We're Hiring

We are looking for passionate, skilled, and hands-on people who want the freedom and opportunity to solve the real problem in AI today.


Dr. David Ferrucci is the Founder, CEO, and Chief Scientist of Elemental Cognition.

With decades of experience in AI, Dr. Ferrucci built and led the IBM Watson team from its inception through its landmark Jeopardy success in 2011 when Watson defeated the greatest Jeopardy! players of all time. Watson went on to lay the foundation for a new wave of applications and research initiatives in AI. With Elemental Cognition, "he sees a future in which AI will become a powerful amplifier of human creativity– a system based not just on statistical methods but on learning a shared and rational understanding of how the world works. This AI will enable humans and machines to explore, collaborate and ask 'why' together." Dr. Ferrucci shares more about his vision here.

Meet Our Team

With offices in Connecticut and New York City, we are a passionate team of researchers and engineers working on the next grand challenge in AI. We have deep expertise in natural language processing, machine learning, formal semantics, knowledge representation, automated reasoning, cognitive science, and software engineering.


Marcello Balduccini

Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Solving Algorithms

Marcello is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition, focusing on knowledge representation, non-monotonic reasoning and solving algorithms. His prior projects include algorithms for reasoning in environments with non-linear dynamics; approaches for planning, scheduling, and optimization; techniques for information retrieval and causal explanation. In 2016, Marcello was named Data Fellow by the National Consortium for Data Science and in 2018 was a Pedro Arrupe Center Research Fellow. Marcello has authored or co-authored nearly 100 refereed technical publications. Among various roles in the community, he has served as program chair of the 14th International Conference on Logic Programming and Non-Monotonic Reasoning (LPNMR17), as general chair and local chair of the 15th International Conference on Logic Programming and Non-Monotonic Reasoning (LPNMR19) and as local chair of Philadelphia Logic Week 2019 (PLW 2019).


Mike Barborak

Software Engineering

Mike is a research software engineer at Elemental Cognition with more than 25 years of professional software development experience. He has worked on every aspect of software systems from infrastructure, to user interfaces, to database systems, to compilers to machine learning components. Prior to joining Elemental Cognition, Mike was a part of the Watson research team at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. At IBM, Mike developed WatsonPaths, an application using Watson's AI abilities to create complex reasoning chains between medical concepts and patient cases. Before IBM, Mike founded and ran a digital agency and a software development company specializing in web development technology. Mike received his Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Andy Beck

Knowledge Representation and Formal Semantics

Andy is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition working to build scalable frameworks for knowledge representation, automated knowledge acquisition, and formal reasoning. Prior to joining Elemental Cognition, Andy worked as a senior ontologist at Cycorp, Inc., building formal models on diverse subjects ranging from molecular biology and energy production technology to grade school math education and the semantics of natural language. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego, specializing in logic and formal semantics. Concurrent with his graduate studies, Andy held a graduate internship at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he produced formal models in support of international efforts to monitor and prevent nuclear proliferation.


Lauren Berkowitz

Chief Business Officer

Lauren is responsible for strategic business and corporate development at Elemental Cognition. She most recently served as Managing Director for Watson Life, a division of IBM Watson. She led teams focused on identifying, developing, and launching new AI applications and business initiatives that could result in successful deployment of Watson’s cognitive technologies. Lauren has also served numerous executive positions in the Technology and Media industries for companies including Sony, Universal, and Bertelsmann. Lauren received both her JD, cum laude, and MBA, summa cum laude, from Suffolk University and a BS from Boston University.


Akash Bharadwaj

Natural Language Understanding, Machine Learning and Dialogue Management

Akash is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition focusing on developing statistical models for natural language understanding and dialogue management. Prior to joining Elemental Cognition, Akash was a graduate student in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University where he published research papers at top tier conferences on topics such as structured prediction, information extraction, machine translation, multimodal machine learning and educational technology. While at CMU, Akash was recognized as a Siebel Scholar in the field of Computer Science, one of only 37 across North America and China, for his practically applicable and impactful research. Akash graduated with an M.S degree from CMU in 2017.


