Birmingham’s Department of English Language & Linguistics.

Project description

Numbers lie at the heart of many domains of human life, yet they are often misunderstood. Innumeracy — a lack of ability to understand numbers — comes at an immense societal cost, including long-term costs, such as people’s inability to grasp key concepts relating to climate change.

This project incorporates insights from linguistics, cognitive science, and computer science to investigate the multimodal nature of numerical communication: How are numbers, graphs, language, and even gestures used together to communicate numerical information? And how does this multimodality impact people’s understanding? The project is also the first of its kind to make corpus linguistics — the linguistic study of naturally occurring text data bases — relevant to the study of numerical communication.

Project lead

Post-doctoral researchers

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Affiliated PhD students: