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.
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