December 9, 2005

Colloquium Speaker: Dr. Charles Nicholas


Charles Nicholas is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at UMBC, where he has been since 1988. He received the B.S. degree from the University of Michigan - Flint in 1979, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University in 1982 and 1988, respectively. Dr. Nicholas' research interests include electronic document processing, information retrieval, and software engineering. His recent focus has been on intelligent software agents and the problems of storing and retrieving information from large collections of documents. His work has been funded by a number of agencies, including NASA, Maryland Industrial Partnerships, DARPA, AFOSR, and the Department of Defense. Dr. Nicholas has served five times as the General Chair of the ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM). He has also twice chaired the Workshop on Digital Document Processing. In 2005 he was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist.


Colloquium Topic: Who Wrote This Document?

Questions of authorship have fascinated historians, theologians, and other scholars for centuries. In recent years statisticians and now at last computer scientists are also addressing these issues. An overview of the study of authorship attribution will be given, including famous examples such as "The Federalist Papers", the various "Wizard of Oz" books, as well as the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament. Dr. Nicholas will also describe his own work in applying latent semantic analysis (LSA), a well-known technique in information retrieval, to the authorship attribution problem.