An early developer of microcomputer hardware and software products during the 1970s, in 1979 I retired and undertook a doctorate in Anthropology. My professional academic research began 30 years ago with methods I had developed in industry, applying relatively cutting edge technologies to analysing mostly qualitative data. Computing methods from AI and neural networks served as my base, together with more conventional approaches, organised around the “Software Tools” paradigm that I thought was most relevant to research computing. Today I am engaged in much the same activity, with much larger data sources, better data mining approaches, and a software tools paradigm based around services.
I am an Anthropologist, but my work has a broader appeal. I am in a School of Anthropology and Conservation, and have found good partnerships there, working on detecting illegal wildlife sales online, tracking animal traffic with sensors and micro-controller units, and using spatial methods for conceptualising and analysing data. I have most recently been looking at the complexity of online social networks and how to represent and analyse these as multidimensional networks of partially overlapping information flows, which is gaining some success with software engineers interested in location aware and multi-agent software applications.