See also fuller Curriculum Vitæ.

Nick Nicholas
Academic Record:
University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 1994-1998: PhD in Linguistics & Applied Linguistics, on Modern Greek dialectology. (Supervisor: Dr Jean Mulder) (Awarded 1999-10-29)
  • 1993-1994: Master of Engineering Science (Cognitive Science; Masters by Coursework and Shorter Thesis, on theory and computer implementation of discourse structure analysis) (Supervisor: Dr Lesley Stirling)
  • 1989-1993: Bachelor of Science (Computer Science)
  • 1989-1992: Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (with Honours)
See appended document: Information Technology; Linguistics.
Occupational History:
July 2010–December 2010, May 2011–Feb 2012, Aug 2013-Jun 2014
Data Standards Working Group, National Schools Interoperability Program (Project Manager: Linda Marshall, Dan Ingvarson)
Senior Business Analyst/Standards Architect
NSIP promotes the use of standards in support of information exchange in the school sector.
  • I am modelling the requirements and helping formulate the Australian Education profile of the IMS Accessible Portable Item Protocol (APIP).
  • I have contributed to the specification of versions 1.1 through 1.3 of the SIF (Systems Interoperablity Framework) (Australia) specification.
  • I have been involved with the SIF Global Data Model effort, drawing the divergent localisations of the SIF standard into a global core layer. This has involved an underlying ontology and information model for education administration, and its realisation through model-driven architecture, via UML and XML.
  • I chaired the Learning & Teaching working group, establishing business requirements and strategic direction for standards support of teaching and curriculum in Australia.
Feb 2012–Aug 2013
Australian Curriculum Connect Project, Education Services Australia (Project Manager: Preety Agarwal, Jimmy Kemp, Susan Sheridan)
Senior Business Analyst/Standards Architect
ESA provides ICT infrastructure support for primary and secondary education in Australia. I am working on standards support for the alignment of existing and new learning resources to the Australian Curriculum, and on improving the infrastructure support for use of the Australian Curriculum. My work at ESA has included:
  • Requirements analysis, technical analysis, system design and test specification for company online offerings, including Improve (formative assessment), Scootle (resource discovery, single signon, user account provisioning), Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • Specification of RDF format for Machine Readable versions of the Australian Curriculum and the NSW Board of Studies Syllabus, and of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • Developing improvements to search performance and search ranking on Scootle
  • Capturing and sharing paradata (usage analytics) around learning resource uasge
  • Work on improved metadata support for resource discovery and resource alignment to curriculum
  • Conceptual design and technical specifications for Australian National Paradata Exchange (repository for sharing usage data about learning resources and alignment to curriculum)

February 1999-October 2001; June 2002-ongoing
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, University of California, Irvine (Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Maria Pantelia), 3450 Berkeley Place, Irvine, CA 92697-5550, USA.
Associate Specialist, Step 1 (1999-2000); Associate Specialist, Step 2 (2000-2001); Programmer/Analyst (2002-ongoing: consulting)
My achievements at the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) project, a digital library of Classical and post-Classical Greek literature at the University of California, Irvine, include the following:
  • Lemmatising the TLG corpus; this requires a good linguistic familiarity with all stages of Greek represented in the corpus, from Homeric Greek to Modern Greek dialect. The project has involved extensive linguistic research and programming of rules and phonological processes, to deal with the wide range of linguistic forms represented, as well as extensive testing and incremental addition of stems and inflections, and lexicographic research.
  • Developing and maintaining a search engine for the TLG corpus on the web (C, MySQL, Postgres, Windows NT & Solaris.) The search engine performs both word index lookup, and textual search --- including literal text search and regular expressions; it also allows for the search of orthographically normalised strings in the text, and optionally ignores diacritics and case. The processes required several innovative algorithms to be devised. Also authored user documentation.
  • Developing the new search engine for the TLG corpus online (Java, Lucene, SOLR, Postgres, Perl), incorporating existing functionality as well as document similarity detection through n-grams, usage statistics and stylometrics, contextual disambiguation through statistical methods (Brill tagging), searches on grammatical features, improved text rendering, improved alignment to online lexica.
  • Most of the development of the in-house Verification and Correction tools (Visual Basic, Windows NT.) The software performs format checking (encoding conversion, identification of potential problems in the texts --- e.g. mismatched brackets and quotation marks, misplaced punctuation), accentuation checking, and a spell-checker using word lookup of canonical forms from a database. It also incorporates text search functions, and an RTF rendering engine of Greek text to allow browsing.
  • Producing TLG CD ROM #E. This involved reverse-engineering the existing CD ROM #D, whose binary format was inadequately documented, to allow backward compatibility with existing TLG CD ROM-compatible software (C, Windows NT.) The other significant task was deriving a word index of the entire corpus, taking into account Classicis typographical conventions and editorial practice.
