Prof. Howard spent his senior year of
college in Seville, Spain, studying Spanish, German and
Arabic and the culture of Andalucia, and stayed on for two
more years teaching English. He returned to UNC-Chapel
Hill to pursue a Master's in linguistics and then
transfered to Cornell to complete a doctorate in Spanish
syntax under the guidance of Margarita Suñer in 1993. He
then taught for three years in the Spanish department at
Rutgers before moving to New Orleans to teach in the Dept.
of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University, where he
His dissertation research was on the syntax and semantics
of focus movement in English and Spanish, in the Barriers
and Relativized Minimality frameworks. Since then, he has
become more interested in the neurological principles that
underlay grammatical phenomena. He attended the Oxford
Summer School in Connectionist Modeling in 1996, and has
given several papers on neural network approaches to
semantics (quantification and coordination) and morphology
(Spanish diminutives), a resarch program that culminated
in his monograph Connectionist Semantics: Neural
Networks for Coordination, Quantification and Collective
Predicates, published by Elsevier Scientific.
The Federal Levee Failure of 2005 ?
you may know it as hurricanes Katrina and Rita, see levees.org
? was a watershed event in his life and career. After a
seven-week evacuation to his parents' house in Savannah,
Ga., he came back to a battered and prostrate city. He
began to help out the best he could, and volunteered to be
a poll commissioner for the Parish of Orleans.
Professionally, he won a grant from the newly created
School of Liberal Arts under Dean George Bernstein to
further his research in computational neuroscience through
the creation of the Sociocognitive Robotics Lab, as well
as to advance to the next phase in his research program by
attending a summer course in EEG at Electrical
Geodesics Inc. in Eugene, Or.
Given that his research is heavily
invested in computational modeling, and facing the
dissolution of the Dept. of Computer Science and
Electrical Engineering as part of Tulane's response to the
dire circumstances following the Federal Levee Failure,
Prof. Howard began looking for ways to maintain the
teaching of computer programming at Tulane. He won a Duren
Professorship to teach an introduction to
programming using the LEGO
Mindstorms NXT robots in the spring of 2008, and is
teaching a TIDES
course, Object-Oriented Programming through Video Games,
using Carnegie Mellon's innovative Alice
3D programming environment in the fall of 2008.
At Tulane, he is instrumental in bringing informational
technology into the classroom for the teaching of
linguistics and foreign languages. He routinely pod-casts
his lectures and posts his Powerpoint presentations for
all to peruse -- see the course homepages in the left-hand
column for pointers.
- New bio, finally!
- Office hours for Fall 2014: MW
1-2pm, T 4-5pm
last update August 25, 2014