Bio, CV and Past Research

I am now a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science (CS) at the University of Southern  California (USC). Until early 2022 I was a Professor in the CS department at 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, ending up as its Deputy Director.  Prior to arriving at USC in 1987, I was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Psychology at Stanford University from 1984 to1987, 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.

From 2008 until 2022 most of my focus was on a hybrid cognitive architecture – Sigma – that attempted to blend in a particularly deep manner the insights from earlier work on symbolic architectures, such as Soar, with what has been learned separately about probabilistic graphical models and artificial neural networks.  However, I also built up bodies of work around: (1) understanding cognitive architectures more abstractly, in terms of the Common Model of Cognition (née the Standard Model of the Mind) and dichotomic maps; (2) understanding computing as an interdisciplinary great scientific domain; and (3) understanding the space of technologies found across AI and cognitive modeling via dichotomic maps.

I am a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Cognitive Science Society.  I received the Herbert A. Simon Prize for Advances in Cognitive Systems (2018) with John Laird, the Springer Prize for Best Paper at AGI-23 (2023), Kurzweil Award for Best AGI Paper (2012), and the Kurzweil Award for Best AGI Idea (2011).  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).  I also served as President of USC’s faculty during 2017-2018.

Full CV.