Professor of Computer Science
- Doctoral Degree, Computer Science, Carnegie-Mellon University
- Master's Degree, Computer Science, Carnegie-Mellon University
- Bachelor's Degree, Mathematics, Stanford University
I am a Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California (USC) and Director for Cognitive Architecture Research at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). I was at USC's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) for twenty years, most recently as its Deputy Director. Prior to coming to USC in 1987, I was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Psychology at Stanford University from 1984 to 1987, and a Research Computer Scientist at Carnegie Mellon University from 1983 to 1984. I received a B.S. degree in Mathematical Sciences (with distinction) from Stanford University in 1976 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1978 and 1983, respectively.
From 1983 until 1998, I was a co-PI of the Soar Project, a multi-disciplinary, multi-site attempt to develop, understand, and apply a cognitive architecture capable of supporting general intelligence. Research on Soar spanned areas such as machine learning, problem solving and planning, production systems, intelligent agents, virtual humans, multi-agent systems, knowledge-based systems, neural networks, and cognitive modeling. The most significant applications were intelligent automated pilots and commanders for synthetic battlespaces, as deployed in Synthetic Theater of War '97 (STOW-97).
From 1998 until 2007 my focus shifted to exploring new directions in computing and related fields for ISI, such as blending entertainment and computing for military training (where I helped to found ICT); virtual organizations of robots, agents and people; responding to the unexpected; high performance computing, scalable distributed computing, and computational science; biomedical informatics; automated construction (where I was Deputy Director of the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies – CRAFT); and technology and the arts.
I was elected a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) in 1994 for work on Soar and a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society in 2014. I also won both the Kurzweil Award for Best AGI Idea (2011) and the Kurzweil Award for Best AGI Paper (2012) for work on Sigma. I have served as Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (SIGART), Councillor and Conference Chair of the AAAI, and Program Co-Chair of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-92). During the 2017-2018 academic year I am serving as the president of USC's faculty.
Developing Sigma, an attempt to build a functionally elegant, grand unified cognitive architecture/system, based on graphical models, in support of virtual humans and cognitive modeling (and eventually intelligent agents and robots). Work to date has focused on memory and learning; decision making and problem solving; reflection and Theory of Mind; perception, localization and mental imagery; language and speech; affect and attention; and distributed vectors and neural networks.
Reflecting on the nature and structure of computing. The book On Computing: The Fourth Great Scientific Domain (MIT Press, 2012) proposes that the computing sciences are on a par with the physical, life and social sciences, while introducing a relational approach to understanding computing, its structure, and its connections with these other domains.
- 1972 National Merit scholarship
- 1976 NSF graduate fellowship
- 1976 Phi Beta Kappa
- 1981 IBM fellowship
- 1984 Fourth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-84) Nominated for publisher’s prize
- 1991 Ninth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-91) Award for best written paper
- 1993 American Voice Input/Output Society Gary K. Poock Editor's Award for the Outstanding Paper in the AVIOS Journal
- 1994 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Fellow
- 2006 Special issue, Tutorials in Quantitative Methods for Psychology, celebrating 25th anniversary of article on Mechanisms of Skill Acquisition and the Law of Practice
- 2010 Who’s Who in America
- 2011 Who’s Who in Science and Engineering
- 2011 Who’s Who in the World, 2011
- 2011 Fourth Conference on Artificial General Intelligence Kurzweil Award for Best AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) Idea
- 2012 Fifth Conference on Artificial General Intelligence Kurzweil Award for Best AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) Paper
- 2014 Cognitive Science Society Fellow