L103: Instructors L103


Mike Gasser

I'm an associate professor in the Computer Science and Linguistics Departments and in the Cognitive Science Program; I've been at IU for 14 years. It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Though I originally majored in physics and math as an undergraduate, language has always been my passion. In the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, I started teaching English, and I later taught English to foreign students in Los Angeles for about 10 years. I studied English teaching and then applied linguistics at UCLA, where I got my PhD. At UCLA I got involved in the field of second language acquisition and later became more interested in how babies learn their first language. Around 1983 I discovered artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and computer modeling, and I was hooked on the idea that language is integrated into the rest of the mind and on using computer models to help us understand how language works and how it's learned. My home page is here; there are pointers to my research there in case you're interested. I'm also very interested in teaching linguistics and cognitive science. The languages I know best are Amharic (an Ethiopian language), German, French, Spanish, and Japanese. I like to dabble in lots of languages, mostly for fun, but sometimes I get a chance to use them.

I also try to have a life outside of work. I'm married and have a 15-year-old daughter. I'm active in the IU Progressive Faculty Coalition and the newly established sister-city relationship between Bloomington and Santa Clara, Cuba, and I'm interested in Cuba and improving relations between the US and Cuba. I enjoy lots of kinds of music, especially African and African-influenced popular music, and I play in a band that does that sort of thing. And I enjoy cooking and eating a wide variety of food.

I prefer being called "Mike."

B. J. Lim

My main areas of research are phonetics, phonology and their interface, and Korean linguistics. I am also interested in second language acquisition and language pedagogy. I am currently working on the roles of orthography and language backgrounds in perception, as well as phonetic and phonological aspects of syllabification.

I am a huge fan of tennis and volleyball. For entertaining my friends, I am into cooking.

Mikael Thompson

I'm from Fort Worth, Texas, and originally studied physics. After working as a guard in an art museum for four years, I returned to school and graduated from Rice University in 1997 with degrees in history and linguistics. My main areas of research are historical linguistics and acoustic phonetics, and by specialization I'm a Mongolist. The languages I know best are French, Mandarin and Classical Chinese, Russian, and Mongolian (both classical and the modern standard dialect, Khalkha); I also know some and work with German, Manchu, Evenki, Korean, and Kazakh (a little). I have also done some work on two languages of Africa, Tigrinya (a Semitic language of Eritrea and northern Ethiopia) and Efutu (a Kwa language of Ghana).

I like reading (especially history, hard-boiled detective novels, and poetry), cooking, running, and massive amounts of coffee, but most of all I love music--classical, jazz, and ska most of all, but basically anything with African roots.

Mark Van Dam

I was born and raised in western Michigan. From kindergarten through college (Calvin College) I stayed in west Michigan. I studied English Literature and German Literature (and had a little exposure to a few other languages such as Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, French, and latin). I am currently in the department of general linguistics with most of my energy concentrated in the subfields of phonology, phonetics, and semantics.

I play tennis, golf — really any sport, but those I like most. I love to travel, but have limited resources to travel on a recreational basis.

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