Colin Matheson

October 2011
October 2011

Contact Details
Recent Publications

I'm a member of the Human Communication Research Centre's Language Technology Group. My School of Informatics affiliation is in the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation.

I've been working in computational linguistics in one form or another since 1983, and I've been living in Edinburgh, first as a student and now as a researcher, since 1979. There's a brief description of my research interests below.

Music in various forms has been a big interest of mine since I was at school, and when I moved to Edinburgh I became involved in Scottish traditional music. For ten years or so I was a member of Ceolbeg, whose 6th and last album Cairn Water was released in January 2000, and I play in Hugh MacDiarmid's Haircut, the best-named ceilidh band in Edinburgh. However, these days most of my musical energy goes into the Craigmount High School Pipe Band in which Calum (see below) plays the pipes. Robbie (see below again) also allows me to busk along with his cello.

Current Activities

I'm currently working on two EU projects, Help4Mood and JAMES. Help4Mood, which I'm coordinating, is investigating interactive systems which help in the treatment of severe depression, while JAMES is developing a robot bartender.

What I used to do

Most recently I was responsible for dialogue management on a number of EU projects (LeActiveMath, INDIGO, JAST, TRINDI, MagiCster and M-PIRO), and I coordinated MagiCster and M-PIRO. I've also worked on non-EU projects, including the Beetle automatic tutoring system, TTT, which produced a general text tokenisation tool, and the Methodius Proof of Concept project, funded by Scottish Enterprise, reimplementing language generation software with a view to commercial applications, and in particular the DJ4me application. If you're interested, check out the original Methodius.

In the more distant past I worked on speech recognition on the Alvey project at Edinburgh's Centre for Speech Technology Research and on BibEdit, a project which investigated the application of AI techniques to text processing in order to assist copy editing. I also worked for over a year on Relator, which produced a survey of language resource requirements in Europe and did the groundwork for the European Language Resource Association (ELRA).


I've been married to Diane Fafalios since September 1994. Two additions to the family (Calum and Robbie) arrived in June 1996 and January 1999, and we're still recovering from the shock.