Graduating class: BA 1963, MA 1964, PhD 1973
Dissertation advisor: William Gedney
Student Involvement and Activities
The 1960s were a heady time to be a student at Michigan. I worked on the Michigan Daily, a true high point of my undergrad life, and was active in the civil rights movement. As a graduate student I took full advantage of the broad interdisciplinary choices that were available on campus and that were encouraged by the Linguistics Department, including courses from the Southeast Asian Studies Center and the Communication Sciences Laboratory and Graduate Program.
Since Graduating from U-M
After I left campus I eventually ended up in California working in a research lab founded by Gordon Peterson, former director of the CommSci program (which later evolved into the Computer Science program). When he learned in the mid-1960s that he had just a few years to live, he left U-M and took his research group to California, driving up the coast until establishing a lab in Santa Barbara. I arrived at the lab after his passing, but fortunately the other members of the research group had good memories of me and hired me. I always use this fact when advising students: at any moment in time, do your best and treat your colleagues with respect, you never know when, and in what role, they may reappear in your professional life. The lab had government grants in speech and signal processing, and while working there I gained experience in speech recognition/synthesis, which formed the basis for the rest of my career. Over 40 years I toggled between academe (U. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Portland State University) and industry (Burroughs/Unisys, Sparta, MITRE), retiring from MITRE in 2011.
Career Path and Influence of U-M Linguistics Degree
My U-M education was the foundation of my life and my family's life, starting with my mother who came to Ann Arbor in 1933 from the Philippines as a Barbour Scholar. My family earned a dozen Michigan degrees and enjoyed great professional and personal fulfillment because of our academic backgrounds. We have been fortunate to be able to express our gratitude with scholarships and other gifts, and I was especially glad to actually meet a couple of scholarship recipients in 2019. A U-M education is the best investment ever, thank you Michigan!