Dr. Thomas Whalen's Biography

Thomas Whalen was born in British Columbia, Canada in 1951. He obtained a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

Research interests

Dr. Whalen has been conducting research on the human factors of information technologies for the Government of Canada at the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa since 1979. Dr. Whalen's current research projects at the Network Services and Interfaces Laboratory address the development of new services and human interfaces for computer networks. Most linguistic-based approaches to natural language require the development of a grammar. In contrast, Dr. Whalen's psychology-based approach relies on examining actual human behaviour.

Each new system is tested on thousands of people and many thousands of sentences are collected and analysed. His computer program, TIPS, provides ways to store, organize, and search the important parts of these sentences. The program won the 1994 Loebner Prize Competition.