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Department of Computer Science and Technology

  • PhD Student in Computational Linguistics
  • Bye-Fellow of Magdalene College


Rowan is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, and a Bye-Fellow of Magdalene College. Prior to that, he was a research assistant at ETH Zürich, and before that he completed his BA and MEng, both in Computer Science, at Cambridge. He is currently funded by the Leslie Wilson Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship, and his research is additionally supported by a Turing Institute Enrichment Award.

Rowan’s research concerns people's ability to perceive abstract similarities shared by disparate things, which manifests in analogy and metaphor. He is currently studying this ability through the lens of conventional metaphors, which are metaphors that are widely used by a language community, and can be found in dictionaries. Conventional metaphors provide a unique opportunity to analyse analogy and metaphor, which have both so-far proved rather elusive and difficult to study. Previously, his research has focused on the interpretability of neural networks, and gender-bias mitigation in machine-learnt models.

Beyond academia, Rowan is a keen filmmaker. He was previously co-president of the Cambridge University Film Association (CUFA), and short films he's worked on in the past have gone on to win Best Undergraduate Comedy at the Ivy Film Festival, and Best Fiction at Watersprite. Before COVID put a halt to everything, he directed a large comedy project in collaboration with the Cambridge Footlights called ‘Magpies Love Mirrors’, whose “hilarious absurdist writing, slick production on all fronts” and “moreish disorientation” culminated in “a joyous ode to Cambridge and its student comedians, all of whom shine”. He is currently beginning work on several projects, including a documentary about Cambridge, and a short series about interdisciplinary Computer Science, the latter of which is being made in collaboration with the lab.


Rowan has demonstrated for Machine Learning and Real-world Data for three years, which is a core first-year module. This year, he and Rami Aly were the head demonstrators of the course; together they revamped the course, in particular migrating it from Java to Python. Last year, he also demonstrated for Data Science: Principles and Practice.


For the most up-to-date version please refer to Google scholar.

  • R. H. Maudslay and S. Teufel. 2022. Homonymy Information for English WordNet. In Proceedings of the GLOBALEX Workshop on Linked Lexicography.
  • R. H. Maudslay and R. Cotterell. 2021. Do Syntactic Probes Probe Syntax? Experiments with Jabberwocky Probing. In Proceedings of the 2021 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL).
  • T. Pimentel, R. H. Maudslay, D. Blasi, and R. Cotterell. 2020. Speakers Fill Lexical Semantic Gaps with Context. In Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP).
  • R. H. Maudslay, T. Pimentel, R. Cotterell, and S. Teufel. 2020. Metaphor Detection Using Context and Concreteness. In Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Figurative Language Processing.
  • R. H. Maudslay, J. Valvoda, T. Pimentel, A. Williams and R. Cotterell. 2020. A Tale of a Probe and a Parser. In Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).
  • T. Pimentel, J. Valvoda, R. H. Maudslay, R. Zmigrod, A. Williams and R. Cotterell. 2020. Information-Theoretic Probing for Linguistic Structure. In Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).
  • R. H. Maudslay, H. Gonen, R. Cotterell and S. Teufel. 2019. It’s All in the Name: Mitigating Gender Bias with Name-Based Counterfactual Data Substitution. In Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP).

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