Odd Stuff about Me

I love my work, and I'm excited to come to work every day, but that's not all there is to me.

I grew up in California, and I love chocolate, turkey with avocado sandwiches, fine art museums, book stores, and the scent of spicy candles and eucalyptus trees. I'm proud to be 42!

This past year my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. I met my husband Eric in a Data Structures class when I was a sophomore at UC Irvine . He's a web programmer, sculptor, photographer, kayaker extrodinaire, and does an amazing job clearing snow! When we got married, his mom made us a bed cover with a design appliqued onto it from part of a digital design project we did together for one of our courses. You can't get much more nerdy than that! We like to think of ourselves as the world's most boring couple.

I took my first graduate machine learning course when I was a third year undergraduate, and my husband and I (although he was not my husband yet!) worked together doing machine learning research under Richard Granger , who was at UCI at the time, the summer after our 3rd year, which was the same summer when Terminator II came out, and we thought we were cool since the "bad guys" in that movie were neural network researchers.

My husband and I try to take a break from our work for 30 minutes each evening to hang out together, which we refer to as a "study break" since it's a tradition left over from our undergrad days. We also still have jokes we've been laughing together about for nearly a quarter of a century now. Our favorite quote from Radford's Transformational Grammar is "Some people say linguists are kinky."

We got married the day after our undergrad graduation, and spent that summer traveling around the US and Israel before we started grad school. And all the while I was reading linguistics books! Years later I passed on one of the books I had been reading to a student whose committee I served on, and while he was reading it, he got engaged. So we think there must be something very romantic about linguistics books. You know what they say about linguists...

We have a 14 year old daughter named Rachel. She's an excellent cook, and she's an amazing rower (she's a port!). She's the light of my life. I learned how to have fun from hanging out with her. Fun fact: Rachel was born exactly 9 months after I turned my dissertation in -- coincidence?... I think not!

In my spare time I enjoy playing piano, Israeli folk dancing, cooking, going to museums, and taking long walks. I first learned Israeli folk dancing from Dani Dassa at the Brandeis Collegiate Institute . My favorite piano composer is Schubert, but I enjoy playing songs by The Fray and Yann Tiersen. On of my favorite piano songs is Where the Story Ends, which reminds me of the summer when I was first dating my husband, way back in the misty eons of time... My favorite movies include Love and Death, So I Married and Axe Murderer, The Importance of Being Earnest, The 5th Element, Fight Club, The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, The Village, and of course, Stargate (the hero was a linguist!). My favorite actors are Liam Neesan, Colin Firth, and Kevin Spacey. Here is my favorite Monty Python episode.