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Consulting areas:
Artificial intelligence, Prolog, natural language processing
Natural language processing
Machine learning and data mining
Sentiment analysis and text mining
Software for Microsoft Windows
Older programming languages (FORTRAN, COBOL, ALGOL, PL/1)
Microcontrollers and electronics
Writing, editing, and book evaluation

Résumé and Terms

Consulting rates on request.






Covington Innovations Home > Consulting Services

Michael A. Covington

Michael A. Covington, Ph.D.

Consultant and Author
+1 706 207-4262

This page is never up to date.

I'm always doing more exciting things than this page will ever report, and many of them are under nondisclosure.

If I can be of service to you, please drop me a line.

No job is too small; few jobs are too weird!


Ph.D. (Linguistics), Yale University, 1982

M.Phil. (Linguistics), Cambridge University, 1978

Senior Research Scientist Emeritus,
Institute for Artificial Intelligence, The University of Georgia

Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Artificial intelligence and natural language processing

As a computational linguist, I am trained in the computer processing of human languages and the computer modeling of human logical reasoning.

I can develop software that understands and analyzes English. For example, in a demonstration I developed a web page that answered questions in English to help the user choose the right pair of binoculars from a large catalogue. A more common task, which I've tackled several times, is to extract information from natural-language text, or to classify texts according to their content.

I am a widely recognized expert on the Prolog programming language. (Contact me especially if you need to make an existing Prolog program run faster.) I also use other programming languages to fit the task, especially C# for Windows.

Natural language processing is a hot area for investment right now. I can help you evaluate software, inventions, and patents for potential investment.

Sentiment analysis and text mining

Much of my recent research and development has pertained to sentiment analysis, getting computers to read Web pages or other texts and rate how much people are saying good or bad things about a given subject. This is a form of text mining or web scraping, gathering information from the Web or other written sources — sometimes even information the writers didn't know whether they were revealing.

I am also familiar with forensic linguistics (author identification), comparing authors to each other to determine who wrote something, or whether it could have been written by a particular kind of person. Unlike those who make more audacious claims, I don't skip an essential step — I always measure how much an author's style varies within itself before comparing it to another author.

Machine learning and data mining

I can make computers find patterns in data. Machine learning, as it's called, is the discovery of unrecognized regularities and the use of this information to make predictions or decisions. In a project that is under nondisclosure, I recently helped a client cut costs in a big way by recognizing transactions that were likely to cause problems.

My involvement in a project of this type can include choosing the technical approach, writing modules to be integrated into the client's existing software, or creating complete, usable software tools.

User-friendly software for any application

I can turn your ideas into software. I specialize in creating user-friendly Windows software to meet a client's needs. Recent projects range from business information management to video editing. I normally program in C# using the Microsoft .NET Framework, but numerous other programming languages and methodologies are available.

I particularly like the challenge of creating user-friendly software of a scientific nature, software for data analysis, and interfaces to scientific equipment.

Older programming languages

I can help you rescue computer programs that were written in FORTRAN, COBOL, ALGOL, or PL/1 back in the 1970s. I was an active user of those programming languages then (starting as a high-school student) and will be glad to help you maintain such programs or port them to newer platforms.

Microcontrollers and electronics

In the past, I have developed microcontroller firmware, microprocessor-controlled equipment, and unusual PC interfaces. My "NOPPP" programmer for the PIC16F84 has resulted in two manufactured products, several magazine articles, and about 100,000 web site visits.

This is a less active area for me now, simply because I'm fully occupied with other things. But I remain interested in it and can be particularly helpful when a small analog electronics problem needs to be solved as part of a digital system. I enjoy quick, simple jobs.

Writing, editing, and book evaluation

I am an experienced writer, and with a Ph.D. in linguistics, I don't just write — I've done research on how to write clearly. Capabilities include documentation writing, technical editing, and evaluation of books in my specialties (in several languages; I read German, French, Spanish, Italian, and others).

I've written half a dozen books and hundreds of magazine articles and have reviewed books and articles for perhaps fifty publishers and journals. Let me know if I can assist you with a writing or publishing project, including grant proposal writing.

Recent consulting projects:

  • Using machine learning to recognize transactions likely to incur problems (under nondisclosure)

  • Developing intelligent analytics in the financial sector (for FormFree Holdings Corporation)

  • Developing sentiment analysis software tools for a government-related application (under nondisclosure)

  • Applying artificial intelligence in an educational game package for a major software manufacturer (under nondisclosure)

  • Engineering support for development of patent claims for an information retrieval technique (under nondisclosure)

  • Developing documentation for CORAID, Inc. (samples here and here)

  • Implementing a commercial software product for business knowledge management (TIP Software)

  • Prototyping a commercial software product involving knowledge management and video editing (under nondisclosure, not commercially released)

  • Use of natural-language understanding techniques in psychological research (under nondisclosure, but click here for related published work)

  • Development of natural-language understanding techniques for classifying incoming e-mail (under nondisclosure)

  • Natural-language processing software evaluation for potential investors (under nondisclosure)

Résumé and Terms

Consulting rates: On request.

Until May 2013, I was employed by The University of Georgia full-time during the school year, and private consulting was a part-time activity. Now I'm retired from the University and consulting full-time.


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Last Revision March 2016