Ph.D. (1970) University of Toronto. Assistant Professor (73-77), Associate Professor (77-84), Professor (84-88); University of Alberta. Professor (88-present), University of Rochester. I am also a member of the Center for Language Sciences (CLS).

My research interests center around language, dialogue agents, knowledge representation, and reasoning. These interests are tied together by the general goal of developing AGI agents -- ones with not only conversational fluency, but with common sense and human-level logistical and planning abilities, self-awareness, self-motivation, and the ability acquire knowledge through language and observation. Some specific topics my collaborators and I have worked on include

Tentative office hours:

Tuesday and Thursday, 5:00-6:30 (or by appt.)

Current and recent courses:

CSC 191/291 (Topics in Computer Science): Machines and Consciousness
DSC 530 (module on NLP)
CSC 244/444: Machine Reasoning
CSC 247/447: Natural Language Processing
CSC 280: Computer Models and Limitations
CSC 242: Artificial Intelligence

Present faculty & graduate research collaborators:

Hannah An: Lexical knowledge and object schema acquisition
M. Ehsan Hoque: Virtual humans for conversation training
Benjamin Kane: Management of casual and physically grounded dialogue for virtual humans
Mohammad Rafayet Ali: Virtual humans for dialogue practice
James Allen: Dialogue processing, deep understanding
Daniel Gildea: Semantic parsing
(Linguistics): Semantics of action and event nominals
Gene Kim: High-fidelity semantic parsing, knowledge acquisition, inference
Zahra Razavi: Dialogue design and management in a virtual human
Georgiy Platonov: Modeling spatial relations, concept learning, dialogue agents for physical worlds
Lane Lawley: Schema learning from stories
Viet Duong: Semantic parsing and ULF-based inference
Greg Carlson Alfonso Gerevini: (U. Brescia): Efficient domain-independent planning

Undergraduate research assistants (2020 and 2021):

Muskaan Mendiratta, Benjamin Kuehnert, Marcus Hill, Mandar Juvekar, Xi (Lucy) Lu,
Aaron Gindi, Benson Gathee, Yifei Yang, Jonathan Waxman, Junis Ekmekciu, Catherine Giugno,
Haoyu Wu, Serena Matera, Erin Gibson, Winnie Wan, Piyush Saina, Alexa Miller

Some past research collaborators (as of 1988):

Adam Purtee (Ph.D. 2018, U of R), now a U of R faculty member:
Knowledge representation, pattern transduction, rule-based probabilistic inference

Jonathan Gordon (Ph.D. 2014, U of R), now at ISI:
Inferential commonsense knowledge from text

Daphne Liu (Ph.D. 2012, U of R), now at Sales Force:
Self-motivated cognitive agent design

Benjamin Van Durme (Ph.D. 2010, U of R), now at Johns Hopkins U:
Extracting implicit knowledge from text

Fabrizio Morbini (Ph.D. 2009, U of R), now at
Computational infrastructure for a self-aware agent
Shuwen Zhang: Sentiment analysis in dialogue, turn-taking corpus annotation
Zining Wen: Sentiment analysis system using word occurrence patterns
Burkay Donderici: Logical form annotation for semantic parsing, spatial relation judging

Akihiro Minami (U of R undergrad):
Logical form annotation for semantic parsing corpus; spatial relation judging

Tianyi Ma (U of R MS student):
Dialogue turn-taking annotation; logical form annotation for semantic parsing

Eric Bigelow (U of R undergrad), now M.S. grad at U of R:
Imagistic modeling for story understanding

Daniel Scarafoni (U of R undergrad), now MS grad at U of R:
Imagistic modeling for story understanding

Alex Wilson (U of R undergrad):
Imagistic modeling for story understanding

David Sekora (U of R undergrad), now Ph.D. candidate, UMD:
Verb argument structure compilation, schema building

Adina Rubinoff (U of R undergrad), now at Factset, Norwalk, CT:
Acquiring lexical meaning postulates via VerbNet

Ting Qian (U of R undergrad, then Ph.D.), now data scientist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:
Class attribute extraction, lexical semantics

Henry Kyburg, Jr.:

Proshanto Mukherji: (Ph.D. 2006, U of R), now an Associate at Fish & Richardson in Boston, after earning a JD at Harvard Law School:
Discovering Laws as Anomalies in Logical Worlds

Tom Weingarten (U of R undergrad), subsequently NYU PhD, now CTO at Delve News, New York:
Using pulse train to compute probabilities in Bayesian networks

David Ahn: (Ph.D. 2004, U of R), now computational semanticist at Google:
Semantics/pragmatics of adverbially quantified sentences

Teresa Zollo: (Ph.D. 2003, U of R), now at Ithaca College:
Recovery from speech recognition errors

Matthew Tong: (B.Sc. 2003, U of R), now at IBM's Austin Research Lab:
Mining general world knowledge from texts

Amon Seagull (Ph.D. 2000, U of R), now IT and Portfolio Manager, Magic Leap, Fort Lauderdale:
Well-foundedness and reliability in natural language parsing

Aaron Kaplan:, (Ph.D. 2000, U of R), now lead software engineer at NewsCred, New York, after 10 years at XRCE, Grenoble:
A computational model of belief

Mark Core (Ph.D. 2000, U of R), now at the Institute for Creative Technologies, Playa Vista, CA:
Dialog parsing: From speech repairs to speech acts

Marc Light (Ph.D. 1995, U of R), now senior scientist at WindLogics, St. Paul:
Morphological cues for lexical semantics

Massimo Poesio (Ph.D. 1994, U of R), now at Queen Mary University, U.K.:
Assigning semantic scope to operators in dialogues

Chung Hee Hwang (Ph.D. 1992, U of Alberta), now retired from GE Global Research, Schenectady, NY:
A logical approach to narrative understanding, Episodic Logic

Alice Kyburg (Ph.D. 1994, U of R), now at U. Wisconsin at Oshkosh:
Pragmatic and semantic accounts of vagueness

Stephanie Schaeffer (M.S. 1988, U of Alberta), systems prog., 1988-92:
Temporal reasoning, hybrid reasoning, EPILOG development

Jeffry Pelletier (Professor, U. Alberta):
Semantic interpretation, semantics of mass terms and generics

Fahiem Bacchus (Ph.D. 1988, U of Alberta), now at U. Toronto:
Representing and reasoning about probabilistic knowledge

Caoan Wang (Ph.D. 1988, U of Alberta), now at Memorial U. of Newfoundland:
Computational geometry

Professional activities and awards

KR'98 program co-chair
ACL'93 program chair
CSCSI'80 program chair
ACM Trans. on Computational Logic editorial board (2007-pres)
JAIR editorial board (1996-1999)
Computational Intelligence editorial board (1985-2003)
Computational Linguistics editorial board (1983-5)

Fellow of the AAAI (elected in 1993 for "fundamental contributions in NLP, esp. in the formalization, representation, and practical implementation of non-first order concepts")

Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (1978-9)

Associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (1985-88)

Outstanding Contribution award for the KR'89 paper (with C.H. Hwang), "An episodic knowledge representation for narrative texts"