Welcome to my homepage. Here you will find various information about me and links to content that I find interesting.
I am currently working on a Masters Degree in Computational Linguistics from the University of Washington here in Seattle. I also hold a PhD that was jointly granted by the Near Eastern Studies Department and the Linguistics Department at the University of Michigan. Getting that PhD took 7 years and was almost a career in its own right! Before that I wrote assembly language code for the microcontrollers found inside of modems. Before that, I did a lot of different things including a stint as an enlisted man in the US Air Force.
I have always had an interest in all aspects of languages, learning languages, learning about how language works and the diversity of the human language experience. As a linguist with prior experience writing software I am extremely interested in all aspects of Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing. I have been working on the automatic processing of Arabic Morphology for more than 7 years. My dream job would be to work as a Software Developer and Speech Scientist on a Machine Translation or Speech recognition system for Arabic and its dialects
I am completely fascinated by the Arabic language. I have a pretty strong feel for its diglossic nature and how all the dialects fit into a unified continuum that unites a fairly diverse culture from Morocco to Oman. I comprehend the high regard with which Arabic speaking Muslims hold the Arabic classical language that carries their religion.
After I defended my dissertation in 2002, I attempted to make the transition from graduate student to Academic. However, the working conditions as a Lecturer teaching Arabic at the University of Washington were just too difficult for me to withstand. I suppose that the conditions for a lecturer at other Universities might not be so completely awful as the conditions that I encountered at the UW. However, I am not willing to relocate my wife and now teenaged daughter several more times in the hopes of eventually landing a tenure track position teaching Arabic. I am also not willing to teach Arabic if doing so entails giving up any role as a software developer or linguistics researcher. For these reasons, even though I love Arabic and I love teaching it, I have all but abandoned any attempts to pursue a career as an Arabic instructor.
When I have free time I love frisbee golf, hiking in the forest, body-surfing, watching movies with sub-titles and drinking a good strong cup of coffee made from freshly roasted light-roast varietal coffee beans. I also like to stay current with Arabic Computational Linguistics. I am involved in various social justice movements including justice for the Palestinians. I try to do my part for the environment.