ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
Department of Computer Science
In 2006 & 2007 I studied part-time at the Jansen Newman Institute in Sydney and am now a fully-qualified counsellor and psychotherapist.
Avigail & I have been planning for a few years to move to the Highlands of Scotland... Our plans had become quite firm, to the point of booking flights and removalists for late December 2008, but the world financial meltdown has hit us doubly: first in that we have not been able to sell our house, and secondly on the exchange rates. So we are postponing our move for a few months. We hope to go some time around March, but of course that is still dependent on finding a buyer for the house.
We already have a Scottish web site.
I studied mathematics and computer science at the Australian National University from 1981 to 1984, finishing with first class honours in pure mathematics. Among my teachers in computer science were Brian Molinari, Malcolm Newey, Brendan McKay and Vicki Peterson, all of whom were still teaching in the department when I started here again in 1999. From 1986 to 1990 I did a Ph.D. in applied mathematics in the Research School of Physical Sciences, again at ANU.
Until early 1998 I worked as a mathematician (sometimes disguised as a physical chemist or soft-matter physicist), first at the CNRS in Bordeaux, France, then at the University of Sydney, ANU and Macquarie University. From 1992-4 I held an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship. I have done research in pure and applied mathematics, mostly on subjects related to surfaces in space, interfaces between different phases in microstructured fluids, movement of interfaces driven by surface and curvature energy and stuff like that. I also lectured at all levels of undergraduate mathematics, from first-year to fourth-year honours and masters.
After years of being unhappy in mathematics, I decided in early 1998 to change to computer science. In 1998 I taught first-year computing at the Sydney Institute of Business and Technology, a private tertiary college affiliated with Macquarie University. In 1999 I was a Visiting Fellow and Part-time Tutor in the Department of Computer Science at ANU. In December 1999 I was offered an Associate Lecturer position in the department, and in 2002 I was promoted to Lecturer (Academic Level B).
In 2003 & 2004 I studied creative writing in the School of Creative Communication at the University of Canberra. In 2003, 2004 & 2005 I did all the technical production for First, their annual anthology of student writing, using some of the techniques developed in my research and teaching at ANU.
In 2006 & 2007 I studied counselling and psychotherapy part-time at the Jansen-Newman Institute in Sydney. I am now a fully-qualified counsellor and psychotherapist with about 300 clinical hours of experience.
I am married to Avigail Abarbanel, who is a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice. My interests outside work include reading, writing, cycling, weight training and playing the piano.
In 2009 we plan to move to the Inverness area in the Highlands of Scotland, and open a practice there. I will continue to do research and development in computing part-time, almost certainly continuing to work in the area of document conversion, preservation, metadata, authoring, re-use, electronic archiving and so on.
Here are some of the areas I'm interested in. The first is my main area of research at the moment.
The remaining areas are nice ideas that I haven't had any time to work on. But if a student is interested in any of these, I might well be able to come up with a project I could supervise.
In 2007 & 2008 I did no teaching.
In second semester 2006 I was course co-ordinator for COMP3410/6341 IT for E-Commerce. I also gave ten lectures in COMP1110 Introduction to Software Systems and COMP1510 Introduction to Software Engineering.
In first semester 2006 I did almost no teaching, while I continued my secondment to DRS. I spent a few hours a week mentoring Dr Alexei Khorev as he taught COMP2100/2500 Software Construction. I also ran the COMP2500 Software engineering seminars part of the course.
In second semester 2005 I did no teaching. Instead I worked at Digital Resource Services in the university's Division of Information on a project concerned with sustainability of word processing documents. This project was funded by the Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories. (Take a look at the ANU's institutional repository Demetrius, implemented using DSpace software.) This work built on my previous research on electronic publishing from office documents.
In first semester 2005 I was the course co-ordinator for COMP2100 Software Construction (and its new variant COMP2500 Software Construction for Software Engineers). I did this in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 also. In 2004 and 2005 I shared the teaching with Richard Walker. In 2000 I shared the teaching with Jim Grundy as we pioneered this brand-new course.
There were a few big changes in COMP2100 in 2005. The first is that we changed programming language from Eiffel to Java. The second is that the course was split into two: “COMP2500 Software Construction for Software Engineers” for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Software Engineering, and “COMP2100 Software Construction” for all other students. The two courses follow the same basic pattern, but there are some extra activitities and assessment items for COMP2500. The third change was that our part-time teaching and marking budget was cut dramatically, so that labs only ran every fortnight, rather than weekly and there were only two programming assignments rather than three.
In second semester 2004 I was on sabbatical (Outside Studies Program).
In first semester 2004 I was one of the lecturers for the 3rd year team project, COMP3100/3500. The other lecturers were Shayne Flint (course co-ordinator), Clem Baker-Finch and Clive Boughton. You can view the slides from my introductory lecture on Configuration Management here in PDF, Powerpoint or OpenOffice format.
In second semester 2003 I was one of the lecturers for the course COMP2110 Software Design. I did this in 2001 and 2002 also. The other lecturer (and course co-ordinator) was Associate Professor Chris Johnson.
In second semester 2000 I was the course tutor for the course COMP1110 Foundations of Software Engineering. I did this in 1999 also.
In first semester 1999 I assisted in the development of the course COMP1100 Introduction to Programming and Algorithms.