Or Biran

NLP and Machine Learning

Or is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition focusing on natural language generation, discourse and semantics. He received his PhD from Columbia University, where he worked on domain-adaptable generation approaches, among other things to produce explanations of machine learning predictions, as well as on paraphrasing, discourse parsing and taxonomy induction. Prior to joining Elemental Cognition Or had co-founded n-Join Research, using time series clustering and semantic process characterization to improve manufacturing operations, and was involved with other start-ups. He also held positions at Mainiway AI lab and Menta Capital, a quantitative hedge fund. Or has various publications in top NLP conferences and has served on the program committee of multiple venues.


Tom Breloff

System Architecture and Optimization Algorithms

Tom helps to design and build Elemental Cognition's dialog system and core reasoning engine, consults on algorithms and code design, and builds tools to support the research process.  A lifelong programmer and math nerd, Tom comes from the world of algorithmic trading where he applied his background in mathematics and computer science in order to build and manage automated trading strategies. After many successful years in finance, he spent some time developing open source software in Julia and finding his true passion: artificial intelligence.  When he's not pounding on his keyboard, you can find him bombing ski slopes in Colorado, hanging off cliffs in New York, playing video games, or, more likely, hanging out with his awesome family.


Dave Buchanan

Cognition and Joint Inference

Dave leads probabilistic inference at Elemental Cognition. He has over a decade of experience trying to make computers think like people. In 2011, he joined the original Watson team at IBM where he was responsible for the core inference engine in WatsonPaths, the next generation of the Watson technology. WatsonPaths used inference over a graphical model to perform better than Watson on complex medical questions. Prior, while at Google, he helped improve models of the relevance of ads given a search query. He earned his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Brown University, where he worked on Bayesian models of how humans come to understand the causal and categorical structure of the world. Dave's thesis work introduced a novel generative grammar for graphical models that solved problems in accounting for human abilities in causal structure learning.


Greg Burnham

Semantics and Cognition

Greg's work as a researcher at Elemental Cognition focuses on semantics, cognition, and collaborative dialog. Prior to joining the company, Greg worked at Bridgewater Associates as a founding member of the Bridgewater Systemized Intelligence Team under Dr. Ferrucci. While on that team, Greg lead data analysis and algorithm development projects for a data science research platform focused on people analytics. Greg received a BA, magna cum laude, in mathematics from Princeton University.


Jennifer Chu-Carroll

NLP and Machine Learning

Jennifer is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition focusing on natural language understanding and dialogue management. Prior to joining Elemental Cognition, Jennifer was a Research Staff Member and team manager at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Jennifer was one of the top technical leads on the IBM's renowned Watson project, focusing on the development and application of natural language processing, machine learning, and information retrieval techniques. She was one of six recipients of a "Best of IBM" award in recognition of her technical contributions to the project, and was awarded the Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo in 2013. Prior to IBM, she was a Member of Technical Staff at Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories focusing on spoken dialogue management. Throughout her 25-plus-year-career, Jennifer has maintained a strong focus on research and development in NLP and related areas and has published extensively in top conferences and journals. She has served as general chair of NAACL-HLT 2012, program committee co-chair of NAACL-HLT 2006, as area chairs and on program committees of many key conferences, and on AI and NLP journal editorial boards. Jennifer received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware.

Ariel Diertani

Linguistics and Knowledge Representation

Ariel is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition focusing on linguistic annotation and the interfaces between linguistic knowledge and formal knowledge representations.  She has almost twenty years of experience with annotation of multiple kinds, both linguistic and non-linguistic.  Prior to joining Elemental Cognition, she was a research associate at the CUNY Graduate Center and an annotator for Nuance Communications. She received a PhD in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, where she concentrated on formal historical morphosyntax, and also holds an MPhil in traditional philology from the University of Oxford (2005) and a BA in linguistics and classics from the University of Pennsylvania (2003; summa cum laude). Her Erdős number is five.


Jesse Dunietz

NLP and Applications

Jesse is a researcher at Elemental Cognition with a background in both natural language processing and science communication. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon, where he used insights from linguistics and cognitive science to teach computers what humans mean when we write about cause and effect. Jesse has also worked to improve communication by and between scientists and engineers: he founded a public communication training program for STEM grad students, and since graduating he has worked as an instructor for MIT's Communication Lab and a freelance science writer. At Elemental Cognition, he combines these interests by fleshing out and prototyping application scenarios for the company's technology, as well as lending a hand with NLP. He is easily distracted by birds.


