Douglas Rohde

I received my PhD in 2002 from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. I was a postdoc in Ted Gibson's lab in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at MIT.

I'm now a software engineer at Google. I primarily work on improving the performance of our search engine, as we continue to make it bigger, faster, and more efficient. I'm also involved with the iGoogle project, with helping to foster internal ideas within Google, and with some of our non-profit work.

My graduate and postdoc research primarily focused on computational models of language processing. The main questions I sought to address are how adults comprehend and produce sentences and how children learn these abilities. More specific issues I was concerned with involve the representation of word meanings, how syntax can be represented in a distributed connectionist network, how semantics and syntax interact, and the effects of delayed learning or interference from a primary language in second-language learning.

Most of my work involved developing recurrent connectionist, or neural network, models of language processing. One of the main reasons such models are interesting and relevant to language acquisition is that they are often able to learn complex and abstract behaviors without the need to rely on large amounts of structured, innate knowledge. The most recent effort along these lines, the CSCP model, is described in my PhD thesis.

My other major academic interest involves computational modeling of a very different sort. I have been developed some large-scale models of human mating and migration patterns to investigate human ancestry. The models suggest that the most recent ancestor shared by everyone alive today may have lived just a few thousand years ago.


the light, efficient network simulator

a platform for sentence processing experiments
the correlated occurrence analogue to lexical semantics
the next-generation parse tree searcher
My PhD Thesis
a real page turner
the simple language generator

the professional MP3 manager
My Photo Album
a nice relic from the days before Flickr, Picasaweb, etc.
Boxcar Blockade
I think I can...I think I can...
Death of a Salesman
a minute to afternoon to master


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Doug Rohde,