Petar Milin

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

My primary research interests are concentrated in areas concerned with understanding the crucial role of learning in human language, its behaviour and use. Previously, my work focused on investigating word or lexical processing, but currently, it extends to the study of natural communication. Methodologically, my work combines experimentation and computational modelling with advanced statistical data analysis. I work with the Out Of Our Minds team towards an in-depth understanding of language knowledge and natural ways of learning a language.

I also have secondary research interests which all relate to understanding probabilistic phenomena in language. These include problems that arise in characterising text quantification, stylometry and authorship, vocabulary richness and similar issues.


  • BA (University of Novi Sad, Serbia), 1994
  • MA (University of Novi Sad, Serbia), 2001
  • PhD (University of Belgrade, Serbia), 2004
  • Training in Transactional Analysis, 1st level (60h) ITAA/ITAI certified, 1993
  • Training in Transactional Analysis, 2nd level (120h theory; 30h practice) ITAA/ITAI certified, 1995


I hold a BA and MA in Psychology from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia. I started working as a Teaching Assistant in Statistics and Research Methodology at the Department of Psychology in Novi Sad in the late 90s. In 2001, I began a PhD degree at the University of Belgrade in the domain of experimental and computational psychology; my research focused on inflections in morphologically rich languages.

Following the completion of my PhD thesis in 2004, I took up an Assistant Professorship in Novi Sad, where I worked until 2016. In 2009, I was promoted to Associate Professor. Over the years I have convened modules on Psycholinguistics, Learning, Statistics, and Research Methodology. Between 2013 and 2016, I spent two years as Senior Researcher (Leitender Wissenschaftler) in the Quantitative Linguistics Group of Professor R. Harald Baayen, at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany. In 2016 I took up a position as a Senior Lecturer in Data Science at the University of Sheffield. In January 2019 started my new post as a Senior Lecturer in the Psychology of Language and Language Learning at the University of Birmingham.

I’ve been very active in curriculum development. In 2006 I co-initiated the development of new UG curricula at the University of Novi Sad, aiming to meet European standards in HE (€180,000.00 TEMPUS grant from the EU). In 2011, I helped design and develop an Interdisciplinary Master’s program in Applied Statistics (€703,000.00 TEMPUS grant from the EU). I was also instrumental in founding Novi Sad's Laboratory for Experimental Psychology, which I headed up 2009-2015.

Fun fact: I spent a year working as Creative Director of TARCUS, a company that produced music and radio-commercials.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

## I welcome applications from PhD students in any of my areas of interest, especially the following:
- the role of learning in language behaviour and language description (e.g., comprehension and production, foreign language learning, reading and others)
- understanding/describing language as a complex dynamic system, its relationships with other cognitive systems (e.g., perception, memory, problem solving)
- the dyads of language-communication and cognition-conceptualisation as pillars of human (social) adaptation

## I currently co-supervise the following students
### At University of Birmingham:
- Maciej Borowski: Elucidating native speaker knowledge of case and aspect in Polish (cognitive linguistics, experimental)
- Shiyu He: Transfer of reading strategies from L1 to L2 (cognitive linguistics, experimental)
- Daisy Collins: The language cognition and English article system
- Marta Gasiorowska: XX

### Elsewhere:
- Filip Nenadić (the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada). This is a part of the collaboration with Dr Benjamin V. Tucker and The Alberta Phonetics Laboratory.