Professor Emeritus 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 that models the fixed structures and processes that yield a mind, whether natural or artificial, and that is thus 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 am a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI); the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the Cognitive Science Society. With John laird (University of Michigan), I was awarded the Herbert A. Simon Prize for Advances in Cognitive Systems. I have served as Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (SIGART) [now SIGAI], Councillor and Conference Chair of the AAAI, and Program Co-Chair of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-92). During 2017-2018 I served as the president of USC's faculty, and subsequently received the USC Distinguished Faculty Service award. I also received the USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award (for the book On Computing).
Developing Sigma, an attempt to build a functionally elegant, grand unified cognitive architecture/system, based on extended graphical models (which now support neural as well as symbolic and probabilistic reasoning and learning), in support of virtual humans, intelligent agents, and cognitive modeling (and eventually intelligent 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; motivation, affect and attention; and distributed vectors and neural networks.
Working towards a Common Model of Cognition that provides a community consensus concerning the structures and processes that must be part of a complete cognitive architecture.
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.
- 2014 Cognitive Science Society Fellow
- 2012 Fifth Conference on Artificial General Intelligence Kurzweil Award for Best AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) Paper
- 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
- 2010 Who’s Who in America
- 2006 Special issue, Tutorials in Quantitative Methods for Psychology, celebrating 25th anniversary of article on Mechanisms of Skill Acquisition and the Law of Practice
- 1994 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Fellow
- 1993 American Voice Input/Output Society Gary K. Poock Editor's Award for the Outstanding Paper in the AVIOS Journal
- 1991 Ninth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-91) Award for best written paper
- 1984 Fourth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-84) Nominated for publisher’s prize
- 1981 IBM fellowship
- 1976 NSF graduate fellowship
- 1976 Phi Beta Kappa
- 1972 National Merit scholarship