Select publications

When conducting fieldwork on tone languages, the linguist choosing to use the IPA to make phonetic transcriptions of tone is presented with a challenge: Current methods of tone transcription in the IPA require a degree of phonological analysis before they can be applied and when applied they do not adequately display pitch distinctions relative to other pitches. I describe this challenge and the bar method as a proposed solution. The bar method visually presents F0 distinctions relative to other F0 expressions without ties to segments. I hope this solution facilitates the discussion of phonetic tone transcription without regard to phonological assumptions, linguistic tradition, or geographical area of research.
In ICPhS2015, 2015

We present a mobile visual clothing search system whereby a smart phone user can either choose a social networking photo or take a new photo of a person wearing clothing of interest and search for similar clothing in a retail database. From the query image, the person is detected, clothing is segmented, and clothing features are extracted and quantized. The information is sent from the phone client to a server, where the feature vector of the query image is used to retrieve similar clothing products from online databases. The phone’s GPS location is used to re-rank results by retail store location. State of the art work focuses primarily on the recognition of a diverse range of clothing offline and pays little attention to practical applications. Evaluated on a challenging dataset, the system is relatively fast and achieves promising results.
In Endangered Languages and New Technologies edited by Mari C. Jones.,2014

The (inter)dental approximant is a little-studied speech sound in the Philippines and Western Australia. In this paper, we document the articulation of the sound, providing acoustic and video data from Kagayanen and Limos Kalinga, respectively. The sound is attested in at least fifteen languages. It is contrastive in five Western Australian languages, while in the Philippines it generally patterns as an allophone of /l/ but has emerged recently as a separate phoneme due to contact. It arose independently in the two regions. The sound is easily describable in terms of values of phonological features or phonetic parameters. All of these factors argue for the inclusion of the sound in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
In JIPA, 2010


Conference talks & Special lectures

Phonetic transcription of tone in the IPA
Aug 11, 2015
African Languages: Assessing the text input difficulty
Mar 26, 2015
Assessing the difficulty of the text input task for minority languages
Feb 26, 2015
Language archiving and data ecology
May 23, 2014
Lasting Linguistics: Making a Meaningful Mark
Jul 30, 2009
An Unlikely Retention
Jun 23, 2009


Corporate & Personal projects

U̠t-Ma'in Lexicography

A collaboration with Becky Paterson to organize the various layers of U̠t-Ma’in linguistic data into a shareable resource.

U̠t-Ma'in oral history

U̠t-Ma’in Language Documentation with Becky Paterson.

Wasta Linux additions for the language scientist.

Some changes and additions to Wasta Linux for the language and linguistic Scientist. It is basically a long bash script, and some additional settings.

An Awesome list of Software for Endangered Languages

A Github collaboration to index open source software for minority or low resource languages.

Linguistic Services Planning

We use the Business Model Canvas to develop the business case for SIL service offerings.

SIL Communications Strategy Consulting

An ongoing consultation with SIL staff to develop interdepartmental communications strategy.

The minority language typing experience

How much work is it to type languages with tonal markers in their orthographies?

User Experience Consulting on

Worked with a team to bring modern features via Drupal 7 to the flagship website of SIL International.

Meꞌphaa and Sochiapam Chinantec Keyboards

Revolutionizing text input. We moved text input from being on a single OS via a non-unicode input method, to working on multiple OSes in Unicode.

Audio Digitization

SIL Americas Area project to digitize analogue audio mediums.

Photo Digitization

SIL Americas Area project to digitize photos documenting the people and the work of SIL in the Americas.

Text Digitization

SIL Americas Area project to digitize for electronic distribution many of its indigenous language resources in print mediums.

Meꞌphaa Language Documentation

A collaboration with an experienced linguist. I contributed extensive metadata and technical audio-visual expertise a team of people from the USA and Meꞌphaa speakers.

Interdental approximant

An investigation and description of a rare and socially stigmatized speech sound where the tongue protrudes out of the mouth.


Classroom & Workshop leadership

Teaching Assistant University of North Dakota

Personal Trainer Apple, Inc.

  • One-to-One trainer: iLife, iWork & OS X

Classroom instructor It’s a Small World

  • Elementary German teacher


Highlights from my most recent employment history.

IDX Innovation Analyst

SIL International, IDX Innovation Virtual Team 2018 – Present

Within the context of IDX Innovation’s mission I:

  • Identify opportunities to create customers
  • Describe, plan, and report on innovation projects
  • Ensure the effective execution of projects
  • Manage small teams of people
  • Manage project budgets
  • Advise the Chief Innovation Development Officer

Usefulness Engineer

SIL International, International Language Program Training Dallas, Texas and Virtual Team 2011 – 2018

Within the context of SIL’s Training mission I:

  • Worked with a team to bring language documentation and linguistic content to the web in a user friendly manner with current web technologies.
  • Acted as a business consultant to organizational units in SIL International to bring their services to the web.
  • Major areas of participation: Information Architecture, Planning, Business Analysis, User Experience Analysis, Communication Strategy Development and implementation.

Assistant to the Americas Area Access Coordinator

SIL International Dallas, Texas 2010 – 2012

  • Consulted industry standards for best practices related to audio and video archiving
  • Established archival quality digitization procedures for language documentation and minority language education materials.
  • Collaborated with SIL’s Language & Culture Archive to establish metadata schemas for audio and video materials, both for discovery and processing of materials through digitization work flows.
  • Managed a team of volunteers digitizing various mediums of language documentation and cultural resources.

Assistant to the Americas Area Linguistics Coordinator

SIL International Dallas, Texas 2010 – 2012

  • Worked with SIL staff in México doing language documentation
  • Established project metadata tracking and file organization procedures for multi-researcher language documentation project
  • Made project specific technology recommendations for language documentation and language development use cases

Mac Specialist

Apple, Inc. St. Louis, Missouri October 2007 – February 2008

Apple, Inc. Smith Haven, New York October 2006 – December 2006

  • Developing complete solutions based on customers’ specific needs.
  • Provided one-on-one training to customers on Apple products.
  • Created brand advocates by providing an amazing, personalized shopping experience to each and every customer.

Professional Communities

Professional Affiliations & Technical Workgroups — past & present

Non-Government Organization

  • SIL International Intellectual Property Policy Team


Audio Archiving

Educational metadata

Internet Metadata


Family & Social fit

Marital Status

  • Married to the beautiful Becky Paterson nee Smith

Strength Finder Themes

  • Learner
  • Input
  • Individualization
  • Ideation
  • Focus

Belbin Team Roles

  • Resource Investigator
  • Specialist
  • Monitor Evaluator

Myers-Briggs Personalty Type


Learning a language is almost as easy as forgetting a language. All skills ebb and flow with fluency in various seasons of life.

Language skills

Digital tools

WordPess, Drupal, Hugo, Github, Google Apps, Facebook Groups, Facebook Pages, MailChimp, Omnigraffle, Confluence, MediaWiki, FLEx, XLingPaper, Atom, Lightroom, Endnote, Zotero, Linux (Ubuntu), OS X/MacOS 10.6-10.12, Markdown, HTML, Bash

Lesser experience with: ELAN, Praat, Audacity, WeSay, SayMore, Bloom, CSS, Python, php, MySQL, XML, Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, Pro Tools, FinalCut Pro.

Strategy games

Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne

Non-digital art mediums

Woodworking, Canvas (Painting, Melted Crayons), Sketching