Texas outline

About This Guy

Trevor Fountain, including inappropriate eyewear

Trevor Fountain is a forward-deployed engineer at Palantir Technologies, based in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., and a co-founder and digital publisher at Far Off Places, a magazine of written whimsy. Prior to that he was a co-founder and developer at Blazing Griffin, an indie game studio in Edinburgh, Scotland. He obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics, where he worked a member of ICCS and studied models of natural language categorization under Mirella Lapata.

He did his undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin, in the Computer Science Department. He graduated as one of the first classes of Turing Scholars, and did his honour’s thesis work with the UT Computational Linguistics Lab as part of the Shalmaneser semantic role-labelling project.

He’s also an avid technologist, and has worked on a slew of projects across different platforms and stacks. He’s designed, developed, and released successful games for iOS, built scalable websites to serve HTML5 & Flash video, created and distributed publications across modern & traditional media, and written more web-based tools than he can remember. He’s worked as part of a large team (at Palantir Technologies and Lockheed Martin), as part of a small team (at Sun Microsystems), as a founder (at Blazing Griffin and Far Off Places) and as a sole developer (on lots of other things).

Recently, he launched The App Classifieds, a developer-friendly marketplace for mobile, desktop, and web apps. If you’re looking for a talented software engineer, an insanely fast interface designer/developer, or a technical co-founder, he can be bought.


  • Fountain, T. (2012). Modelling the Acquisition of Natural Language Categories. Ph. D. Thesis. The University of Edinburgh [PDF]
  • Fountain, T. & Lapata, M. (2012). Taxonomy Induction Using Hierarchical Random Graphs. Proceedings of the Conference on Human Language Technology and North American chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (HLT-NAACL 2012) Montreal, Canada [PDF]
  • Fountain, T. & Lapata, M. (2011). Incremental Models of Natural Language Category Acquisition. L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]
  • Fountain, T. & Lapata, M. (2010). Meaning Representation in Natural Language Categories. In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]


Like most programmer-folk, he has built up a small catalogue of useful tools over the years. He’s even made most of them publicly available, in the hope that others may find them useful — in particular, people seem to make use of:

  • rtypeset — A pure Ruby typographic pre-processor for HTML.
  • Chassis — A Yeoman generator for scaffolding ready-to-rock modern webapps.
  • rwordnet — A pure Ruby interface to Wordnet with a focus on ease of installation.
  • ruby-regress — A re-implementation of Gary Perlman’s |STAT regress tool.
  • progressbar — A clone of the similarly named Ruby gem, but for ANSI C.
  • clusterfuck — A subversive distributed systems tool.

doches on App.Net