#TCOD (The Constraints Of Diagrams, December 10, 2017):
Imagine taking a step forward, then a step to the right, & then a step back – where are you now? Do you have to reason for this, & how ‘far’ can you go? How are diagrammatic reasoning and representation different? Are diagrams for domains that can be represented spatially? Are mental images an internal perceptual representation shared by both internal and external inputs? Do (explicit) symbols make cognition possible? Is our cognitive architecture multi-modal? Can the blind use diagrams? How do we know what is extraneous in diagrams? Are diagrams often socially constructed? Do shapes lie somewhere between speech and scripts? Can a child learn to ‘read’ spontaneously? Are scripts arbitrary? However, are diagrams always homomorphic with ‘reality’? Are there links between the evolutions of geometry, logic, & diagrams? Can we make a diagram of ‘yesterday’? Or ‘not raining’? Can the absence of non-existent objects be represented? What if diagrams didn’t ‘exist’? Does language mimic diagrams? Would diagrams be significantly more used for proofs in the future? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from artificial intelligence & cognitive science (Prof. B. Chandrasekaran, ex-The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio), philosophy of logic (Prof. Lopamudra Choudhury, Jadavpur University, Kolkata), & psychology (Prof. Prakash Padakannaya, University of Mysore, Mysore).
SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TCOD show.
Prof. B. Chandrasekaran (artificial intelligence, cognitive science) is Professor Emeritus, Senior Research Scientist and Director, Laboratory for AI Research, in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Ohio State University, USA. He has earlier been invited as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University (1990-1991), as a Visiting Scientist at MIT Laboratory (1983), & as a Visiting Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1981). He was also part of the US Army Research Laboratories Collaborative Technology Alliance on Advanced Decision Architectures (2007-2009). His research interests have been in understanding intelligence from a computational perspective, especially, intelligence as expressed in high-level cognitive activities such as problem solving, understanding, & explanation. He is currently researching in multi-modal cognitive architectures, diagrammatic reasoning, & decision-support architectures. He completed his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Madras University & then received his Ph.D. from Moore School of Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. His research has been supported over the years by US agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Energy and US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and also firms such as IBM, DEC, and Boeing. He has co-authored with David Brown, a book titled ‘Design Problem Solving’ (Morgan Kaufmann) & also co-edited ‘Diagrammatic Reasoning: Cognitive and Computational Perspectives’ (MIT Press, 1995). Prof. Chandrasekaran has an been elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He organized, with Herbert Simon, the 1993 AAAI Spring Symposium on Diagrammatic Reasoning & was the editor-in-chief of IEEE Expert/Intelligent Systems (1990-1994).
Prof. Lopamudra Choudhury (philosophy, logic) is currently Professor at Department of Philosophy, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She was also the Director of School of Cognitive Sciences at Jadavpur University from 2010 to 2015. Her research interests are mathematical logic, diagram logic, philosophy of cognitive science, cognition of the blind, & applied ethics. Through her research, she focuses on areas such as visual perception, imagery, representation of negation in diagrams, consolidation of concepts in visually challenged & sighted individuals with special reference to onomatopoeic words, modality in concept formation & using absence in Venn diagrams, i.e. diagrammatic representation & inference. Prof. Choudhury completed her B.A. (Philosophy) & M.A. (Philosophy with Mathematic Logic as special paper) from Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal. She then completed her Ph.D. in Arts from University of Rajasthan (Jaipur). She is also the Chief Investigator of the project ‘Cognition and Perception, National Program for Perception Engineering’ (Phase II), funded by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India. Prof. Choudhury has published two books, as a co-editor with Soumitra Basu, ‘Determinants Of Perception’ (Gangchil, 2009), & as an author, ‘Darshan Abhidhan’ (Gangchil, 2013). She has organized two international winter schools on Diagram Logic (2015 & 2017) & published ‘Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Diagrams, Logic and Cognition’ (2013), co-edited jointly with Jim Burton. Prof. Choudhury has been running collaborative programmes with Visual Modeling Group, University of Brighton, UK and Department of ELT Typhlo Methodology and Alternative Communication at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. She was/is also a core member of the Program Committee of Diagrams (2016 & 2018), an international conference on theory & application of diagrams.
Prof. Prakash Padakannaya (psychology) is currently Professor & Chairman at Department of Psychology, University of Mysore, Mysore, where he joined as a regular faculty in 1987. He has also worked as Senior Research Fellow at Center of Advanced Study in Psychology, Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar (1982-1986) & at Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore (1980). His research interests are reading, dyslexia, orthography, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, & cognition. He has been working in the area by using multiple approaches and methods that include behavioral (including eye tracking), neural (including brain imaging), and genetic basis of reading and dyslexia. Prof. Padakannaya did his B.Sc. & M.A. in Psychology from University of Mysore. He then went to Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar to complete his M.Phil. & Ph.D. and did part of his doctoral work at Medical Research Council (MRC) – Cognitive Development Unit, London, UK. He has been the Chairman of Board of Studies in Psychology, University of Mysore (2010-2013) & Mangalore University (2005-2008), and Chairman of Board of Studies of Human Development at University of Mysore (2014-2016). Prof. Padakannaya has co-edited six published monographs/ books/ journal special issues, including, ‘Language, Cognition, and Education’ (upcoming, 2017), ‘South and South-East Asian Psycholinguistics’ (Cambridge University Press, 2014), & ‘Reading and Writing, special issue on Reading and writing in semi syllabic scripts’ (2004). He is an elected Fellow, National Academy of Psychology, India (2014) & Association for Psychological Science (APS), USA (2015). He has also been awarded the Fulbright Fellowship twice, once for his research work at Haskins Laboratories, Yale University, USA (February – May 2011), & also for his post-doctoral work at Texas A&M University, USA (2000-2001). He is editor-in-chief of ‘Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science’ (Springer Nature) & an associate editor of ‘Psychological Studies’ (2004- present).
Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.
#TCOD mentions: Leibniz, Leonhard Euler, Charles Peirce, Hammer & Shin, Richard Feynman, & George Lakoff, among others.