John Brandon Lowe

PO Box 1415
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
academic email
personal email
ucb home page
jblowe AT--SIGN
johnblowe AT--SIGN
415 309 5841
510 643 9910
Employment History and Education
2011-now Research IT / IS&T UC Berkeley [CollectionSpace] Service Manager / Engineer
2010-2015 Department of Linguistics UC Berkeley [STEDT] Specialist
2008-2010 Qewz, Inc. co-founder, CTO
2008-2009 Skygrid, Inc. Senior Scientist, Analytics
2006-2008 Powerset, Inc. now part of Microsoft Bing Manager of Knowledge Resources
2000-2001 Ask Jeeves, Inc. VP Language Engineering, Chief Linguist
1999-2000 Ask Jeeves, Inc. Sr. Software Eng., Director Core Engineering
1997-1999 International Computer Science Institute [Framenet] Technical Director
1995 University of California, Berkeley Ph.D. in Linguistics
1993-1999 Institute for Cognitive Studies UC Berkeley [CBOLD] Researcher
1991-now LACITO/CNRS Paris, France [Projet Archivage] [R.E.] Chercheur, Membre Associé
1987 School of Lib and Info Studies
now the "iSchool" [UC Berkeley]
1980-1987 Division of Library Automation
now the California Digital Library [MELVYL]
Principal Programmer, DBA
1977-1980 Library Plans and Policies. [UC Systemwide] Programmer/Analyst
1972-1977 Yale University Dept. of Linguistics B.A. in Linguistics
Skills: Leadership
  • Set strategic direction for technology development at Ask Jeeves, Inc.
  • Initiated efforts to form an international division at Ask Jeeves, now Ask Jeeves International.
  • Developed (in collaboration with other faculty at UC Berkeley) over 2.5 million dollars of research funding for more than half a dozen research projects over a ten year period.
Skills: Software Engineering Management
  • Created and managed the Powerset Knowledge Engineering team at Powerset.
  • Managed the Ask Jeeves Core Engineering team in the development of the next generation of the Ask Jeeves question-answering system, a unique suite of both high-performance web-centric C++ components and database-centric GUI components written in C++ with MFC.
  • Managed the work of graduate students, postdocs, developers, and others on several long term academic research projects.
  • Principal team member (one of six) in the design and implementation of U.C.'s MELVYL online catalog.
Skills: Programming
  • Design and implemented software components to support dictionaries, morphologies, ontologies, onomastica, gazetteers and other language functionality in the Ask Jeeves question-answering system, in the Powerset search engine, and elsewhere.
  • Architected and led development of several research databases and textbases (and associated software) in support of NSF-funded research projects.
  • Designed and administered several Very Large Database Systems, including the University of California's MELVYL online catalog and the creation of the REMARC database for the Library of Congress.
  • Years of experience coding in a variety of declarative, functional, and object-oriented programming languages.
Skills: Education, Writing and Speaking
  • Numerous presentations at conferences (both academic and enterprise).
  • Taught courses and seminars on Computational Linguistics, on Linguistics, and on programming at UC Berkeley and in commercial enterprises.
  • At Ask Jeeves, I developed marketing and training materials, and successfully presented the message to customers and analysts, in formal presentations and impromptu one-on-ones.
  • I am an experienced and successful grant writer.
Selected Publications
  • Improving Search Results Quality by Customizing Summary Lengths, Proceedings of ACL/HLT, 2008. (with M. Kaisser and M.A. Hearst).
  • Creating a Research Collection of Question Answer Sentence Pairs with Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, LREC 2008, Marrakech, Morocco, 2008. (with M. Kaisser).
  • Linguistic documents synchronizing sound and text, Speech Communication 33. (2001) pp. 79-96. (with Michel Jacobson and Boyd Michailovsky).
  • The reconstruction engine: a computer implementation of the comparative method, Association for Computational Linguistics Special Issue in Computational Phonology 20.3 (September 1994) pp. 381-417. (with Martine Mazaudon).
  • Regularity and exceptions in sound change, Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of Belgium, Bruxelles, December 13-15 1993. (D. Demolin, ed.). (forthcoming) (with Martine Mazaudon).
  • Bibliography of the International Conferences on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics I-XXV. 407pp. Berkeley: Center for Southeast Asian Studies. (1994) (with Randy J. LaPolla).
  • Du bon usage de l'informatique en linguistique historique, Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris 86.1, pp. 49-87. (1991). (with Martine Mazaudon).
  • Gambling on CD-ROM: Speculations on the Economics of a New Technology, Library Journal (July 1988).

    Over a dozen articles published in a variety of journals, magazines, and conference proceedings, including: Library Journal, Computational Linguistics, Bulletin de la Société Linguistique de Paris, Bulletin de la Cercle Belge de Linguistique, Conference Proceedings for SPIE, Berkeley Linguistics Society.

  • Natural language query processing, USPTO# 7403938 issued on 22-Jul-2008. (with M. Barrett, G. Chevsky, T. Harrison, and S. Reddi).
Other Facets
  • Moderate fluency and reading skills in French, Hindi-Urdu. Basic communication ability in Spanish, Portuguese.
  • Rusty reading skills in Sanskrit, Classical Greek, Old English, Dutch, Brahmi, Kharosthi, Burmese, and Tibetan.
  • Born in 1954 in Champaign IL, USA and grew up in the Philippines, Thailand, and India. US Citizen.
  • Offline activities: aviation, sailing, martial arts, radio, hiking
  • Furnished upon request