The worldwide fairy godmother of high school linguistics: speaking to us at UWM, 8:45 am!

Suzi Loosen, the world’s leading expert on teaching linguistics in high school, will be joining us to give the pre-NACLO talk, beginning at 8:45 am. Arrive between 8:30 and 8:40 to sign in before she begins. The contest itself begins at 9:00 sharp.

Bring your own dark pen and correction fluid to fill out your answer sheets. You may also bring any colored pencils, highlighters, erasers, and so on, that you wish, for working on your problem sheets and the provided scratch paper. Quiet snacks are also allowed. (However, cell phones must be off during the contest; anyone using a cell phone will be automatically disqualified.)

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Yes, UWM is hosting NACLO in 2023

UWM will again host the NACLO competition on Thursday January 26, starting at 8:45 am, in the Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (EMS) building, Room E-250, 3200 N. Cramer St., Milwaukee WI 53211.

Depending on circumstances, we may have a special guest who will relate her experience at the international IOL competition that took place this past summer on the Isle of Man.

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UWM Linguistics major and Tri City National Bank Vice-President Jonas Wittke: Welcome back to NACLO!

We are thrilled to confirm that Thursday morning’s linguistics talk before NACLO will be given by Dr. Jonas Wittke, Vice-President of Education and Employee Development at Tri City National Bank.

Ten years ago, Jonas Wittke was a recent UWM grad with degrees in Linguistics, volunteering to help put on NACLO in Milwaukee. With his help, UWM’s NACLO site registered and accommodated more participants than any other university in North America, with the exception only of Carnegie Mellon University, where the contest was founded.

Since then, by way of some international adventures, he has worked as a branding consultant, earned a PhD in Linguistics from Rice University, and taught Linguistics at the college level.

On Thursday morning, the 10th anniversary of his NACLO debut, Jonas will share his career journey and how linguistics has played a part in the journey. We greatly look forward to this occasion!

Students should arrive at UWM EMS E-250 at 8:30am for check-in and seating. Jonas’ talk will run from 8:45 to 8:55. After a review of logistics and the reading of the rules, the contest timer begins at 9:00 and runs until noon. Remember to bring your own black pen and correction tape/fluid. Everyone must remain masked for the entire duration of the contest.

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NACLO 2022 will be on Thursday January 27

After ten years on (2011-2020) and one year off in 2021, NACLO Milwaukee is back on, and taking place at UW-Milwaukee on Thursday January 27.

However, due to COVID, attendance will be limited to 25, and masks will be required for the entire sitting.

As usual, the competition will take place at 3200 N. Cramer St., Milwaukee (UWM’s Engineering and Mathematical Sciences building), Room E-250, 9:00-noon. Check-in will be 8:30-8:45 with pre-contest remarks (including instructions) 8:45-9:00.

Remember to bring your own dark writing utensil (for scannability). Black pen is the official recommendation, but a soft pencil can work if you press hard enough and if you can keep it sharp without running out of lead. For making corrections, you could use a good eraser (if using a pencil), or correction fluid or correction tape; “Frixion”-brand erasable pens also work well. Feel free to bring whatever writing utensils you like for your scratch work (some people like using different colors).

Registration is open at

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NACLO is happening tomorrow, Thursday January 22, 2020!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the North American Computational Linguistics Open (formerly Olympiad) very soon now!

We have a couple of great faculty from UWM’s Linguistics department coming to share their excitement about all the possibilities in the field.

Some of our people, for instance, are working with middle and high school students to revitalize Native American languages. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Linguistics is a winner, for social impact and for 21st century careers.

Please remember to bring black pens and white-out. You can also bring whatever other writing implements you wish. If you bring snacks, they should be quiet and non-messy.

The room number at UWM is EMS E-250, at 3200 N Cramer St., Milwaukee. Please come between 8:30 and 8:40. The speakers will begin at 8:45, the reading of the instructions begins at 8:55, and the test itself begins at 9:00. Students who finish early should arrange to be supervised by a teacher until the test ends at noon.

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Announcing NACLO Milwaukee 2020

Welcome to NACLO 2020 — our tenth year offering the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad in Milwaukee!  It will take place Thursday morning January 23, with registration from 8:30-8:45 am, a speaker from 8:45-8:55, instructions from 8:55-9:00, and the problem-solving from 9:00 to noon.

