ESC People

Nancy Salay, Founder and Director
Nancy Salay is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Computing at Queen’s University, Canada. Her central area of specialization is embodied cognitive science with a focus on language and representation. Informed by embodied, enactive, and extended insights as well as predictive processing models of cognition, she is developing an externalist, learning-based account of mental representation.

Selim Akl

Selim G. Akl served as Director of the School of Computing at Queen’s University from 2007-2017. His recent research in the field of unconventional computation has four motivations: (i) to better understand the processes of nature by modeling them as algorithms (e.g., plant respiration as a cellular automaton algorithm, photosynthesis as a quantum process, and so on); (ii) to seek inspiration from nature when natural algorithms are more effective and more efficient than conventional ones (e.g., genetic algorithms, neural networks, swarm intelligence, and so on); (iii) to use nature itself to perform the computations, when its substrates and processes are the most appropriate (e.g., bio-molecular computing, chemical computing, quantum computing, and so on); and (iv) to better understand what it means “to compute” (e.g., the processes of acquiring stimulus from, and producing information to, the external physical environment; the phenomena of nature, such as the spin of an electron, a chemical reaction, DNA replication, and so on–are these computations?).


Tom Hollenstein
2udajxo9Tom Hollenstein is currently an Associate Professor in the Developmental Psychology program at Queen’s University. His research focuses on how emotional processes develop, especially in adolescence. He uses a dynamic systems framework to better understand the relations between complex interactions in real time and the nature of how socioemotional development progresses. He is the world’s leading expert on state space grid analysis and the purveyor of free software to conduct these analyses, GridWare.



Max Garcia
Max Garcia is a 5th year undergraduate Cognitive Science student in the School of Computing at Queen’s University. For his COGS 499 undergraduate research project, he is transforming ESC into a portal that will serve as a resource that will be useful in some specific way to researchers in subdisciplines of Embodied Cognitive Science. You can find some of Max’s thoughts on different topics of Embodied Cognitive Science by reading some of his blog posts in “The ESC Blog” section of the site.


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