  • Documenting the usage in the project's corpus of Beta code, the encoding scheme whereby the Greek text and non-textual entities are encoded. As a result, I developed guidelines for text coding, and corrected many instances of misuse of Beta Code, involving both confusion of entities and the correction of past miscoding of text. This work contributed to the proposals for new characters submitted to the Unicode Consortium by the TLG; and I have continued to consult the Unicode Consortium on issues of character encoding specific to Greek (including archaic alphabetic variants and Byzantine Musical notation).
  • Work on the conversion of the corpus from Beta code to TEI-conformant XML (Omnimark, Perl, XSLT.) The TLG has followed a policy of reproducing the printed page literally, so the conversion process needs to take account of the editorial and typographical idiosyncracies of a variety of texts (close to 7000 in number). I also expanded the existing XSLT stylesheets for the TEI tagset to deal with the breadth of features present in the corpus.
May 2010–Feb 2012
Australian National Data Service, Monash University (Project Manager: Andrew Treloar)
Senior Business Analyst
ANDS is building and commissioning infrastructure to enable better sharing of research data in Australia. My work for ANDS has included:
  • Coordinating work in the Metadata Stores programme of funding, which aims to build infrastructure at the institutional level for gathering and disseminating metadata about research data collections. This includes prioritisation and planning for future directions of funding, and technical feasibility investigation.
  • Project management of funded projects under the Metadata Stores program. This includes project monitoring and reporting, and negotiating project outcomes.
  • Information modelling and conceptual work around the provision of ANDS services, including the ANDS modelling of services, the ANDS project registry, and the ANDS data registry interface.
  • Determining data management policy and software requirements through the Business Solutions Working Group
  • Authoring guides and giving presentations around best practice in information management.
  • Assessing and reviewing of project reports, and of m
  • Assessment of metadata records contributed by partners, and formulation of best practice in data description.
  • Establishing workflows and updating information gathering for internal monitoring of projects.
July 2010 –December 2010, June–August 2011
Australian Curriculum Connect Project, Education Services Australia (Project Manager: Preety Agarwal)
Business Analyst
The Australian Curriculum Connect project piloted using a machine readable version of the Australian National Curriculum, to drive discovery of learning assets and course planning, and matching the Australian National Curriculum to State curricula.
  • I formulated and updated the mapping from the existing database-driven model of the curriculum to an RDF model of the curriculum compatible with the Achievement Standard Network profile, and guidance on how to realise the mapping.
  • I provided policy guidance on implementing and using the RDF model, including guidance on versioning, technical architecture, and vocabulary best practice.
January 2008–July 2010
Link Affiliates, Consultants (Project Manager: Dennis Macnamara)
Business Analyst
Link Affiliates is a group promoting standards and interoperability in e-Research and e-Learning in Australia. I have been involved in advising on interoperability and standards agendas; technical writing and blogging about technical developments; managing and supporting demonstrator projects; requirements gathering and analysis; information modelling; and standards authoring. I have been involved with the following projects under Link Affiliates:
  • ANDS Establishment Project—PILIN Transition (Feb 2008-Jun 2008): Transitioning the PILIN project outputs to a sustainable national identifier infrastructure, for use in e-research. Continued to elaborate on information modelling and policy framework for persistent identifiers, specifying additional software services required. Produced extensive documentation for ANDS project on information model and policy for persistent identifiers.
  • e-Framework for Education and Research (Jan 2008-Nov 2009): documenting service infrastructure for e-learning and e-research projects, producing technical model for services, data sources and documentation artefacts.
  • Technical Standards for Digital Education (Jan 2009-June 2010): establishing priorities and requirements for IT standards in the school sector, supporting the Australian Digital Education Revolution. Participated in the following activities:
    • Curriculum Description: exploring and publicising work towards making the National and State school curricula machine-readable, and integrated with IT systems, particularly learning resource discovery.
    • Learning Content Discovery and Exchange: establishing means for different agencies to discover and exchange learning resources hosted outside their own systems more effectively. Included organising testing the IMS LODE specification (see below) with software developers.
    • Integrated Learning Environments and 21st Century Learning (convenor): Supporting the SIF-AU project for exchanging data between school systems, helping with data modelling and controlled vocabulary profiling. Exploring with focus group strategies and priorities for integrating Web 2.0 technologies with learning systems in schools.
  • Standards work (Jan 2009-June 2010)
      Link Affiliates has been involved in various international IT standards efforts in education, representing Australia. I have been involved in the following initiatives, including work on modelling, and writing and reviewing the standards:
      • OASIS XRI (Extensible Resource Identifier) (Aug 2008-Mar 2009): abstract identifiers used for resource description and metadata discovery.
