About Me

I am a cognitive scientist—a graduate student and research associate—at the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition at Indiana University, where I work with Douglas Hofstadter. At the moment, I am more of a theoretical than experimental cognitive scientist or, one might say, a kind of philosopher of mind. But I also foresee the possibility of empirical work in my not too distant future.

I grew up a really awkward kid—a late bloomer—in a smallish suburb north of Boston, graduated magna cum difficultate from the local high school, and barely eked out a first year of college before turning to a life of vagabondry for the next five years. Eventually, I settled back down and returned to school to earn my B.S. in cognitive science at Tufts University. I think I may have been Tufts' very first cogsci degree recipient.

I had returned to school with my sights set on the adolescent dream of building an artificial intelligence. I soon learned that I wouldn't be able to do it. Now, I simply hope to contribute something towards that field during my career. The book Inside Jokes, in providing a rough-sketched theory of the intersection between emotion and cognition, is a first attempt at such a contribution. My continuing research is strongly influenced by these ideas about the role that emotion plays in intelligence, creativity and will.

Outside of my work I am an avid mountaineer, leisure sailor, and wide traveller. I am also involved with a strange and wonderful origami project which I will post more about within a few months.