My paternal grandfather was an artist by the same name. Our family name is from Lithuania (not Greece, as is most commonly guessed). My middle name is from my maternal grandfather, who was a particle physicist. I grew up near Pittsboro, NC. I attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a state-run magnet school, for my final two years of high school. I graduated in 2007 from Carleton College in Northfield, MN with degrees in Cognitive Studies and Computer Science. In the Fall of 2007, I enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Cognitive Science and Cognitive Psychology at Indiana University, Bloomington in Rich Shiffrin's lab. My interests lie somewhere in the intersection of learning, memory, and categorization. Starting in January, 2013 I will be combining my research interests as a postdoc with Bernhard Hommel at Leiden University, working on the EU RoboHow project. We will be constructing knowledge models to enable robots to learn human skills (e.g., making pancakes).
Generally, I'm fascinated by the accelerating progress of technology and the ways the world is changing. I aim to contribute to our knowledge of mind, with the eventual goal of building the foundations of an artificial general intelligence (AGI). Development of even a single AGI will result in the discovery of technologies we can scarcely now imagine, which will ultimately make possible unimpeded pursuit of happiness for every person. Of course, there will be dangers along the way, but we owe it to every human not to allow fear to hinder progress. However, let's not get too starry-eyed — we have much to do!
Here is my curriculum vitae.