Within CS I have primarily worked in Artificial Intelligence and Machine
Learning. At Stanford, I was associated with the Knowledge Systems Laboratory and
previously the Robotics
Laboratory. I was advised by Barbara Hayes-Roth, Nils Nilsson,
and Richard Fikes, and
have also worked with Pat Langley
and David Rumelhart (until he
retired). You are welcomed to view information about
my dissertation. I also have an M.S. in CS from Stanford.
I previously consulted part-time for mySimon, now a division of CNET.
Before coming to Stanford I received my B.S.E. in CS "with highest honors"
from Princeton University, in 1992.
For some reason depsite its age, richness of tradition, and other heavy use
of Latin, Princeton prefers to use "with highest honors" instead of "summa
cum laude". In addition to Computer Science, I spent a great deal of time
studying Cognitive Psychology, and I worked with Philip
Johnson-Laird in the Psychology department and the Cognitive Science
Laboratory at 221 Nassau St. and with Stephen Jose Hanson,
then at Siemens Corporate Research in Princeton, NJ. I attended high school
at Germantown Academy in Fort
How do you pronounce my name?
My last name is German. The 'P' is silent, so you can either ignore it
or pretend that the 'Pf' is a 'Ph'. The 'g' is hard, so it does not
rhyme with 'ledger', and despite many people's attempts to insert one,
there is no 'l' after the 'g'.
I have done research in a broad spectrum of areas, including supervised
machine learning and data mining, neural networks, agent architectures,
mobile robotics, statistical natural language processing and grammar
induction, software engineering, and information retrieval.
For more details check out my publications or info on my dissertation, "On-Line Learning of
Predictive Compositional Hierarchies".
One of the beliefs that I hold as part of my long-term intellectual interests
is that intelligence, indeed all aspects of thought, cognition, and all
control of behavior, from low-level to high-level, is algorithmic, and can
thus be modeled and exhibited by computers. I think that the study of
intelligence and related issues, and in particular the study of learning, is
the most exciting scientific endeavor of our time, and the practical
deployment of the related technologies holds the potential to change the
world in some of the most profound ways of any technology today.
Consumer Health and Safety Information
I consider health and safety very important and occassionally research important health/safety consumer issues. I
often learn things that many people don't know but are glad to find out, so I
share the info on my web pages. Specific areas include: