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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

NACLO 2020 at WWU

NACLO 2020 – The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad

Communications Lawn Panorama  Students make their way to class while enjoying the beauty of South Campus.    Photo Taken By: Layna Bennehoff


Since 2012, Western has hosted NACLO, a middle and high school competition for linguistics problem-solving. Students compete in the Linguistics Olympiad by solving challenging problems using data from a variety of languages and formal systems. There is no prerequisite knowledge required, but students discover facts about languages and formal systems in the course of solving the puzzles. The competition is an excellent way for middle and high school students to discover their talents and interests in the areas of language, linguistics, and natural language processing.

It’s free! Register here.

For questions about the local competition, contact Dr. Kristin Denham ( For more on NACLO and the IOL see


2020 Competition Dates

  • Open Round: The Open Round competition is on Thursday, January 23, 2020, 9 a.m. to NOON, in SL 130.
  • Invitational Round: The top 100 Open Round performers nationwide will be invited to participate. The Invitational Round competition will take place on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
  • International Olympiad: Eight students will be selected to represent the United States at the 18th International Linguistics Olympiad to be held in Ventspils, Latvia from July 20-24, 2020. (Expenses paid!)