Personal: Quick Bio

I grew up in Melbourne and attended The University of Melbourne for undergraduate (BSc, 1976-1979), Masters (MSc, 1980-1981) and PhD (on and off between 1982 and 1988). My PhD research was on database indexing schemes targetted at deductive databases (a la Prolog).

After finishing my PhD, I lectured at Melbourne University (developing their second first-year course and pushing the case for functional programming in first-year) for a couple of years (1989-1992). During that time, I started wondering whether I was starting to become rusted on to Melbourne University, and eventually moved to UNSW (1993).

At UNSW, my research has shifted to areas such as news filtering, image/music retrieval, information extraction and domain-specific web search. In teaching, I've made a nuisance of myself as Teaching Committee chair (for a while), and by revamping just about every course I've taught. I'm very happy with the current shape of COMP3311 Database Systems and COMP2041 Software Construction, the courses I've had the most input into. My current admin role in CSE is 'Deputy Head of School (education)', trying to herd the cats which comprise CSE courses and the academics who teach them.

At the UNSW level, a recent foray into teaching/admin is to be a driving force behind the development of a UNSW course/program proposal management system (initially MAPPS, now AIMS), which is going to revolutionise the way UNSW develops academic proposals (if I do say so myself). There are many other processes at UNSW which need automating, including deriving the Curriculum Catalogue (once called "Handbook") from AIMS, providing degree planning from the AIMS rules data, doing curriculum mapping via AIMS, etc. etc. One day .... but for the time being, they are a rich source of idea for 4th-year projects.

I've also supervised the development of (and ended up maintaining) some teaching systems in CSE: WebCMS (a course management system, now up to version 3), ORE (an online role-play engine used in political science teaching, but potentially more widely useful), phpSurvey (a simple survey system for internal CSE use), CMAP (a curriculum mapping tool).

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