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Paul Cohen

University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1987

Paul Cohen received his MA in psychology from University of California, Los Angeles and his computer science and psychology from Stanford University. He worked at the University of Massachusetts from 1983 to 2003. In 2003 he moved to University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute where he served as Deputy Director of the Intelligent Systems Division and Director of the Center for Research on Unexpected Events until 2008. In 2008, he joined the University of Arizona as head of Computer Science. He served as a program manager within the Information Innovation Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Currently, he is the Dean of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Computing Information.


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.

Most Cited Publications

"Empirical methods for artificial intelligence," Paul Cohen. MIT press. 139 (1995)
"Emotional influences in memory and thinking: Data and theory," Gordon Bower, Paul Cohen, Affect and Cognition, 13, 291-331 (2014)
"The handbook of artificial intelligence," Paul Cohen, Edward Feigenbaum. Butterworth-Heinemann, 3 (2014)
"Heuristic reasoning about uncertainty: an artificial intelligence approach," Paul Cohen, Stanford University (1984)
"Information retrieval by constrained spreading activation in semantic network," Paul Cohen, Rick Kjeldsen, Information processing and management, 23, 255-268 (1987)

Recent Publications

"Modeling Gender Inequity in Household Decision-Making" Allegra A Beal Cohen, Paul R. Cohen, Gregory Kiker. International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation (2019)
"Probabilistic Relational Agent-Based Models,"  Paul Cohen.  arXiv (2019)
"Context in communication." Cohen, P.R. AAAI Spring Symposium - Technical Report. (2017). 
"Harold Cohen and AARON." Cohen, P.     AI Magazine
37(4), pp. 63-66. (2016).
"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).