Who We Are
See what drives us and meet our team of devoted students striving to make a difference in the lives of the next generation learners
What We Stand For
Linguistics Justice League (LJL) was founded in 2020 to leverage technology to make languages more accessible to school-aged children. Our goal is to leverage natural language processing to translate English media to low-resource languages and vice versa, accelerating learning and increased understanding of international cultures. Our goal is to enact long-term change. We aim to dispel the myths and stereotypes experienced by people who speak these languages as a result.
We advocate for individuals who speak scarce languages by leveraging social media, culture awareness blogs and translating books from their culture into mainline languages. We champion transformative solutions through educating decision makers, storytelling, and collaboration to create the foundation for lasting, equitable change.
We build novel technologies that enable people across the world to communicate with each other seamlessly. Our technology focuses on low-resource languages which is neglected in the status-quo.
We build solutions that accelerate language learning of English learning youth around the world by generating bilingual content that these learners can relate to.
By making language education easier for kids, we expect to impact their socioeconomic status through easier access to STEM subjects earlier on in life, thus impacting their socioeconomic status in the long run. Additionally, by educating English-speaking people about low-resource languages and increasing access to their cultural content, we are reducing stereotypes and making society more equitable.
LJL started out as MI STEM Education in 2020 with a focus on STEM education for underprivileged kids. We looked at data which showed that STEM education was a key pathway to economic success in current society. As we started partnering with refugee organizations and providing after-school STEM programs we realized that more than half the kids couldn’t take advantage of the STEM programs due to their lack of language skills. This observation triggered a deep introspection about our purpose and we delved into some of the root causes of poor STEM performance among kids. Language barriers among immigrant and refugee kids came out to be among the top root causes. For too long, our education systems have treated English language learners as a problem to be managed and minimized. Research shows that children who have a strong foundation in their home language more easily learn a second language. We felt that there weren’t too many organizations that were focusing on addressing the language barrier at scale. This led us to rethink the mission and purpose of our organization and the Linguistics Justice League was born as a result.
Subha Vadlamannati is a High School Sophomore, founder of LJL and a Youth Board Member of Invest in Youth. Subha has been working at the intersection of Data Science, NLP and ML, earning her a Society of Women Engineers Next (SWE) STEM in Action award and a publication in the Journal of Student Research. She volunteers at several local nonprofit organizations offering STEM after-school programs. She observed that only a fraction of the kids could take advantage of the programs she offered because of a lack of English skills. She wanted to provide these kids, mainly refugees and immigrants, with content they could use to accelerate their English learning. The languages they spoke were considered “low-resource” languages that lacked learning material and bilingual teachers. She wanted to create bilingual content that could be leveraged by kids and their families with minimal support from external sources. She realized that this could only be done at scale by leveraging technologies such as Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing.
Dr. Ali Farghaly is a professor of Linguistics and NLP with international teaching experience and publications. He taught undergraduate and graduate linguistics and NLP courses in Africa, Asia, and the United States. His students came from almost every country in the world, and he loves the diversity of them.
Dr. Felix Laumann is the CEO of NeuralSpace, a NLP startup focusing on low-resource languages. He is also a PhD researcher at Imperial College London who deeply cares about bringing essential technology to every person on this planet.
Mehar Bhatia is an Applied Research Scientist at NeuralSpace, where she is working on understanding the disparity between research and deployment for low resource languages and developing technologies to mitigate the gap (‘Language Technologies for All’).
Dr. Ravi Shekhar is a Post-doctoral Researcher at the Queen Mary University of London, UK. His work focuses on improving NLP technology for low-resource languages. He loves working with a diverse group of people to make NLP techniques available to the public.
Dr. Naresh Yallapragada, Ph.D. is an Operations and Supply Chain Executive in the Healthcare industry.
Growing up in India, Naresh was raised in a multi-lingual environment. He is an engineer by training and understands the importance of STEM education. Over the past 20 years, he volunteered for several non-profit organizations in the areas of Youth Empowerment & Stress Management.
Machine Learning/NLP Scientist
Yanbo Fang is a Master’s student from Rutgers University. His study is mainly about Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. He is passionate about using NLP technology to improve communications among people and make this benefit accessible to all people.
Machine Learning/NLP Scientist
and Graphic Designer
Eugene Ryu is studying machine learning and wants to be a machine learning engineer. Her major interest is Natural Language Processing, AI for social good, and Explainable AI.
Development Manager - Front End
Aashrith Katukuri is a developer with experience working in higher education(Banner ERP) and health care (Pharmacy benefits management, Long term care, Life Sciences) IT. Working primarily on enterprise integrations, web applications, scheduled jobs, and process improvements. Certified scrum master (PSM I). Also pursuing other interest-based learning opportunities in human interaction design(encompassing UX, UI, and Web design). I see myself mastering all levels of SDLC in areas of UI design and development, microservices design and development, and operations.’
Developer - Back End
Sravani is a developer with experience working in python, and SQL Databases. Sravani has a strong foundation. Core JAVA. Her interests are to upskill herself by working on different domains and newer technologies.
Developer/ ML & NLP
William is a motivated high school junior with a passion for machine learning and front-end web development. He has worked quite a bit with natural language processing, including optimizing a GPT2 model for lower-end devices and fine tuning it for possible use in story generation. He also has created many fullstack apps and Discord bots, one of which has over 80000 active users. He is experienced with NodeJS, Python, Java, Julia, HTML/CSS/JS, and shell scripting.
Machine Learning & NLP
Xiao has years of industrial experience in speech and audio processing, especially speech acoustics and voice quality. He once supported many voice assistant products getting launched, from Meta and Huawei. Now, he is a postgraduate student studying Speech and Language Processing at TCD, Ireland. Currently, he is endeavoring to make next-gen CAPT (Computer-Assisted Pronunciation Training) and speech products more fantastic.
Developer/ ML & NLP
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Time to Act
Linguistics Justice League works hard every day to help US immigrant students achieve their dreams of building a fruitful life in this land of opportunity. We work with our partners to both create higher education opportunities for students and hunt for mentors willing to support the next generation of innovators. However, we are reliant on our global community of enthusiast and activists to bring about true change. To learn more about what we do and to keep up to date with future opportunities, consider signing up for our upcoming newsletter. We will send you occasional updates about the organization and let you know how you can help the next generation of immigrant and refugees build a life of their dreams. We cannot wait to see what LJL and you can do together.
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