      • OASIS SWS (Search Web Services) (Feb 2009-Mar 2010): abstract and cross-platform model of web search.
      • IMS LODE (Jan 2009-June 2010): standard for more effective discovery between e-learning repositories. Includes FRBR-like hierarchical organisation of search resuls, repository description schema derived from ISO 2146 (for repository discovery and service autoconfiguration), and metadata search profile.
  • Learner Identity Management Framework: report on requirements and possible approaches for transferring student information between States for relocating students. Involved interviews with stakeholders and analysis.
  • Vocabulary Management in Australian Education (Feb 2010-May 2010): surveyed practices and requirements for managing controlled vocabularies in Australian Education (including taxonomies and thesauri)
February 2008–October 2008
ARCHER Project, Monash University (Project Manager: David Groenewegen)
Business Analyst
The ARCHER project (Australian ResearCH Enabling enviRonment) developed infrastructure for managing research data files and data sets gathered from instrumentation, organising them, populating them with metadata, and publishing them to repositories. I established and confirmed user requirements, produced and prioritised use cases for implementation, assisted in testing of the use cases, and tracked progress in implementation. ARCHER was a decentralised project with three institutions producing software; I was involved in making sure the software outputs were integrated to achieve the overall business goals.
October 2006-December 2007
FRED Project, based at Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia. (Project Manager: Nigel Ward)
Business Analyst
The FRED (Federated Repositories in Education) project involves developing infrastructure for repository federation in the education sector in Australia. My responsibilities included establishing user requirements, developing a reference model and a service usage model for repository federation, and specifying core repository federation services at the abstract and concrete service levels through the e-Framework approach.
October 2006-December 2007
PILIN Project, based at Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia. (Project Manager: Dennis Macnamara)
Business Analyst
The PILIN (Persistent Identifier Linking INfrastructure) project involves prototyping and scoping infrastructure for Persistent Identifiers in Australia, with a Service-Oriented Approach to implementation. My responsibilities included establishing user requirements, developing an ontology for identifier systems, writing policies and policy guidelines, and specifying service usage models for identifier management systems.
April 2004-May 2007
School of Languages & Linguistics, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia. (Co-supervisor with: Jane Warren; Student: Genevieve Czarnecki)
MA Thesis Associate Supervisor
I co-supervised a Masters thesis in sociolingustics, on the manipulations of language-based constructs of identity taking place in the Valle d'Aosta, a multilingual autonomous region of Italy.
March 2002-October 2006
Department of French & Italian Studies; School of Languages & Linguistics, University of Melbourne (Supervisors: John Hajek, Christine McKeown), VIC 3010, Australia.
Local Information Technology Expert
I was responsible for the IT needs of the department at large. This has included:
  • desktop support (on Mac and PC), both over the phone and in person;
  • incidental project work and software support specific to language teaching and research needs;
  • training staff in use of software and audiovisual equipment, both one-on-one and in groups;
  • troubleshooting of software, system and hardware faults (Mac, PC, A/V);
  • administration of filesharing server (Apple) and backup server (Retrospect);
  • administration of local web server, with online database access, scripting, bulletin board, online survey sites;
  • advice, budgetting, procurement and deployment of hardware and software purchases;
  • maintaining departmental IT assets inventory.
December 2001-October 2006
Department of French & Italian Studies, University of Melbourne (Supervisor: John Hajek), VIC 3010, Australia.
Research Assistant
Providing research, editorial, programming, and administrative assistance to A/Prof John Hajek in his research work. This includes:
  • proofreading & editorial work;
  • linguistic analysis of data (phonological, syntactic, historical);
  • data analysis and extraction using computer tools (scripting, databases);
  • bibliographical research;
  • development and maintenance of computer databases of linguistic data.
March 2003-June 2003 ; May 2006
Horwood Language Centre, University of Melbourne VIC 3010, Australia.
Sessional Lecturer
I have been lecturer for the subjects Introduction to CALL Project, a course involving teaching HTML through Dreamweaver and Web Design principles, as applied to a Computer-Aided Language Learning project. This has involved devising course content, lecturing, technical assistance with web publishing, and assessing and managing project work. In 2006, I also took three lectures in the Introduction to CALL subject proper, familiarising students with the range of technologies available for CALL, as well as the challenges in fitting the technologies to the paedagogical needs rather than allowing the reverse.
March 2002-June 2003
Department of Linguistics & Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne VIC 3010, Australia.
