Mark A. Finlayson

Croak Research Fellow

Dr. Mark A. Finlayson is a Croak Research Fellow, under the renamed Croak Visiting Scholars Program (formerly known as an Edison Research Fellow under the Edison Visiting Scholars Program) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. His research topics are artificial intelligence (AI) and economics.

Dr. Finlayson is an Eminent Scholar Chaired Associate Professor of Computer Science in the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences (KSCIS) at Florida International University (FIU). Before joining KSCIS, he was a Research Scientist in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) for two and a half years and served as the KSCIS Interim Associate Director between Fall 2020 and Spring 2022.

Dr. Finlayson’s research intersects artificial intelligence, natural language processing, cognitive science, and the digital humanities. He directs the FIU SCIS Cognition, Narrative, and Culture (Cognac) Laboratory whose members focus on advancing the science of narrative, including: understanding the relationship between cognition, narrative, and culture; developing new methods and techniques for investigating questions related to language and narrative; and endowing machines with the ability to understand and use narratives for a variety of applications. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Office of Naval Research, Department of Homeland Security, and IBM. He was the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award in 2018, an IBM Faculty Award in 2019, and a DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2021. Dr. Finlayson received FIU’s university-wide Faculty Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activities (2019), a university-wide Top Scholar Award for Teaching and Mentoring (2018), and departmental awards for Excellence in Service (2016), Teaching (2018), Fundamental Research (2019), and Mentoring (2021).

Dr. Finlayson received his doctorate in computer science and cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the supervision of Patrick H. Winston, a Master of Science from MIT, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan, both in electrical engineering.