A little about me

Director for Social Simulation

David V. Pynadath

I grew up in Johnstown, NY, a small upstate town which has a population of a little over 9,000, and which is most famous for not being the site of the semi-famous Johnstown Flood (which took place in Johnstown, PA). However, it does have its own exit on the NY State Thruway, making leaving that much easier when it was time for college. I graduated from MIT in 1992 with S.B.’s in electrical engineering and computer science. I then worked at the Tufts Medical School on computer interfaces using eye tracking for disabled users without any other modes of input. After a year, the grant moved to a different institution and forgot to take us researchers with it, so I moved on to graduate school at the AI Lab of the University of Michigan instead. There, I worked with Michael Wellman on a probabilistic framework for plan recognition, with a digression into stochastic grammars.

I defended my thesis (Probabilistic Grammars for Plan Recognition) in January, 1999, and began work as a research scientist at ISI in December, 1998. Since time travel was not a viable option at the time, my first two months here required an overlap of the two efforts, a challenging experience to say the least (Public Service Announcement: Kids, stay in school). I’m currently working at ICT on social simulation with Stacy Marsella. I previously worked on the TEAMCORE project with Milind Tambe.

Since moving to LA, I feel like I spend most of my time trying to figure out ways to survive without a driver’s license. I’ve held out so far, but my resistance is cracking. My more enjoyable pursuits include playing the flute less frequently than I should, playing any sport I can fit into my schedule, rooting for Philadelphia sports teams, watching movies made with under $50 million, trying to become as well-read as my mother, and trying not to spend all of my money at used CD stores.

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