"I have been at Columbia for 20 blissful years. At times, I feel like a frustrated 'standup comic'. Jerry Seinfeld is my hero. "My aim is several fold: I would like to provide a 'big picture' of Computer Science in the context of programming computers to act intelligently. The Intro AI course I teach draws upon the fundamental theories of Artificial Intelligence, algorithms for problem solving, and the relationship to complexity theory, languages and every day experiences of behaving 'human' when solving problems. I also aim to excite students to share a love for Computer Science and to understand its central contribution and enormous impact on society. I hope to teach how a computer can serve as a 'mind amplifier' in the same way we may regard the automobile as a 'leg amplifier'. My aim is also to teach students to love to learn! and I strive to make my course entertaining and insightful."
Will be on sabbatical next year. My main research interests are in the design and analysis of algorithms, multi-agent systems, and distributed artificial intelligence. I have published extensively in different search communities in Computer Science including AI and its subfields of Machine Learning, Knowledge Discovery in Data Bases /Data mining and Knowledge-based Expert Systems; high performance computing and parallel architectures, and even in Databases. One common theme of my work is the design, analysis and implementation of parallel and distributed systems for scalable intelligent systems that aim to solve problems and learn from very large inherently distributed data and information. Earlier in my career, I built a 1000 processor parallel computer, so I even did research in computer engineering! I do not enjoy staying shackled to only one area of Computer Science and making small incremental improvements. Rather, I tend to get attracted to many different and interesting areas and love to jump in and have impact. Most recently, my group succeeded in building a 'network intrusion' detection system that participated in a DARPA evaluation. The machine learning based system we designed and built performed best among a number of other 'hand built' systems from the leaders in that field! It was a blast! I have also played a central role in starting a new area of research called 'Digital Government'. One of my dreams is to bring Advanced Information Technology research and development to the enormous problems faced by the Federal Government enterprise so that the citizens of the 21st century (including me, I hope) can easily and conveniently access the huge public repository of information produced and held by our government, and to access government services in a safe and secure manner over the web. Who knows, but perhaps some day we can all vote at home. (I hope this will keep our political and social science colleagues busy for quite some time studying the tradeoffs involved with 'quick click polling/voting' by the American citizenry and more timely reasoned democratic deliberation .) As I said, Computer Science has and will continue to have a huge impact on society!"
BA Columbia College, PhD Stanford University
CUNIX ID: apk17