(Originally posted at http://joelnoche.multiply.com/journal/item/22/Mark-Changizi on October 14, 2010 9:56 AM)
Mark Changizi is an evolutionary neurobiologist who has a B.S. in physics and mathematics and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics (with advisors specializing in computer science, philosophy, and neuroscience). He is currently the Director of Human Cognition at 2AI Labs. I first learned about him through his paper on harnessing the human visual system to carry out computations. (Instead of having a computer imitate how a human visual system works, have a human visual system imitate how a computer works.) He asks some pretty good questions: Why are natural language words vague? Why do animals have as many limbs as they do? Why are letters shaped the way they are? Why do human eyes face forward? Why do fingers and feet wrinkle when they are wet? Why is a dictionary organized as it is?