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The Australian National University
Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT)
Department of Computer Science
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Curriculum Vitae: L. Andrew Coward

Following graduation from Downing College, Cambridge University (UK) in 1965, I had many years experience in the telecommunications industry, including all aspects of complex system design and manufacturing.

Over my telecommunications design career from 1966 to 1999 I participated in a number of major system design projects, including one which required ~10,000 man years of engineering effort to initially design the system. I had a wide range of different responsibilities related to the design of complex, real time systems. On the semiconductor side these responsibilities included silicon process design, custom integrated circuit design, and design and testing environments for integrated circuit design. On the software side responsibilities included software design, design tool design including compiler design, design environment design including library and build systems and trouble tracking, and support tools including debugging tools. On the hardware side responsibilities included printed circuit board design and test tools and system packaging. On the system side responsibilities included system architecture design, and hardware and software integrity and reliability. During this time I worked at a number of locations in the UK, Canada and the USA.

In the early 1980s I became interested in applying the approaches to designing functionally complex electronic systems to understanding the human brain. Early on I realized that although there is minimal direct resemblance between electronic and biological systems, the constraints that extreme complexity places on electronic architectures provided some clues to the constraints that natural selection places on complex brains.

I left the telecommunications industry in 1999 in order to focus on my interests in understanding the architectures of biological brains. Since then I have published a range of papers on understanding higher cognition in terms of anatomy and physiology, working with people at different universities in Australia, Canada, US and UK. I have published two books in this area.

I am currently an associate professor at the Australian National University, but spend a lot of time at my long term home in Vancouver, Canada.

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