I graduated with a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Essex in 1989, worked at the University of Sydney until 1998, then spent three years at British Telecom Labs in the UK and one year at the University of Melbourne before joining UNSW in 2002. I am currently an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW, specializing in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. My research ranges from theory (intelligent agents, data mining, agent-based modelling), to practice (dialogue management, personal assistants, recommender systems, computational social science).
Since joining UNSW in 2002, I have collaborated extensively with industry, serving for over 10 years as Programme Manager and Project Leader in three CRCs (Smart Internet Technology CRC, Smart Services CRC and Data to Decisions CRC). A highlight of Smart Internet Technology CRC was the development of a voice controlled mobile application for interaction with e-mail and calendar (a precursor to Apple's Siri). A major achievement through Smart Services CRC was the deployment of a people-to-people recommender system for suggesting suitable matches in online dating, fielded on one of Australia's largest online dating sites. In Data to Decisions CRC, I led a multi-disciplinary team of data scientists and social scientists, researching efficient methods for extracting information from high velocity streams of rich text data (such as social media and news feeds), and developing new methods for opinion mining and sentiment analysis for political tweets and Facebook posts.
I am currently working on the application of data science to digital humanitarianism in conjunction with UN Global Pulse (Pulse Lab Jakarta) and BPS (Statistics Indonesia), in a collaborative project with UNSW Law.