BYU North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad 2017

The overall organization

NACLO is an abbreviation for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. It is a fun and educational contest for high school (and younger) students that has them solve linguistics problems drawn from a variety of languages (natural and artificial). Though no prior knowledge of particular languages or of linguistics is required, a good knowledge of logic, reasoning, and problem solving skills is helpful.

The first round of NACLO competition is held locally at various locations in the U.S. and Canada. Students who score well on the test advance to a second invitational round of competition.

The Computational Linguistics Olympiad is a worldwide movement which began in Moscow in the 1960's. The U.S. first entered the competition in 1998. Teams from many other places of the world, including a team of top-scoring students from NACLO, competed for the 2014 worldwide championship in Beijing, China.

Three years ago

In 2013 more than 1,700 high school students from across the USA and Canada competed in the sixth annual North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. The top students advanced to the invitational round, a more difficult five-hour test. The top eight NACLO winners from the U.S. (and the top 4 from Canada) advanced to the International Olympiad of Linguistics, held in Manchester, England. One of the USA teams won both team competitions; the USA and Canada teams won 6 individual medals in total. Languages included on the test included Yidini, Tundra Yukaghir, Pirahã, Muna, and Georgian; there was also a problem on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). You can read more about their experience here.

Participate this year!

For the sixth year in a row, BYU will host a local session of the NACLO competition. If you're a high school student (or even a middle school student) you can participate in the competition here at BYU. To find out more, consult the "Local information" menu above. When you're ready to register, click on the button below.