(Ph.D. 1976, UCLA; Postdoc 1980, UCLA Computer Science)
My early interests concerned formal semantics and word meaning. I began working in the area of computational linguistics after a post-doc in Computer Science at UCLA. I taught Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence at the Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges, and then joined IBM as a Senior Computational Linguist. There I and a research team created a prototype of a natural language understanding system, which was later patented. My book, Naïve Semantics for Natural Language Understanding (1988), describes some of that work. During that time I took an interest in various problems of computational linguistics: words sense disambiguation, prepositional phrase attachment, discourse, coherence, anaphora resolution, and relevance. The research team at IBM spun out to form our own firm, Intelligent Text Processing, to pursue natural language processing. That company achieved a broad, comprehensive treatment of English semantics, parsing, logic, and formal semantics in a prototype. This has been productized and is being marketed by Cognition Technologies, Inc., which has a linguistically-based search engine that searches on meaning.