About me


David Lukeš, e-mail


I'm a phonetician/linguist with side interests in statistics, programming and NLP. In fact, I'm terminally curious about computer-related stuff in general, which has led me down more rabbit holes than I'd care to count. I hail from Prague, Czech Republic, a precious little gem of a city, but I've also lived in France and Belgium for a while when I was a kid.

I play badminton and football (of the soccer persuasion) and enjoy reading American Jewish literature, as well as watching (in no particular order) Monty Python, Bill Bailey, Jon Stewart, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Fry and other assorted smart and funny people who, along with Frank Zappa and The Beatles, are collectively responsible for my lifelong crush on the English language. I used to play the saxophone reasonably well, but nowadays mostly enjoy playing the guitar atrociously bad and singing along.

Academic and professional credentials

Current position

I'm a junior researcher at the Institute of the Czech National Corpus, Faculty of Arts, Charles University (Prague). My duties/interests include:

  • coordinating phonetic transcription for the ORTOFON corpus project
  • data processing and functionality prototyping (mainly using Python and R)
  • research into the scope of language variability in Czech using multi-dimensional analysis

For further details and older history, see my CV (updated spring 2017).


When coding, I feel most comfortable in Python, and I love spending time with Rust (though I'm nowhere near as proficient, and occasionally lost and frustrated). I find R useful (though convoluted on occasion), write JavaScript when forced to and avoid Perl as much as I can. I know my way around the Unix command line and enjoy using it. And even after years of casual acquaintance, I'm still not really sure how I feel about Lisp, though I'll take Emacs Lisp over Vimscript any day.

Feel free to check out my GitHub profile.

MA thesis

If you're interested in the affinities between people's abilities to process language and music, my MA thesis was about Perceptual sensitivity to music and speech stimuli in the frequency and temporal domains and I'm moderately proud of it. Unfortunately, it's in Czech (with an English abstract).

Here's a quick summary: I was curious to know whether having a good musical ear correlates with having a good "speech perception ear" (spoiler alert: it does), so I put together a listening test (using Praat) in which I made participants listen to short utterances and melodies to see how well they could detect manipulations in pitch and timing.

There's also a companion repository on GitHub which contains the listening test (so that anyone can run it in Praat) and raw results as they were collected (for reproducibility).

BA thesis

Way back when, my academic interests lay in literary theory, so I wrote a BA thesis on Philip Roth. I still like Philip Roth very much, but I mostly tend to steer away from literary theory nowadays because I realized I'd rather be wrapping my head around logically coherent complex abstract notions.

Papers & talks