Thomas Wasow’s research interests include English syntax, psycholinguistics, and philosophy of linguistics. He has served on the editorial boards of a range of academic journals, is currently as associate editor for Cognitive Science, and was previously an associate editor for Language.
Wasow is a professor of linguistics and of philosophy, and affiliated with the Symbolic Systems Program. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1973, after getting his Ph.D. in linguistics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. He is currently the chair of the Linguistics Department, and the Bert & Candace Forbes Fellow in Undergraduate Education. In 1983, he helped create the Center for the Study of Language and Information, a research center that studies how intelligent agents (both biological and artificial) process and use information, serving as its director from 1986-1987 and 2006-2007. He also led the establishment of the Symbolic Systems program, which he directed from 1992-2000 and 2001-2005.
Additionally, Wasow has been an active member of the Stanford administration, having spent time serving as the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences (both 1987-1991), the Associate Dean of Graduate Policy (1996-2000), Chair of the Faculty Senate (2003-2004), and President of Stanford’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter (2003-2006). In 1996, he received the Rhodes Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and, in 2004, he received the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Prize for distinctive contributions to undergraduate education. He is also Stanford’s representative on the Coalition of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Wasow is passionate about the issue of poverty in America, and serves on the Boards of Directors of two nonprofit organizations providing low-income housing and a variety of social and health services to needy people in the area. He previously served on a City of Palo Alto Task Force on Homelessness and on the Advisory Board of Urban Ministry of Palo Alto.