John Brandon Lowe

PO Box 667
Pt. Reyes Station, CA 94956
academic email
personal email
home page

jblowe AT
jb AT


415 309-5841
Employment History and Education
2001-now Independent Consulting Due Diligence, Market Analysis, R&D
2000-2001 Ask Jeeves, Inc. VP Language Engineering, Chief Linguist
1999-2000  Ask Jeeves, Inc. Director of Core Engineering
1997-1999  International Computer Science Institute  [Framenet] Technical Director
1993-1999  Institute for Cognitive Studies UC Berkeley  [CBOLD] Researcher
1991-now  LACITO/CNRS Paris, France [Projet Archivage]   [R.E.] Chercheur
1987-now  International and Area Studies UC Berkeley  [STEDT] Researcher
1987-1995  University of California, Berkeley Ph.D. in Linguistics
1985-1987  School of Library and Information Studies  [UC Berkeley] M.L.I.S.
1980-1987  Division of Library Automation. [UC Systemwide] Principal Programmer
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: Programming
  • Design and implemented software components to support dictionary and other language functionality in the Ask Jeeves question-answering system.
  • 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.
  • Wrote and maintained large (250,000+ lines) structured programs in PL/I.
  • Wrote a variety of intelligent and adaptive applications in SNOBOL4 and SPITBOL.
Skills: Software Engineering Management
  • 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.
  • Team member (one of six principals) in the design and implementation of U.C.'s MELVYL online catalog.
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
  • "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 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.
Personal Information
  • I was born in 1954 in Champaign IL, USA and grew up in the Phillipines, Thailand, and India. US Citizen.