I am originally from Madrid, Spain, and I graduated with a Licenciatura in English Philology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1993, including a year as an exchange student at Stetson University in Florida, USA . A Licenciatura is a five-year degree, roughly the equivalent of a BA+MA in North America or in the current European (Bologna) system. At the Universidad Complutense I took part in GIST, a European Union funded project in Natural Language Generation, with Julia Lavid as the local PI.

After that degree, I started a PhD in English Linguistics at the same university, but took a break to complete an M.Sc. in Computational Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. At CMU, I was part of the JANUS project, a speech translation system at the Language Technologies Institute, working with Lori Levin and Alon Lavie. For my thesis, I implemented a system to keep track of context and to improve the output of machine translation.

I continued the PhD, which I completed in 2001, also under the supervision of Julia Lavid. In my dissertation, I examined task-oriented conversations in English and Spanish, and showed how they are jointly constructed to be coherent. I analyzed the conversations in terms of coherence, using Rhetorical Structure Theory; in terms of cohesion, applying Halliday and Hasan's model of cohesion; and in terms of thematic relations, using definitions from Systemic Functional Linguistics.

Before finishing my PhD, I moved to Canada, and I held several limited-term positions at the University of Alberta in Edmonton: teaching in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies and the Department of Linguistics, and a postdoctoral research position in the Department of Computing Science, working with Renée Elio on software agent communication.

In 2000 I moved to Vancouver, to work for a now defunct technology company, MindfulEye Systems. I was in charge of developing a system to track opinions expressed online. In 2001 I came to Simon Fraser University, where I was first Assistant Professor (2001-2007), Associate Professor (2007-2014), and now Full Professor in the Department of Linguistics. At SFU, I am also an Associate Member of the Cognitive Science Program and the School of Computing Science. I direct the Discourse Processing Lab.

For further details, you can check a full curriculum vitae (in pdf), or consult my research, teaching and publications page.