Carnegie Mellon University

Seth Wiener

Seth Wiener

Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Chinese Studies

341 Posner Hall
Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Education: Ph.D. The Ohio State University, MA The Ohio State University, BA Boston University


I grew up in small Indiana and Ohio towns, and by kindergarten, I knew I would become an astronaut. By high school, my goal evolved to programmer-astronaut. So in my first semester of college, I took an astronomy class, a programming class, a calculus class, and a Chinese language class. My plan held until two years later, when I studied abroad in China and saw the stars from Inner Mongolia. My time in China completely changed my life. From that moment on I knew I wanted to study languages and linguistics. I ended up spending several years in mainland China and Taiwan and traveling throughout Asia. I returned to Ohio State to get my Ph.D. with the hope to one day inspire other students in the same way that my teachers inspired me. In graduate school, I was trained in linguistic theory, East Asian languages, psycholinguistic methods, and data analysis and statistics. In 2015 I moved to Pittsburgh and established the Language Acquisition, Processing, and Pedagogy (LAPP) Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. Graduate and undergraduate students in the lab help carry out experimental linguistics research. LAPP Lab also aims to develop real-world pedagogical innovations for language instructors and learners. At CMU I teach a variety of courses on second language acquisition, Chinese language, and research methods. Despite all this, I still have not heard from NASA. 


  • Second language acquisition
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Speech perception and production
  • Chinese linguistics
  • Data analysis and visualization
  • 82-888/82-387 Introduction to Linguistic Data Analysis Using R
  • 82-286 'Crazy' Linguistically Rich Asian Languages
  • 82-888/82-388 Second Language Speech
  • 99-520 Experiential Learning through Projects: Language in the time of COVID-19
  • Simon Initiative Seed Grant, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Innovative Models for Undergraduate Research Faculty Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University, 2020-21
  • National Institutes of Health Research Grant, 2019
  • Language Learning Early Career Research Grant, 2019
  • Academic Review Board, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Associate Editor, Applied Psycholinguistics
  • Editorial Board Member, Chinese as a Second Language

Department Member Since 2015