John Anton Goldsmith is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, with appointments in Linguistics and Computer Science. He was educated at Swarthmore College, where he obtained his B.A. in 1972, and at MIT, where he completed his Ph.D. in Linguistics under Morris Halle in 1976. He was on the faculty at the Department of Linguistics at Indiana University, before joining the University of Chicago in 1984. He has also taught at the LSA Linguistic Institutes and has held visiting appointments at McGill, Harvard, and UCSD, among others. In 2007, Goldsmith was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Goldsmith's research ranges from phonology to computational linguistics. His Ph.D thesis introduced autosegmental phonology, which regards phonological phenomena as a collection of parallel tiers with individual segments representing certain features of speech. His recent research deals with unsupervised learning of linguistic structure, as well as in extending computational linguistics algorithms to bioinformatics. Programs that implement his research in CL include 'SweetTalker', a rule-based intonation system, 'Babylon', a trainable language identification system, and 'AutoMorphology'/'WinAutomorphology', an automatic morphological analyzer.