AI Expert Paul Cohen Joins ISI as Deputy Division Director

December 11, 2003

UMass Amherst scientist Paul Cohen has joined ISI to serve as deputy director of the Intelligent Systems Division.

Cohen was Professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for 20 years. In addition to serving as the deputy division director, he will assume the role of Director of the Center for Research on Unexpected Events (CRUE), taking over for ISD director Yigal Arens, who founded the center and plans to remain active in it.

At the University of Massachusetts, Cohen directed the Experimental Knowledge Systems Laboratory. His PhD is from Stanford University in Computer Science and Psychology (1983); his MS and BA degrees in Psychology are from UCLA and UC San Diego, respectively.

He served as a Councillor of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, 1991-1994, and was elected in 1993 as a Fellow of the AAAI. Cohen's projects include Capture the Flag, a wargaming environment; and the Robot Baby project, in which a robot learns representations and their meanings sufficient for natural language and planning.

Recently, Cohen has been adapting algorithms for finding patterns in temporal data to intelligence analysis problems, and has developed a Bayesian blackboard architecture for intelligence analysis. Time is a central theme in Cohen's work: Sequences and series are interesting, algorithmically; much of what we know about the world is learned by observing dynamics; and linguistic constructs such as manner seem to be rooted in the way situations change.

AI has been state-based for a long time, and Cohen believes it is time to attend to dynamics. Cohen also lectures and writes on empirical methodology. He wrote "Empirical Methods for Artificial Intelligence", a textbook published by MIT Press in 1995. Other books include Volumes III and IV of "The Handbook of Artificial Intelligence" with Edward A. Feigenbaum and Avron B. Barr; and "Advances in Intelligent Data Analysis" with Xiaohui Liu. Cohen has published more than 100 articles on various aspects of artificial intelligence.

Cohen's wife, UMass psychology professor Carole Beal has also joined ISI as a researcher, working with Lewis Johnson in CARTE on the Rapid Tactical language project.