I received my PhD in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986 with a thesis on diachronic syntax.  While at UPenn, I also studied computational linguistics and got interested in cognitive science.  This allowed me to start working as a computational linguist in industry after my PhD.

I started in a machine translation company (Weidner, Chicago, USA; 1986-88), where I was in charge of the French-English translation pair and then went to at Wang Laboratories (Boston, USA; 1988-89), where I worked on the morphological component and the lexicon for authoring tools.  I then moved to ISSCO (Geneva, Switzerland; 1989-1995), one of the oldest research centres in Natural Language Processing in Europe.  While at ISSCO, my main strand of research concerned grammar formalisms for NLP and I took part in several European linguistic engineering projects, in particular GRAAL and TSNLP. I also participated in the design and development of the ELU system, and between 1993 and 1996, I was a member of the Grammar Formalism Working Group in the European EAGLES initiative.

In 1995 I came to Australia  to take up the position of lecturer in Computational Linguistics at the University of Melbourne (1995-1998), which was partly funded by the Microsoft Research Institute . In my research at the U. of Melbourne, I pursued the investigation of the computational modelling of language change, for which I received a SIG in 1996 and a Small ARC grant in 1997.  I also led a joint project with the Computer Science Department for a Natural Language Interface to a Small Robot (Estival, 1998).

I have been associated with the Language Technology Group (LTG) at Macquarie University since 1999.  I came to the board of the LTG when I was leading the Natural Language Group at Syrinx Speech Systems. Since then, I have been an Associate Researcher and a Visiting Fellow. 

Since coming to Australia, I have been involved in helping establish NLP and LT in Australia while at the University of Melbourne, at Syrinx Speech Systems, at DSTO and more recently at Appen. (NLP activities)



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