I did my graduate studies at the department of Alfa-informatica of the University of Groningen in The Netherlands from 1990 to 1994. In 1995 I was employed as a part-time teacher at this department. During these five years I wrote six papers, gave fourteen undergraduate courses and supervised six Masters theses. My PhD thesis topic was machine learning applied to the phonotactic structure of natural languages. This project was supervised by John Nerbonne. The thesis defence took place on October 19, 1998. The exam committee consisted of prof.dr.ir. Anton Nijholt (Twente), prof.dr. Nicolai Petkov (Groningen), prof.dr. Ger de Haan (Groningen), prof.dr. Ronan Reilly (Dublin), prof.dr. Walter Daelemans (Tilburg&Antwerp), prof.dr.ir. Ben Spaanenburg (Groningen) and dr. Gertjan van Noord (Groningen).