Associate Professor of Computer Science
School of Cognitive Science
Amherst MA 01002
jdavila at hampshire dot edu
I got my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the City University of New York in 1999. My main research interest is in genetic optimization of neural networks for human-like tasks. My PhD dissertation dealt with computer-based parsing and semantic analysis of English sentences. I am currently using neural networks to solve high level cognitive decision making and planning in team-based 3D computer games, such as capture the flag, soccer, and Quidditch. I am also interested in the Open Software movement and its effect on society and economics. I have recently been involved in studying the divital divide, and also on how to incorporate dialogic techniques into classroom teaching. Between 2006 and 20012 I also served as Special Presidential Assistant for Diversity and Multicultural Education at Hampshire College.
To say I am into sports is an understatement. I like both playing them and watching them, but enjoy playing them much more. When I do it is mostly cycling, soccer, and running. When watching, I am very much into the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I am a big fan of cyclists Alberto Contadori and Purito Rodriguez. You can also ask me about Lance Armstrong, but be ready for a long conversation where I share many different points of view.