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, Daniel and Esther, from my first marriage.

My wife and partner is writer 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? We can remember that the name of the village began with 'Llan ...'.



Language Learning