After working as a fluffy toy seller, a shelf stacker, a bookstore manager, a mortgage adviser and a research funding administrator, I found out that my real vocation was computational semantics and got an MPhil and PhD in Natural Language Processing from the computer laboratory at the University of Cambridge. I currently work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Mind/Brain Sciences at the University of Trento, Italy.
Semantics is the study of meaning. It investigates questions such as: What is meaning? How come words and sentences have meaning? What is the meaning of words and sentences? How can the meanings of words combine to form the meaning of sentences? Do two people mean the same thing when they utter the word ‘cat’? How do we communicate? Etc, etc.
Go and have a look at my publication list to find out about how computers can create conceptual representations of individuals, what they have to say about contemporary poetry, what is special about cocktail names, and other slightly geekier things. Also check out the PeARS project, which aims at building an ‘intelligent’ search engine that will run privately on your laptop.
When not semanticising, I occupy myself with various things. In particular, I am involved in a micro-publishing company, Peer Press, which is committed to producing real-world books under Creative Commons licenses.
Contact: firstname DOT lastname AT cantab DOT net