I am a Professor in Artificial Intelligence at at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) within the School of Science (Computer Science Discipline). and a member of the RMIT AI Group. I completed my PhD and M.Sc in the Cognitive Robotics Group at the University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada) and, before that, a BSc in Computer Science at Universidad Nacional del Sur in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.
My research falls in the intersection between knowledge representation and reasoning for action and change, automated planning, and intelligent agents. In a nutshell, my work seeks better representation models and reasoning techniques (i.e., algorithms) for building intelligent controllers "running" in complex dynamic environments (e.g., controllers for UAVs, elevators, smart houses, or NPCs in video games). In those cases, a controller-agent must plan, verify, execute, monitor, and reconsider its actions so as to achieve its objectives or goals. Programming such controllers in standard languages (like C++ or JAVA) becomes a difficult, cumbersome, and error-prone enterprise, so we look for better high-level representation and more powerful reasoning-executor algorithms. See Research section for more info.
Besides the work in AI and CS, I am also interested in bringing Computational/Algorithmic Thinking and CS to the community, and the teaching of CS and programming in children and youth. I have delivered or supported courses/workshops on algorithmic thinking and coding in Melbourne (in primary and secondary schools as well as in community centres). In 2019, I was in the panel of experts discussing "What's up with secondary school mathematics, and how can we improve it?" at the 56th Annual Conference of the Mathematical Association of Victoria (MAV'19). Together with Dr. Max Stephens from Melbourne University I delivered a workshop on "Algorithmic Thinking in the Classroom: What, Why, How?" for school teachers.
I generally teach the following courses:
- 1st year COSC2627/2627 Discrete Structures: standard math course for Computer Scientists.
- 2nd year COSC1107/1105 Computing Theory (CT): core subject for CS on theory of computation (formal languages, automata theory, computability, basic complexity).
- 3rd year COSC1125/1127 Artificial Intelligence (AI): standard CS course on AI for basic techniques, such as search, adversarial search, learning, knowledge representation, intelligent agents and planning, reasoning under uncertainty.
- 3rd year COSC1204/20148 Agent-oriented Programming & Design: an elective, seminar-style, and project-based course on AI techniques to design and develop intelligent systems and controllers.
I have also thought short intense PhD/Master level courses overseas. Together with Dr. Nir Lipovesky, I have coordinated and run the RMIT-Mel Uni Inter University Pacman Capture the Flag contest, as an extension of our AI courses. If you want to be part of it with your course, let us know! You can check a paper reporting on our experiences and results here.
Service & Professional Activities
I have recently organized (or I am organizing) the following events:
- Associate Editor for the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-agent Systems (JAAMAS).
- Co-chair of Tutorial and Workshop Co-chair for KR'18 (with Ivan Ivan José Varzinczak).
- Exhibition Chair for IJCAI'17.
- Tutorial Program at AAMAS'16 (together with David Pynadath).
- Student Scholarship program at AAMAS'15 (together with Gita Sukthankar)
- Student Scholarship Co-chair at AAAI'15 (together with Daniele Magazzeni and Sriraam Natarajan)
- KiBP'12 workshop at KR'11; co-chair with Massimo Mecella and Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede.
- AI'12 Conference; Publicity Chair.
- NRAC'11 workshop at IJCAI'11; co-chaired with Stavros Vassos, Pavlos Peppas, Andreas Herzig.
- DALT'11 and DALT'10 workshop at AAMAS'11 and AAMAS'10; co-chaired with Andrea Omicini and Wamberto Vasconcelos..
- ProMAS'08 workshop at AAMAS'08; co-chaired with Koen Hindiks & Alexander Pokahr.
- "Action and Belief Change" track at NMR'08 workshop (collocated with CP&ICAPS in Sydney); co-charied with Dongmo Zhang.
I also participate as SPC and PC for various AI scientific events, including IJCAI, AAAI, ICAPS, KR, and AAMAS.