Office hours: Monday, Wednesday 2:30-4:30
Previous Course Web Pages
I am currently working with Gary Marcus of the Psychology Department on commonsense physical reasoning about containers in human cognition and in automated reasoning.
Another ongoing project involves the problem of representing and reasoning about simple physics and chemistry experiments, such as the one depicted here, from Michael Faraday's The Chemical History of a Candle, in which hydrogen is produced by passing steam over heated iron filings. Understanding such experiments involves combining formal scientific knowledge, such as the chemical equations; commonsensical physical and spatial knowledge, such as the knowledge that the gas will be trapped in the inverted test tube; and knowledge of the perceptual and manipulative powers of the experimenters, such as knowing they can see the water level lowering in the test tube, though they cannot see the hydrogen gas directly. A particular focus of my work is on the use of partial knowledge of the geometry involved; for instance, the exact shape of the test tube is not critical, but it is critical that it does not have a hole at the top.
If you are interested in commonsense reasoning, you should check out the recent symposium Commonsense 2013. You might also like to look at the Common Sense Problem Page , and at the Collection of Winograd Schemas I have compiled.
Recent Research Papers
Complete List of Research Papers
Research Papers with Abstracts
Surveys and Essays
Paul Bethe, Ph.D. student. Automated bidding for computer bridge.
Collection of Quotations
Letters to the Editor
My grandfather, Louis Finkelstein
Bibliography of Philip J. Davis
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