Prof. Gheorghe Tecuci

Dr. Gheorghe Tecuci

Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Learning Agents Center
MSN 6B3, Learning Agents Center, Long and Kimmy Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 4613
The Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030
email: tecuci at gmu dot edu, tel: (703) 993-1722, http://lac.gmu.edu

Teaching Interests: Artificial intelligence, machine learning, knowledge engineering, expert systems, semantic web, knowledge acquisition and problem solving.

Research Interests: Artificial intelligence, intelligent agents, machine learning and knowledge acquisition, knowledge engineering, knowledge representation and ontologies, problem solving and planning, intelligent tutoring systems, expert systems, natural language processing, applications of artificial intelligence.

Education: Gheorghe Tecuci received his M.S. degree in Computer Science from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest in 1979, graduating first among all the Computer Science students at the Polytechnic Universities of Romania. He received two Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, one from the University of Paris-South, in July 1988, and the other one from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, in December 1988.

Positions: Between 1979 and 1989 Dr. Tecuci was a researcher at the Romanian Institute for Informatics. He joined the faculty of George Mason University in 1990 as an Assistant Professor, became Associate Professor in 1993, and Professor in 1996. Between 1994 and 1999, Dr. Tecuci was also Coordinating director of the Center for Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Conceptual Modeling of the Romanian Academy. In 1995 he established the Learning Agent Laboratory at George Mason University which became Learning Agents Center in 2004. He was Chair of Artificial Intelligence at the US Army War College between 2001 and 2003, and visiting professor between 2001 and 2011.

Research Direction: Dr. Tecuci has followed a career-long interest in the development of a computational theory and technology which allows non-computer scientists to develop intelligent assistants that incorporate their problem solving expertise, and can act as assistants to subject matter experts, as expert consultants to non-experts, or as intelligent tutors to students. He has initiated and, together with his students and collaborators, has developed and applied the Disciple theory, methodology and agent shells for building agents that can be taught how to solve problems by subject matter experts who are not computer scientists or knowledge engineers.

Research Contributions: Dr. Tecuci has published over 185 papers (http://lac.gmu.edu/publications/) and has contributed to new research areas that are viewed as key enablers for the development of cognitive agents, and for the generalized application of artificial intelligence to complex real-world problems. One area is Multistrategy Learning where he edited (with R. Michalski) “Machine Learning: A Multistrategy Approach,” the first comprehensive book on this topic, as well as the forth volume in the series of classical books "Machine Learning". Another area is Instructable Agents where he authored the book “Building Intelligent Agents: A Theory, Methodology, Tool and Case Studies.” The third area is Computational Evidence-Based Reasoning, where David Schum, Mihai Boicu, Dorin Marcu and he developed a Computational Theory of Intelligence Analysis. In these areas, Dr. Tecuci has originated or contributed to several important concepts, including: multistrategy learning, learning agent shell, plausible explanations, plausible version spaces, plausible justification trees, understanding-based knowledge extension, consistency-driven knowledge elicitation, integrated teaching and learning, reasoning through reduction and synthesis, mixed-initiative reasoning, believability analysis in chains of custody, and assumption-based reasoning.

Software Development and Applications: Dr. Tecuci and his collaborators have successfully employed the Disciple approach to develop and apply knowledge-based agents for a wide variety of domains. Disciple-COG is a learning and decision-support agent for military center of gravity determination. This software system has been used by high ranking military officers in courses at the US Army War College (since 2001), at the Air War College and at George Mason University. The most recent version of it is available on CD as part of the book Tecuci G., Boicu M., and Comello J., Agent-Assisted Center of Gravity Analysis, GMU Press, ISBN 978-0-615-23812-8, 2008. Disciple-LTA is a new type of tool that incorporates a significant amount of knowledge from the Science of Evidence. It can rapidly acquire expertise in intelligence analysis, can train new intelligence analysts, and can help analysts find solutions to complex problems, through mixed-initiative reasoning, allowing a synergistic integration of a human's experience and creativity with an agent's knowledge and speed. Successive versions of this system have been used in courses at the US Army War College and at George Mason University, as well as in experiments and special courses with intelligence analysts. Disciple-FS is a suite of tools for building, utilizing, and maintaining regulatory knowledge bases for modern, dynamic business organizations, especially financial services firms. It has been developed as part of an NSF-funded Small Business Technology Transfer Program and has been licensed to Exprentis Inc. TIACRITIS is a web agent for teaching intelligence analysts the critical thinking skills needed to perform evidence-based reasoning. This system (and associated textbook) is based on a computational theory which views Intelligence Analysis as ceaseless discovery of evidence, hypotheses, and arguments, in a complex world that is changing all the time. It helps students learn about the properties, uses, and marshaling of evidence upon which all analyses rest, through regular practice involving analyses of evidence in both hypothetical and real situations.

Support: Since joining George Mason University, G. Tecuci has been awarded 8.5 million dollars as Principal Investigator / Program Director, and 2 million dollars as Co-Principal Investigator. The grant or contract awards were made by prestigious funding organizations such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Air Force Research Lab, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the US Army, and others.

Recognitions: Dr. Tecuci was elected member of the Romanian Academy and has received several awards, including the US Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal ("for groundbreaking contributions to the application of Artificial Intelligence to Center of Gravity determination"), the IT&E Outstanding Research Faculty Award, the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, and the Deployed Innovative Application Award from the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Tecuci has been a guest editor or on the editorial board of 12 journals, and acted as chairman, organizer, or program committee member of over 60 conferences and workshops.

Learning Agents Center
Computer Science Department