John Jantos

Software Engineering and Symbolic AI Research

John is a software engineer and researcher at Elemental Cognition working to build symbolic AI reasoning solutions to represent and inference over written and commonsense knowledge. His focus is on maximizing representational completeness, inference efficiency, and scalability to support a natural learning engine of all human knowledge, wisdom, and compassion, the prerequisites for true AI. Prior to joining Elemental Cognition, John worked as the Director of Research at Cycorp, where he culminated a 20-year career of working on Cyc, the world’s oldest AI project. John received a BS in Math/Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon.


Adi Kalyanpur

Automated Reasoning and Statistical NLP

Adi is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition where his focus is on integrating symbolic and statistical approaches to solving the language understanding problem. His work deals with various aspects of the Story Understanding system, including efficient reasoning algorithms combining formal inference with statistical models, and scalable knowledge acquisition methods. Prior to joining Elemental Cognition, he was a research staff member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, where his work spanned the areas of knowledge representation, automated reasoning, natural language processing, and machine learning. Adi was one of the key technical leads on the ‘IBM Watson’ Question Answering system that won the Jeopardy! challenge. Before Watson, he helped build 'SHER', a highly scalable logical reasoning technology that was deployed in IBM products. Adi has published extensively in top AI journals and conferences, chaired international workshops, and served on numerous program committees. He has also received the IBM Master Inventor award for high impact patent contributions to IBM Research. Adi completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park.


Adam Lally

Software Engineering and Automated Reasoning

Adam is primarily responsible for system architecture, framework implementation and general software engineering at Elemental Cognition. Adam has over 20 years of experience in the design and implementation of extensible development frameworks and complex end-to-end systems, often as the lead software engineer on complex AI product teams. Most recently, Adam was a Manager and Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM Watson where he led a team of 8 researchers and engineers and performed hands-on engineering work on innovative enhancements and applications of the Watson technology. Adam was an original member of the IBM Research team that built the Watson question-answering system that won the Jeopardy! challenge. He is one of only four inventors credited with the Watson architecture patent and one of only six technical team members to receive a "Best of IBM" corporate award in recognition of Watson's win at Jeopardy!. Adam received an MS from Columbia University and a BS, summa cum laude, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


L.D Libra


L.D is a software engineer at Elemental Cognition, working on applications for interacting with the system and supporting research workflows. He’s worked across the web stack as an engineer and as a personnel & project manager. Before Elemental Cognition, L.D built experience at a range of startups in industries from media to law enforcement to personal finance, with a strong interest in distributed systems and data visualization. He is a collector of hobbies.


C.J. McFate

Knowledge Representation, Cognition, and Natural Language Understanding

C.J. is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition focusing on knowledge representation and interactive learning. He is particularly interested in the interface between syntax and semantics, as well as language acquisition. C.J. joins Elemental Cognition from Northwestern University where he received a PhD in computer science. His thesis presented a computational cognitive model of language acquisition by analogical generalization. He has also contributed to research on the relation between formal models of qualitative physics and language, question answering by analogy, and the role of language in developing theory of mind.


David Melville

Application Developer, Software Engineer, Human-Machine Interface Design

David is a research engineer at Elemental Cognition working on building interfaces and applications for AI systems. Previously David worked at IBM Research on a broad range of areas, from global optimization technics in the field of semiconductor manufacturing, to Smart-Power-Grid analytics and visualization systems, to room-scale human-machine interface and experience design. He received his PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Canterbury in 2006 in the area of nanotechnology, where he experimentally proved the concept of a super-lens.


Lori works at Elemental Cognition in Computational Linguistics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Crowd Data Management. Her PhD is in Linguistics and her research focuses on semantics, pragmatics, and syntax, including work on counterfactual conditionals, modal auxiliary verbs, and the temporal expressions. Her postdoctoral research used statistical NLP models to represent early childhood language acquisition and was funded by a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant and National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in Psychology and Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been Entrepreneurial Lead on an NSF National I-Corps grant for Tech Start-ups, where she evaluated the needs of medical facilities regarding human-machine communications. Other industry experience includes annotation project design, training, analysis for Microsoft and project lead on semi-automated version testing for a Learning Management System. She enjoys all kinds of outdoor recreation in almost any weather and is very happy to be living closer to the ocean.