Sessional Lecturer
I have been course coordinator, lecturer, and tutor for the subjects Introduction to Language (First Year; first semester, 2002 & 2003) and Historical Linguistics (Second/Third Year; second semester 2002). This has involved developing course content (for th most part from scratch),web publishing course content, compiling course handbooks, lecturing, pastoral work, devising and assessment assessment, andcoordinating tutors.
January 2002-January 2003
Horwood Language Centre, University of Melbourne (Supervisor: Robert Debski), VIC 3010, Australia.
Casual Programmer
I was employed to realise two projects:
  1. Skryba, a spelling practice program on the Web (using Javascript and Perl). This required a knowledge of orthographic conventions and phonological rules, used in a gapping exercise where users type in missing letters in orthographically complicated words. The current project involves Russian, although the program is intended to be language-independent.
  2. Programming and publishing on-line course materials for the Intermediate Swedish course of the University. This involves HTML formatting, Perl scripting, cookie-based authentication management, and database administration (MySQL), on a MacOSX platform.
April 2001-October 2001 (and intermittently)
Logical Language Group
Web Publishing
For the Logical Language Group (a non-profit educational organisation), I have been involved in editing and publishing on-line an introductory brochure and textbook. While the content was developed collaboratively, I have been solely responsible for the technical aspects of publishing the materials; this was done in XML (Docbook) and DSSSL, working with Jade, and generating RTF, TeX and HTML output. I have also extensively customised the Docbook DSSSL stylesheets, and offered bug fixes and improvement suggestions to the standard Docbook DSSSL stylesheet suite.
June 1996-January 1999
Information Technology Services, University of Melbourne (Supervisor: Rick Westcott), Parkville 3052, VIC, Australia
Casual staff, University Computer Helpdesk (Technical Support/Hotline)
I worked on the University Computer Helpdesk handling queries from throughout the campus on both Macintosh and Windows platforms, providing desktop, lab, and hardware support. I was also involved in writing documentation and helpfiles.

September 1993-January 1999
Department of Linguistics & Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne (Supervisors: Dr Mark Durie, Dr John Hajek, Dr Dominique Estival, Dr Ilia Pejros), VIC 3010, Australia.
Research assistant and Research programmer
While a Masters and doctoral student in the department, I participated in various research programmes as a programmer:
  • From October 1996 to February 1997, I was a research assistant working on a project involving analysis of syntactically-tagged corpora of Old French. My involvement was in converting an electronic text from a Microsoft Word file to SGML-coded text (TEI Lite), and setting up the infrastructure for syntactic tagging and parsing of the texts, including obtaining and customising SGML software (C & TCL, Macintosh and Windows 3.1.)
  • From December 1993 to June 1995, I was involved in developing computer software used to determine the correlation between the referring status of nominal expressions in a text, and their linguistic features (4th Dimension, Macintosh.) The software involved extensive scripting to enable efficient coding of the texts, as well as statistical computations based on the aggregate relative distances between the coded entities in the texts.
  • From September 1993 to January 1999, I was a programmer involved in a project on the phonetic and phonological systems of the languages of the Pacific area. I was involved in database software development and data analysis (4th Dimension, Macintosh.) The software included automatic decoding of IPA characters into phonetic features, and plotting data points on zoomable geographical maps.
July-October 1997
Department of Linguistics & Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne (Supervisor: Dr Jean Mulder), VIC 3010, Australia.
Sessional tutor, Grammar of English
May 1996-June 1997
Department of Linguistics & Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne (Supervisors: Dr Janet Fletcher, Dr Dominique Estival), VIC 3010, Australia.
Webmaster, Departmental Web Site
July-October 1996
Department of Linguistics & Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne (Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Nick Evans), VIC 3010, Australia.
Sessional tutor, Communication Across Cultures
January-February 1995
Microsoft Software Institute (Supervisor: Dr Robert Dale), 65 Epping Rd., North Ryde, NSW, Australia
Intern, research into text generation
Developed a rudimentary template-based text planner and generator producing encyclopaedic texts on animals from database information (Prolog, Windows NT.) The text generator, PELUDO, was since continued in Maria Milosavljevic's doctoral work on PEBA II.
December 1992-February 1993
Materials Research Laboratory, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (Supervisor: Michael Chung), Ascot Vale, VIC, Australia.
Temporary programmer
Mathematical programming simulating the effectiveness of mine neutralisation (Turbo Pascal, DOS.)
December 1991-February 1992
Ewbank Preece Sinclair Knight Consulting Engineers (Supervisor: Mark Clarke), 222 St Kilda Rd., South Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Temporary programmer
Setting up a relational database for the library holdings of the firm (Paradox, DOS.)

Information Technology Courses:
Languages Spoken:

Nick Nicholas, opoudjis [AT] optusnet . com . au
Created: 1995; Last revision: 2013-08-19