Professor Townsend joined the UW law school faculty in 1992 and has taught Contracts, Torts, Quantitative Methods in the Law, and Copyrights and Trademarks. He also has taught mathematical logic in the Department of Philosophy. Prior to his arrival at the UW, he was on the mathematics faculty at Harvey Mudd College, and the computer science faculty at Columbia University. He was a research scientist at Bell Laboratories.
Professor Townsend's interests include law, science, and technology and the use of quantitative methods in legal reasoning. He has published on the use of statistics in legal proceedings and on mathematics and theoretical computer science. He has served as a referee for several technical journals. While at Yale Law School, he was Articles Editor for the Yale Law Journal and Senior Editor for The Yale Journal on Regulation. Also at Yale, he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law, Economics and Public Policy.