About My Self-Defined Ph.D.

I first came to CMU as a Computer Science graduate student interested in artificial agents and in the philosophical foundations of Artificial Intelligence. I started taking classes in the cultural theory program and found that they provided a lot of insight into some of the thornier issues in AI, including questions of intentionality, language use, and what it means to be an agent. After a year or so it became clear that an interdisciplinary Ph.D. would provide me with the most leverage for dealing with the research issues that interest me. With the help of my advisor, Joseph Bates, I put together a program committee with members of both departments, designed an interdisciplinary program, and had it approved by the School of Computer Science and by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The program combines coursework in Computer Science and Cultural Theory, an interdisciplinary qualifying exam, and an interdisciplinary thesis.

Further reading:

  • Computer Science Ph.D. program
  • Literary and Cultural Theory Ph.D. program
  • Description of Self-defined Interdisciplinary Ph.D.s (from the point of view of the Computer Science program)
  • My dissertation
  • Back to my work page.