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Geoff Hollis, PhD, MA



Computing Science

About Me

What do a gourmet hotdog, a funny joke, and a good computer program have in common? I think they all require creativity to make. I like to create things. I create many things, but these are three of my favourite things to create.


My primary research interests are:

  • How human languages change over time.
  • How humans and other animals learn.
  • How learning processes can be simulated with computers.
  • How science measures complicated, unobservable ideas like feelings.


Learning new concepts requires large amounts of practice and a willingness to fail. For university students, this means doing regular homework, attempting to solve problems on your own before looking for answers, and always asking yourself "how would I know if I were wrong?" whenever you think you understand something. I try to design my courses with these beliefs in mind.

My teaching experience and interests are broad.

Currently I teach courses on:

  • Introductory computer programming (CMPUT 174, 175)
  • The ethics of modern technologies (CMPUT 300)
  • How to effectively transition from university to a career (INT D 400)

Previously I have taught courses on:

  • Introductory Psychology (PSYCO 104, 105)
  • How to design scientific experiments (PSYCHO 212)
  • How social situations affect our behavior (PSYCHO 241)
  • How we think (PSYCHO 258)
  • How our senses work (PSYCHO 267)
  • The history of psychology (PSYCHO 300)
  • The evolution of human behavior (PSYCHO 391)

I would like to teach courses on:

  • How humans learn language
  • How computers learn language
  • How science works