Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Faculty of Science and Engineering

James A.(Jim) Mason

Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Senior Scholar

Email: jmason (at) yorku.ca

I have retired from teaching to devote more time to my research.  For matters regarding the Computer Science degree programs please see the Department of Computer Science and Engineering web site.

My research involves natural-language understanding -- specifically, writing software to understand English in limited application domains. I am continuing to develop object-oriented software tools to create and edit English grammars in the form of graphical networks called Augmented Syntax Diagrams (ASDs), and to parse English utterances with ASD grammars.   Recently I have extended the use of ASDs to implement decision networks as well as grammars.  Also, I have implemented several successive models of English-language understanding in a domain called CardWorld.  That domain  is well suited to building and testing linguistic and cognitive models which actually work as components in simulated conversational partners.

The tools and models are available in Java implementations, free of charge, under an open-source Apache license.  To access them, see the ASD home page :

ASD home page

Shortage of time and other resources is delaying my work on the CardWorld project.  Meanwhile, here is a short description of philosophical implications of the goal of that project:
Philosophical Implications of the Card Expert Program

Here is another essay that summarizes things I have learned about language and our social species: Human Supra-Organisms and Language -- An Outline

Here's a link to one of my favourite sites: Astronomy Picture of the Day

This link is to some philosophical musings of mine and related notes.  Warning: If you are easily offended by philosophical or religious views that may differ from your own, please use "viewer discretion" and don't read them.

updated 2018 December 12