Dr. Harry Erwin's Web Site

How to reach me:


Photo taken in my home office back when I was working on my neuroscience PhD.

Holding a surprised pigeon in Venice

This picture was taken in Venice during the summer of 2001. One of the skills I learned in the UMCP Bat Lab was working with flying animals, and the pigeon was amazed to have a mere human being pick it up. It was just beginning to try to escape in the photo.

On the beach in Crete

This picture was taken on the north coast of Crete during Easter, 2004. The Minoan palace system has intrigued me for a long time, since it seems to have lacked the stabilization that a market economy provides. The archaeological remains in Crete are extensive enough that a critical eye can get an idea of how the system functioned.

Walking in the Lake District

Walking in Skye in June, 2004.

erdös(Harry) = 3 & erdös(Diane) = 5

Michael the Roman archaeologist

My son, Michael, the Roman archaeologist at Yeavering, August 2004

Diane, hiking on Hadrian's Wall

Diane, hiking on Hadrian's Wall, October 2004

During a break in the hail

Harry, during a break in the hail on Hadrian's Wall


Module Handbooks:

Teaching Software

Computational Neuroscience


Cognitive Neuroscience

On Critical Thinking


Software Cost Estimation

Security Engineering

I'm a security engineer with many years of experience, including being the security architect for the US Treasury Communications System. The following two links may be of some use. The Common Criteria Toolkit is needed for some MSc projects you may do with me. We are currently updating the Toolkit to Java 5.



I have a relatively recent PhD (November 1999) in Computational Neuroscience. That means I know how to apply large scale modelling and database techniques to problems in (neuro)science and ethology. I also have expertise in ESS Theory (related to sociobiology) and nonlinear dynamics-I was the first researcher to identify chaos in computer systems (Erwin, H., 1989. "Mixing and Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions in Computer Systems," Computer Measurement Group Transactions, 65:3-6, Summer 1989). The connection between modelling and nonlinear dynamics is deep-I am interested in understanding complex nonlinear systems. Unfortunately, there's evidence that those systems cannot be formally modelled except in approximation (Rosen, 1985), so naturally I'm interested in understanding how well they can be modelled.


My PhD was awarded in bioinformatics. Although my doctoral research was in computational neuroscience, I've had the coursework and so understand current research directions in computational biology. I have a background in the following:

and can supervise and do research in those areas (in support of a biology research group).


I have a professional background in security engineering and am willing to supervise research in a number of areas (if the US and UK governments approve the student). These include:

Software Engineering :

Although I am not particularly active in this area, I have a professional and academic background in computer science, system simulation, and software management, and can supervise projects in these areas:

Current Projects:

Most importantly, I have recently been awarded EPSRC funding for a project in the computational neuroscience of the auditory system. Here is a briefing. I am working with the various projects to develop biomimetic robots. Next, I am working with the Auditory Neuroethology Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, to complete a computational sensorimotor model of an echolocating bat, and I am interested in the development of a "batbot" by the Hybrid Intelligent Systems (HIS) Group at the University of Sunderland based on that research. Finally, I have a background as a senior software engineer and architect, and continue to do some work in that area, although I have retired from TRW.

I am qualified as a research supervisor for post-graduate research. I am currently supervising postgraduate work and final year projects in the following areas:

If you are interested in doing a final year project or post-graduate research under my direction, read through this material to get some ideas, and then come see me at my office. For information on studentships, consult the university and school web pages.





BS, Mathematics, UCD, 1968.

MA, Mathematics, UCSD, 1971 (with progress towards a PhD in algebraic topology).

PhD, Computational Neuroscience, the Institute for Computational Science and Informatics at George Mason University, January 15, 2000.

Professional Memberships

Associate Member, Acoustical Society of America (which means I'm a physicist)
Member, Society for Neuroscience
Member, ACM
Member, IEEE Computer Society

Member, IEEE
Member, IET (which means I'm an electrical engineer)

Member, British Computer Society
Member, International Neural Network Society

Member, Organization for Computational Neurosciences
Member, AAAS
Member, Computer Measurement Group

Member, British Society of Audiology
Senior Fellow, Washington Evolutionary Systems Society

Work Experience:

I have 34 years of software systems engineering experience. During the last ten years, I was a senior computer systems analyst supporting air traffic control systems. My specialty areas included:

Until January 2001, I was an adjunct professor in the Department of Computer Science at GMU. I have been chief engineer for a major USMC command and control system (7 years-never again!) and have twice been principal investigator for IR&D programs. I was the security architect for the US Treasury Communications System.

Other Interests

For my other interests, see my American website.