Douglas R. Hofstadter

a tribute to Gebstadter


Douglas Hofstadter is a College Professor of computer science and cognitive science, director of the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition, and adjunct professor of philosophy, psychology, comparative literature, and the history and philosophy of science at Indiana University.

Background : He received his BS in mathematics from Stanford University (1965), and his MS and PhD in physics from the University of Oregon (1972, 1975). His Pulitzer-prize-winning book Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (1979) has had enormous impact on people in many disciplines, ranging from philosophy to mathematics to artificial intelligence to music, and beyond. He has written five other books, numerous articles, and for a number of years wrote a column for Scientific American .

Hofstadter's research is driven by a long-standing interest in creativity and consciousness. To study these abstract ideas in a concrete manner, he has focused on designing and implementing - with his students - computer models of high-level perception and analogical thought in carefully-designed idealized domains.

Hofstadter also studies and writes about cognitive phenomena in other areas. Some of these are: the relationship between words and concepts; the mechanisms underlying human error-making; the mechanisms underlying discovery and creation in mathematics, music, and other domains; the relationship between analogy and translation; the challenge of sorting the wheat from the chaff in AI and cognitive science; and the philosophy of mind.

How does Hofstadter say of himself ? Here are two descriptions : one from "About the author" of Metamagical Themas, the other his description of his alter-ego : Gebstadter.

Egbert B. Gebstadter, best known as the author of Copper, Silver, Gold: an Indestructible Metallic Alloy ( Acidic Books, 1979), also co-edited The Brain's U ( Acidic Books, 1981 ) with Australian philosopher Denial C. Dunnitt, and for two and a half years wrote a monthly row ( "Thetamagical Memas" ) for Literary Australian. Having spent the last several years in the Psychology Department of Pakistania University in Wiltington, Pakistania, he has recently joined the faculty of the Computer Science Department of the University of Mishuggan in Tom Treeline, Mishuggan, where he occupies the Rexall Chair in the College of Art, Sciences, and Letters. His current research projects in IA ( intelligent artifice) are called Quest-Essence, Mind-Pattern, Intellect and Studio. His focus is on deterministic sequential models of digital emotion.

Douglas R. Hoftstadter, best known as the author of Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid ( Basic Books, 1979), also co-edited The Mind's I with philosopher Daniel C. Dennet, and for two and a half years wrote a monthly column ("Metamagical Themas") for Scientific American. Having spent the last several years in the Computer Science Department of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, he has recently joined the faculty of the Psychology Department of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he occupies the Walgreen Chair in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. His current research projects in AI ( artificial intelligence) are called Seek-Whence, Letter Spirit, Copycat and Jumbo. His focus is on stochastic parallel models of analogical thought.
Douglas Hofstadter's Home Page at Indiana University

Douglas Hofstadter - Related links collected by Christopher Hogan

"By Analogy" - an interview with Hofstadter in HotWired, by Kevin Kelly

alt.fan.hofstadter - discussions related to D. R. Hofstadter and his work

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