About me (John Self)

I have lived near Lancaster for over forty years, with Ruth and, until they left, Martin and Pamela. Much of that time has been spent exploring on foot (walking or running) the high-ways and low-ways of North-West England. Occasionally, I would be prevented from doing so by the need to work – in the Department of Computing at the University of Lancaster and then as professor of knowledge-based systems in the School of Education at the University of Leeds and director of the Computer Based Learning Unit. During that time I became the first president of the International Society for Artificial Intelligence in Education, on which topic I published over one hundred papers and authored, or co-authored, seven books, including:

·        Learning and Teaching with Computers: Artificial Intelligence in Education (1983)

·        Artificial Intelligence and Human Learning (1988)

·        Computational Mathetics: Towards a Science of Learning Systems Design (1995)

For all of which, the afore-mentioned Society deemed in 2018 that a 'lifetime achievement award' was appropriate.


However, I suspect that all that is of little interest to anyone reading this page. They may be more interested in my transition from the international and artificial to the local and natural, as reflected in my more recent writings:

The Land of the Lune (first edition, 2008; second edition, 2010) is a 260-page guide (including over 200 photographs) to the region within the Lune watershed. 

Fifty Weeks Running: Ruminations of a Rusty Runner (2011) is a sort of on-line diary reflecting on running (and other things) based on experiences of running around the region and elsewhere for thirty years, on and off. 

Rainy Day Rambles in the Lake District (2015) is a set of ‘sketches’ about the Lake District.

The Wildlife of the Lune Region (2013 - 2016) describes a series of explorations of the wildlife of the region within the Lune catchment.

Saunterings (2018-), a set of reflections based upon walks about North-West England. 

In order to motivate my explorations of northern England I have set myself various challenges:

·        To run coast-to-coast (Flamborough Head to St Bees Head), 200 miles in 6 days (1993)

·        To reach the 60 highest Lake District peaks in the 60 days before my 60th birthday (2005)

·        To reach the 70 highest peaks within the Lune watershed in the 70 days before my 70th birthday (2015)

·        To run every single day in the year before stopping running for good, at 72 (2017)

If you wish to contact me for any reason please send an email to johnselfdrakkar@gmail.com. 



On Yewbarrow, with Kirkfell and Great Gable beyond, 2016