I am pleased to announce that as of September 2016 I will be an Assistant Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Radboud University and in the Donders Institute.
My paternal grandfather was an artist by the same name. Our family name is from Lithuania. 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. From 2007 to 2012 I completed a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Cognitive Psychology at Indiana University, Bloomington in Rich Shiffrin's lab. My interests throughout my graduate studies all lay in the rich intersection of learning, memory, and categorization. From 2013 through 2014 I was a postdoc with Bernhard Hommel at Leiden University, working on the EU RoboHow project. Along with Roy de Kleijn, we studied human action learning and knowledge representation to gain insight into creating robots with more human-like skill learning. Check out the robot flipping pancakes! In 2015 and 2016 I worked as a postdoc with Todd Gureckis and Marjorie Rhodes at New York University, trying to understand how kids (and adults) actively gather knowledge in new domains. How do we generate hypothesis, choose questions to test them, and update the hypothesis space in the face of new evidence? To address these questions, I made a variety of web- and tablet-based games similar to Mastermind and Guess Who.
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 (see this cool TED talk). Of course there will be dangers along the way, and we may need legislation to protect workers from automation, 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.