Professor Jon David Patrick - Brief CV

Sybase Chair of Information Systems

University of Sydney


Professor Jon Patrick holds a Ph.D. from Monash University, an MSc from Trinity College Dublin, a BSc from Deakin University, a Diploma of Behavioural Health Psychology from Latrobe University, and Diploma of Land Surveying from RMIT. He is a registered psychologist and a practising psychotherapist.


He came to the University of Sydney from Massey University, New Zealand, where he held the foundation Chair of Information Systems for 4 years and was instrumental in developing the Department's academic curriculum and research profile.


Professor Patrick first graduated as a land surveyor from RMIT in 1967 and after working for a few years in geodetic surveying in outback Australia he subsequently obtained his MSc from Trinity College, Dublin, in an interdisciplinary study of archaeoastronomy. Subsequently he completed his Doctorate at the Department of Computer Science of Monash University in 1978 where he applied the principles of Minimal Message Length encoding (MML) in a study of the geometry of prehistoric stone circles.


He continued working in Computing as a Senior lecturer and later as Assoc Professor at Deakin University where he developed informations systems for the analysis of human behaviour. These systems were commercialised and adapted for use in television stations, at the Australian Institute of Sport and for professional sporting clubs in the sports of Australian Rules Football, cricket, waterpolo, Rugby League and surfing.


At Massey he redirected his early research in studying human behaviour into information systems for qualitative and quantitative data analysis systems. One outcome of this work was an extensive analysis into the methods of a group psychotherapy process known as psychodrama.


At the same time he has used Probabilistic Finite State Automata (PFSA) to model and measure the distance between natural languages and he has shown its effectiveness by applying it to determine the relative distance of modern Mandarin and Cantonese from their common ancestor Middle Chinese.


In 1988 Professor Patrick became involved in personal counselling and took out a Batchelor's degree in psychology. He developed expertise in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy and obtained registration as a psychologist in Victoria. On moving to New Zealand he became involved in the local men's non-violence movement and developed a "Heal Your Violence History" group therapy programme for men. He has delivered papers at the annual conferences of both the Australian and New Zealand Psychological Societies. He was Chairman of the 1997 Family Violence Symposium and joint editor of the proceedings. He is joint author of a play on family violence and an actor in the inaugural presentation of the play. He is particularly interested in the use of subliminal components of language as a diagnostic tool for both emotional ill-health and its remediation and sees them as crucially important in workplace matters of employee performance and productivity.


Professor Patrick has collaborations with the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian in the development of dictionary databases, in conjunction with research into the computational treatment of Basque. In the last ten years he has learnt Basque and he has completed writing in English the first extensive student reference grammar of the Basque language. He is currently working on computer assisted analysis of proto-basque.


In 1998 Professor Patrick was appointed to the Sybase Chair of Information Systems in the Basser Department of Computer Science at the University of Sydney with responsibility for developing the research and undergraduate programs in the field of Information Systems. He has created a synergy between the Humanities and Social Sciences and Information Systems by introducing the Bachelor of Arts Informatics. He teaches in the area of Organisational Change Management as well as his research areas.


His current research follows two lines combining his interests in Data Mining and Natural Language Processing. Firstly, his aim is to develop a software system for the semantic analysis of text that can be readily moved between domains. He is applying his approach to two area; the discovery of financial scam documents over the Internet, and the analysis of the effectiveness of psychotherapy through comparison of pre- and post treatment interviews. His second research area is the development of a Workflow and Revision Control System to support the revision and regeneration of multi-sourced multi-media publications which he has applied to reference libraries for second language learners. As well, he is currently acting as the Director of the Language Technology program for the Co-operative Research Centre for Technology Enabled Capital Markets (CMCRC).