Ernest Davis

Department of Computer Science,   Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences,   New York University


Email: . Email is best
Phone: (212) 998-3123. Fax: (212) 995-4121
Address: Dept. of Computer Science, New York University, Room 329, 251 Mercer St., New York NY 10012 USA


I am on sabbatical Summer and Fall 2021.
Previous Course Web Pages
Academic Family Tree (Teachers and Students)
Notes on AI Topics
Computer Science Education At NYU
Current students: David Valentine, Jennifer Zeng (undergraduate research).


In my research, I study the problem of representing commonsense knowledge: that is, the problem of taking the basic knowledge about the real world that is common to all humans; expressing it in a form that is systematic enough to be used by a computer program; and providing the program with techniques for effectively using that knowledge. My work has focused primarily on spatial and physical reasoning, but I have also looked at reasoning about knowledge, belief, plans, and goals, and their interaction with physical reasoning.

Current research projects

If you are interested in commonsense reasoning, you should check out the recent symposium Commonsense 2017. You might also like to look at the Common Sense Problem Page, the Winograd Schema Challenge, and the CACM 2015 article surveying the state of the art by Gary Marcus and me.


Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust by Gary Marcus and me has been published by Pantheon Press.
Complete List of Research Papers
Research Papers with Abstracts
Surveys and Essays
Book Reviews
Writing for a General Audience
Recreational Writing
Curriculum Vitae

Non-technical Writing

I write book reviews and opinion pieces on topics ranging across computer science, mathematics, cognitive psychology, history of science, scientific biography, digital humanities, invented languages, and children's literature. These have been published in The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Financial Times, WIRED, Nautilus, Quartz, Technology Review, SIAM News, Computing Reviews, American Scientist, Mythprint, and the online New Yorker. I have also written a small collection of light verse entitled Verses for the Information Age.

Personal and Family Material