Cliff Joslyn -- Biography

Over a career mostly within America's National Laboratory system, I have pursued a range of research in mathematical modeling of complex systems, data science, and cybernetic philosophy; with applications in reliability analysis, computational biology, open source analysis, information warfare, cyber analytics, infrastructure protection, law enforcement, and distributed ledger technology.  I hold an MS (1989) and PhD (1994) in Systems Science from Binghamton University (SUNY), and undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Cognitive Science from Oberlin College (1985), with High Honors in Cybernetics and the Science of Mind.

I have been a software professional since high school in 1979. After matriculating to Oberlin College in 1981, I took a BA, with a major in Mathematics, and another individual major in Cognitive Science. I wrote the honors thesis Cybernetics and the Science of Mind, for which I received High Honors.

After further positions in the software industry in Reston, Virginia, I entered graduate school as a student of the late Prof. George Klir in the Systems Science department at SUNY Binghamton in 1987. I studied mathematical systems science and generalized information theory (GIT), receiving an MS in 1989 and a PhD in 1994, both in Systems Science. In my thesis, Possibilistic Processes for Complex System Modeling, I defined possibilistic automata models and developed the empirical foundations of possibility theory. Also at SUNY I was a student of Prof. Howard Pattee and the late Prof. Valentin Turchin (City College), with whom I pursued cybernetic philosophy, theoretical biology, and computational semiotics. I co-founded Principia Cybernetica with Turchin and Francis Heylighen (Free University of Brussels).

After a postdoc at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center working on model-based diagnostics of spacecraft, I joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) as a postdoctoral scientist in 1996, advancing to Member of the Technical Staff and then Team Leader for Distributed Knowledge Systems in the Computer and Computational Sciences Division (CCS-3). I also held a number of Computer Science teaching positions over this time at SUNY, Southern Maine Technical College, and the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos.

At LANL my work initially focused on GIT for reliability analysis and agent-based and discrete event modeling. I came to lead efforts in mathematical approaches to semantic systems and computational ontologies, specializing in lattice-theoretical bio-ontology metrics for protein function prediction.

On transitioning to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as Chief Knowledge Scientist in 2007, I initially focused on the mathematics of semantic technologies, and then especially semantic graph databases at scale. Most recently, I have been leading efforts in computational topology and related areas, especially the mathematics of hypergraph analytics for cyber, computational biology, and blockchain analytics; and applied topological sheaves for information integration.

From 2021-2023  I was Team Leader for Mathematics of Data Science at PNNL.

In 2022 I took a position as a Visiting Professor of Systems Science at Binghamton University (SUNY).