Lori Moon



Nasrin is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition focusing on story understanding and commonsense reasoning. Nasrin received her PhD at the University of Rochester working at the conversational interaction and dialogue research group. Her research focus has been on language understanding and commonsense reasoning in the context of stories, mainly through the lens of events and their causal and temporal relations. She has pioneered various lines of research that push AI toward deeper language understanding with applications ranging from story generation to vision & language. Prior to joining Elemental Cognition, Nasrin held research positions at BenevolentAI, Microsoft, and Google. She has various publications in top AI conferences and has been a keynote speaker, chair, organizer, and program committee member at different AI venues. Nasrin was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Science 2019!

Nasrin Mosta-fazadeh

NLP and Machine Learning


Owen Rambow

NLP and Linguistics

Owen is a research scientist at Elemental Cognition focusing on natural language understanding and generation. Specific interests include both the “nuts and bolts” of language, such as morphology and syntax, and how language is actually used in context. Owen comes to Elemental Cognition after a career which includes a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, work at startups and AT&T Labs — Research, and 15 years at Columbia University as a research scientist. At Columbia, he was part of the Center for Computational Learning Systems. He was co-founder of CADIM, a research group on Arabic natural language processing (NLP), which is licensing state-of-the-art robust NLP tools. His group also released several resources, including a richly annotated version of the Enron email corpus. Owen has published extensively in top conferences and journals. He has served as the Chair of the American chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, as program co-chair of the NAACL HLT 2016 conference, and he has served as program committee chair or senior program committee member for many conferences and workshops.


Ruze Richards

Full-Stack Software Engineering

Having started life as a Physics major, Ruze quickly discovered computers as a great way to model real life (back when the industry was starting up) and that kicked off a career in software design and development for a long stretch during which he helped develop and delivered a number of significant products and complex systems for companies in industries ranging from financial (Merrill Lynch, Thomson Reuters) to media (Hearst, Bloomberg) and startups.  Ruze also had his own startup that delivered a mobile development platform that generated the code for applications and integration with business systems which could be designed visually via drag and drop (successfully sold in 2003).  Most recently, he has developed big data and machine learning based systems for financial, cybersecurity and conversational AI based organizations and is thrilled to be to be able to continue to pursue a lifelong passion for AI. In his free time, Ruze also organizes the NY Machine Learning Workshop and has published courseware for instructors and an accompanying book titled, “Machine Learning with AWS”.


Mark Sammons

Natural Language Processing / Understanding

Mark is a research engineer at Elemental Cognition, working on Natural Language Processing / Understanding.  He previously worked as a research scientist and research faculty member at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As part of Dan Roth's Cognitive Computation Group, Mark undertook NLP research and developed software applications for use by the research community. His work on a variety of Natural Language Processing/Understanding topics ranged from named entity recognition and co-reference resolution to recognizing textual entailment; design of new NLP tasks to enhance shallow semantic representation; and application of NLP techniques to research in the Social Sciences and Humanities.  He also led development of software libraries that underpin the Cognitive Computation Group's extensive open source software library, and managed technology transfer of research prototypes to industrial and government partners. Mark has published extensively in top NLP-related conference proceedings, and served on numerous conference program committees.


David Shepler

Chief Operating Officer

As the COO of Elemental Cognition, David is responsible for general operations, strategy, recruiting, and content partnerships. Previously David served as the Program Director of IBM’s Smarter Energy Research Institute as well as the Chief of Operations for the groundbreaking Watson project of Jeopardy! fame. David’s work in AI as well as energy efficiency, renewables, and net-zero energy development led the EETimes to name him one of “Ten Visionaries to Watch” as part of its 40th year anniversary. David received Masters’ degrees from the RAND Graduate School in Policy Analysis (ABD Ph.D. candidate) and the University of Maryland, and a BS, summa cum laude, from the U.S. Air Force Academy.