Thursday, September 30, 2010

Christopher Harris is taking semantics—the meaning behind words—in a new direction. Harris, a Ph.D. candidate in informatics, researches intellectual property, specifically, patent infringement involving chemical compounds. His work involves a combination of computer science, text retrieval, legal knowledge, intellectual property rules, statistical methods, and an understanding of natural sciences.

The support of UI faculty and fellow students has been a valuable component of his research.

“With so many bright, energetic and enthusiastic faculty and students both challenging and encouraging me, I am provided with an environment that nurtures learning and achievement,” Harris said. “The greatest challenge I have here at the University is being presented with too many interesting directions to go with my research.”

Iowa City is the latest stop in Harris’s life journey. His travels have taken him to 129 different countries. He currently is co-organizing the third International Patent Information Retrieval Conference in Toronto, Canada.