Language Learning

Language Learning

This is me on a visit to Japan: the character on the left of the picture in the green anorak is my bodyguard :-).

Gerry Wolff (J Gerard Wolff)



  • BA Hons (Cantab)
  • PhD (Wales)
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Member of the British Computer Society (CITP)


  • Studied 'natural sciences' (Psychology, Zoology, Geology, Botany) at Cambridge University. Horace Barlow's lectures about economical coding in brains and nervous systems left a big impression which (eventually) led me to my current research interests (below).
  • School teaching (Biology) then training in educational psychology.
  • Migrated into research on first language learning using computer modelling techniques (University Hospital of Wales and University of Wales, Cardiff).
  • Continued the same research with related teaching at the University of Dundee. An accumulation of evidence pointed to the importance of information compression in language learning.
  • Had a 'brain storm' and went into the computing industry (IBM and then Praxis Systems). Learned a lot about computing and about management techniques. Began to realise that information compression was relevant to a range of issues in computing.
  • Returned to academic work (in the School of Informatics, Bangor). The main focus of research has been developing the SP theory of computing and cognition (Computing as Compression).
  • After 15 years, I have managed to put the main 'planks' of the SP theory in place. Further development of the ideas and development of their many applications is continuing at
  • Since 2006, I have been Coordinator of Desertec-UK, and, more recently, Energy Fair, The Kyoto2 Support Group (K2S), and Food Plus.

Research Interests

A dialectic deconstruction of an eclectic postmodernistic and universal simulacrum of hyper-reality - a poststructuralist logocentric semiology beyond machine-aesthetic epistemology.


I have two children by my first marriage.

My wife and partner is Marianne Jones (see picture below).

Other Interests

When are we going to stop wrecking the planet? (Desertec-UK, Energy Fair, The Kyoto2 Support Group (K2S), Food Plus), swimming, walking, cooking (now and then), music, films, jokes ....

Which way shall we go? I can remember that the name of the village began with 'Llan ...'.



Language Learning