It has been 5 years since I completed my PhD. After a very long time, this morning I returned to my thesis to read the Acknowledgements section I wrote back then to feel and understand why I chose to do a PhD. At this very moment, I can only say I am a happy and lucky person that I could do exactly what I wanted to do. I feel the same passion and emotions that I felt before I got on that journey. I am sharing what I wrote back then hoping that it could help maybe you to decide if that could also be your journey.
My limitless curiosity and hunger to know more have led me to do a PhD. The reason why I decided for a PhD in computational linguistics is that I find peace in the calmness of rational thought and excitement in the surprises of natural language.
After three years of research, I realized that this has been one of the most challenging journeys that I have ever taken. I have taken many journeys to many different places and cultures but this has been an essentially different one. It has been a journey to myself, during which I discovered new horizons and my own limits.
In the first place, I would like to thank my supervisors Klaus Schulz and Paul Buitelaar, who invested a wealth of time and thoughts to make this research happen. Without their expertise, insights, patience and without our valuable discussions that inspired me, I would have been lost during this journey. Whenever I was on my way of getting lost, they showed me the directions that put me back on track. Thank you.
I want to thank my parents for encouraging me, supporting me and cherishing in every little success I had, be it a paper accepted or a presentation that went well. Thank you that you stood by me whenever I felt insecure along the way.
My Dr. Göran Wennerberg thank you for the unconditional support you gave me when I most needed it. Having travelled the same journey, you knew how I felt at every single step I took. Without your support, this book would not have been here now.
Thank you, my friends, that you have been very supportive and understanding for all my unavailabilities and my moods that ranged between joy and agony.
Finally, I want to thank Siemens Research for funding the research presented in this thesis, and supporting me to make it happen. It has been a valuable experience for me to conduct this research within the Siemens Corporation as it showed me real-life research problems. It has been a very satisfying experience to and solutions to actual problems and to eventually make the owners of the problems happy.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett