After graduating Georgia Tech in 1990, I found myself at MIT's AI Lab (now CSAIL) pursuing a PhD and learning all about machine learning. For my dissertation, I developed a novel algorithm for inferring sparse, multi-level structure from a large collection of electronically available text. This was done in an unsupervised way, using principles from statistics and information theory. My advisors were Rod Brooks and Paul Viola. After graduation I ended up at AT&T Shannon Labs, where I spent many fruitful years working with a slew of luminaries in machine learning. I left the Labs in the spring of 2002 and now I'm back at Ga Tech, doing the faculty thing. I was awarded tenure (you should see what my students did to my office) and not too long after promoted to Professor, so I've decided that the academy is, in fact, a perfectly fair and meritocratic institution.