This is your chance to exercise your creativity in new ways during school hours and earn the chance to compete internationally.  We have regularly had finalists from among the Milwaukee contestants, and we expect this year to be no different.  Previous contestants are now attending colleges such as Harvard and MIT, and several have gone into fields related to computational linguistics, inspired by their experience with NACLO.

As usual, the location at UWM will be EMS E-250, and there will be signs from the street to the room.

Please register as soon as you can (preferably before the end of December). The registration site is at; look on the right hand side of the page under “Quick Links” and click on Student Registration. Follow the instructions there.

Please e-mail with any questions or comments. You may contact us via gmail to our username of                                            n a c l o m i l w a u k e e 2 0 2 0 .

Computational linguistics skills are the key to many of today’s top careers. Come enjoy them and have some fun at the same time!

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Speaker confirmed, location update, reminders

Our speaker next week at NACLO will be Prof. Jacques duPlessis, who has had a broad-ranging and interesting career in language and technology. He will share some of what he has done, including projects with international social impact. We are thrilled to have him join us at NACLO.

He has worked not only in education, but also in the business world, the legal world, and the technology world.
Among his projects: an online grammar generator that helps you explore new languages, open courseware for languages that are not commonly available in schools and universities, textbook authoring, and a small business (translation company). We hope you will enjoy his insights as much as we have.

If you are interested in communicating further with any past or present NACLO presenter, please let us know and we will follow up!

Some reminders:

  • Please bring your own writing instruments, including at least one black pen and correction fluid/ribbon. You are welcome to bring pencils and erasers for your own use, but the answer sheets need to be written dark enough to scan clearly, thus the official recommendation for black pen.
  • You may bring snacks as long as they are quiet and not distracting to others.
  • If you are driving, please reserve plenty of time to find parking. The EMS parking garage and the Cunningham surface lot are the closest places to park and may have a few spaces at available at that hour.  If not, the Union parking garage is open to the public and tends to have more space.  

Thursday January 24
8:30-8:45: arrive and sign in
8:45-8:55: Jacques duPlessis speaks
8:55-9:00: instructions
9:00-noon: contest takes place

UWM Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Building
Room E-(E for East)-250
3200 N. Cramer Street, Milwaukee, WI  53211

Please note: the Marquette site has been consolidated to UWM.  

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Announcing NACLO Milwaukee 2019

Welcome to NACLO 2019 in Milwaukee, taking place Thursday morning January 24, with registration from 8:30-8:45 am, a speaker from 8:45-8:55, instructions from 8:55-9:00, and the problem-solving from 9:00 to noon.

We are looking forward to meeting new linguists from across town and hearing more perspectives on why they do linguistics, as well as the chance to spend a morning exercising your creativity in a way that you don’t usually get to do in school.

This year, UWM welcomes back Marquette as a co-host.

The location at UWM will be EMS E-250 as usual, and the location at Marquette is TBA. Everyone should register under “University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee” and instructions will be posted here about where you should go. Location assignments will depend on room size and the number of students registering from each school or individual registrations.

Please register as soon as you can (preferably before winter break) so that we can get an accurate picture of how many people are coming and whether we need to reserve additional rooms. The registration site is at; look on the right hand side of the page under “Quick Links” and click on Student Registration. Follow the instructions there.

We look forward to hearing from you with any questions or comments. You may contact us via gmail to our username of
n a c l o m i l w a u k e e 2 0 1 9 .

Linguistics careers are booming, especially for computational linguists. Come see what it’s like!

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A few glitches won’t stop NACLO Milwaukee 2018

Right around the same time that NACLO registrations at UWM hit capacity, the main website went down.  We are all now getting ourselves together again and finding overflow space so that we can accommodate everyone who would like to come.  Registration is at and will be open again shortly.  If you run into problems, contact us at the gmail account   n a c l o m i l w a u k e e 2 0 1 8 .

Remember to bring black pen and white-out.  A soft dark pencil and eraser might also be fine, but if it doesn’t scan dark enough for the judges to read, your answers won’t be able to be scored.  So black pen is safest.  A quiet non-messy snack is also fine.


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See you Thursday morning!

Time: 8:30 am-noon, Thursday January 26

Location: 3200 N. Cramer St., Engineering and Math Sciences Building, Room E-250 (up the elevator: head in the 10:00 direction (forward and to the left) into the northeast corner of the building.  Reserve time to find a parking spot.

Bring: writing utensil that scans well, e.g. black pen; and correction fluid/ribbon; quiet snack optional

Guest speaker: Anne Pycha, linguist and coder at UWM


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