Richard Cook

Senior Researcher, Artificial Intelligence
rscook @

Richard Cook received his bachelor’s degree in English and comparative literature from Columbia University in 1989. In the mid-1990s, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the central Pacific and taught college in northern China. In 1996, his first book, The Etymology of Chinese Chen, was published in the UC Berkeley Linguistics Department as a monograph volume of the journal Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. In 1998, he joined UC Berkeley’s Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus Project (STEDT), specializing in historical Chinese and computational linguistics. While a linguistics graduate student at UC Berkeley, he began working for ICSI’s World Color Survey (WCS) under the direction of Professor Paul Kay, migrating WCS data to modern computing systems, preparing the online data archive, performing statistical analysis of the data, and, with Kay, preparing project findings for electronic and print publication. He received his master’s degree in 2000 and PhD in 2003 from UC Berkeley. In his dissertation (published in four volumes as STEDT Monograph 9), he produced the first-ever digitization of the 2,000-year-old Eastern Han Dynasty Chinese dictionary Shuowen. In 2006 his book on ancient Chinese mathematics was published as Classical Chinese Combinatorics (STEDT Monograph 5). He is currently project director of the Eastern Han Chinese Dictionary Translation Project, supported in part by a grant from the US National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH, Scholarly Editions and Translations). Since 1993 he has worked with Wenlin Institute to develop computational resources for Chinese lexicography and machine-assisted translation of (ancient and modern) Chinese. Since 2000 he has been an editor of The Unicode Standard, managing Unicode’s public Unihan database. The WCS team’s book The World Color Survey was published in 2009 by the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI, Stanford University).

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