Mark Changizi is a scientist with expertise in theoretical neurobiology, vision, cognitive science, and language. Born in 1969 and raised in Fairfax, Virginia, he attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and then went on to the University of Virginia for a degree in physics and mathematics, and to the University of Maryland for a PhD in math. In 2002 he won a prestigious Sloan-Swartz Fellowship at Caltech. From 2007 to 2010 he was assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Since 2010 he has become Director of Human Cognition at the new research institute, 2AI.
His research aims to grasp the ultimate foundations underlying why we think, feel and see as we do. Focusing on "why" questions, he has made important discoveries on why we see in color, why we see illusions, why we have forward-facing eyes, why letters are shaped as they are, why the brain is organized as it is, why animals have as many limbs and fingers as they do, and why the dictionary is organized as it is. He has more than thirty scientific journal articles, some of which have been covered in news venues such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, USA Today, Time Magazine, Reuters, ABC News, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Scientific American, Wired, Discover Magazine and Live Science. He has written two books, THE VISION REVOLUTION (Benbella, 2009) and THE BRAIN FROM 25,000 FEET (Kluwer, 2003).
[Photo credit: Rensselaer / Mark McCarty.]