Set up of eye tracker and Experiment Builder: Short-Term Scientific Mission – University of Zagreb, Croatia

Cui Ding visited the Department of Speech and Language Pathology,
University of Zagreb, Croatia from 02/10/2023 to 12/10/2023

From the moment I arrived in Zagreb, I knew that I was about to embark on a multi-faceted journey of discovery and learning. As a new PhD student who wants to become a computational psycholinguist in the future, my mission was clear: to deepen my knowledge of statistics and to bridge it with the complex realms of language processing.
Zagreb, with its rich academic traditions, offered me a promising backdrop. I had the privilege to collaborate with the POLIN lab at the University of Zagreb. My goal was to assist them in setting up their eye tracker, an essential tool in our domain. Equally captivating was my endeavor with Experiment Builder. Together with local colleagues, we embarked on the journey of implementing the MultiplEYE experiment. This exploration was punctuated by insightful meetings, particularly with Prof. Palmović, Prof. Kristina, Ana, and Eva.

We also delved deep into Bayesian modeling. One of my most rewarding experiences was conducting a crash course on Bayesian statistics. Drawing examples from my own master’s thesis project — MoTR (mouse tracking for reading, which is a new tool for studying reading comprehension), I had the opportunity to introduce the team to the advantages of Bayesian modeling. The lively discussions and the sharing of perspectives were truly enriching.

Before I knew it, my time in Zagreb was ending. As I sat in the lab, penning down my reflections while waiting for my train, a wave of contentment washed over me. My Zagreb experience had not only enriched me academically but also fostered potential future collaborations. We are already discussing further integrations, data collection experience exchanges, and potentially expanding projects using MoTR.
Zagreb is a very welcoming city and I felt at home from the moment I set foot onto its grounds. The past two weeks felt like a fleeting moment, but I’ll always remember my time in Zagreb as a special part of my research journey.