Current Affiliation: EECS Department, Northwestern University
Research Area: Qualitative modeling, analogical reasoning and learning, sketch understanding, intelligent tutoring systems and learning environments, cognitive architecture.
“My goal is to understand minds by trying to build them.”
Professor Kenneth Forbus received his Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from MIT in 1984, before receiving an NSF PYI award in 1987. In the 1980s, Professor Forbus was one of the founders of qualitative modeling, which explores how people reason about continuous systems, ranging from simple diagrammatic reasoning to complex engineered systems. He has used these ideas to develop new types of educational software for science and engineering. In collaboration with Dedre Gentner, he has developed simulations of analogical reasoning and learning. His work on sketch understanding and learning by reading use these analogical simulations, and in turn provide more data for modeling larger-scale uses of analogy in human cognition.
Professor Forbus is a fellow of the AAAI, ACM, and the Cognitive Science Society. He was the founding head of the Artificial Intelligence group at the Beckman Institute, University of Illinois before taking up a post at Northwestern University, where he is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Education.
Professor Forbus is currently head of the Cognitive Systems Division; part of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Northwestern University. Today his research interests span the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, education, human-computer interaction and computer game design.
His research group’s ongoing projects aim to model human cognition and create new kinds of cognitive systems for education, performance support, and interactive entertainment.