Paul Cohen

School of Computing and Information
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1987


I attended UCSD as an undergraduate, UCLA for a MA in Psychology, and Stanford University for a PhD in Computer Science and Psychology. In 1983, I became an assistant professor in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts. In 2003 I moved to USC's Information Sciences Institute where I served as Deputy Director of the Intelligent Systems Division and Director of the Center for Research on Unexpected Events. In 2008, I joined the University of Arizona as head of Computer Science.


My research is in artificial intelligence. I want to model human cognitive development in siico, with robots or softbots in game environments as the "babies" we're trying to raise up. I am particularly interested in the sensorimotor foundations of human language. Several of my projects in the last decade have developed algorithms for sensor-to-symbol kinds of processing in service of learning the meanings of words, most recently, verbs. I also work in what we might call Education Informatics, which includes intelligent tutoring systems, data mining and statistical modeling of students' mastery and engagement, assessment technologies, ontologies for representing student data and standards for content, architectures for content delivery, and so on. There are many opportunities to develop and apply AI technologies to provide high-quality education for all students. Another part of my research is methodological. I think that good problems and instruments produce good science, so I design challenge problems and methods, and advise various sponsoring agencies on the design and conduct of evaluations.

Recent Publications
  1. Preparing for an Aging World: Engaging Biogerontologists, Geriatricians, and the Society Nikolich-Zugich, J., D.P. Goldman, P. R. Cohen, D. Cortese, L. Fontana, B. K. Kennedy, M. J. Mohler, S. J. Olshansky, T. Perls, D. Perry, A. Richardson, C. Ritchie, A. M. Wertheimer, R. G. A. Faragher and M.J. Fain. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 71, 435 (2016).
  2. "DARPA's Big Mechanism Program," Paul R. Cohen,  Physical Biology 12, (2015)
  3. "Action Recognition in the Frequency Domain'" Anh Tran, Jinyan Guan, Thanima Pilantanakitti, Paul CohenarXiv:1409.0908 
  4. "Extracting Latent Attributes from Video Scenes Using Text as Background Knowledge," Anh Tran, Mihai Surdeanu, and Paul Cohen, In Proceedings of the Third Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM), 2014. 
  5. "Teach Ourselves: A Peer-to-Peer Learning Community Linking In-and Out-of-class Activity," Carole R. Beal, Jane Strohm, Lauren Schwindy, and Paul R. Cohen, Bulletin of the IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology 15 (2013)

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