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headshot of Cliff Joslyn

Cliff Joslyn

Visiting Professor

Systems Science and Industrial Engineering


Cliff Joslyn is a visiting professor of systems science in the Systems Science and Industrial Engineering Department at Binghamton University (SUNY), as well as chief scientist for Knowledge Sciences at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Seattle, Washington.

Joslyn's work models information systems using methods drawing from multiple mathematical fields, including computational topology, order and lattice theory, network science and hypergraph analytics, generalized information theory and non-standard probability, multi-relational data modeling, and probabilistic graphical models. To these formal approaches, he brings a perspective on semantic information theory and computational semiotics, in the context of the cybernetic philosophy of modeling and evolutionary systems. Thus his work is generally strongly engaged with semantic technology, semantic and graph databases, formal ontologies, and the engineering of supportive software technologies.

He has led and supported computer and information science research efforts for the U.S. government for over 30 years, and is a senior member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). His work spans from the most current approaches in mathematical modeling and AI to pioneering web efforts from the dawn of the Internet age. His background is from the interdisciplinary intellectual tradition of general systems theory and cybernetics, and what might broadly be called mathematical systems theory; he is also an adjunct professor of systems science in that program at Portland State University. Over a career at PNNL, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, academia, and the software industry since the beginning of the PC era, his research has been applied at multiple U.S. government agencies in fields ranging from computational biology to cyber analytics, blockchain technology, reliability analysis, and high-performance computing.


  • BA in Cognitive Science and Mathematics, Oberlin College

  • MS, PhD in Systems Science, Binghamton University (SUNY)

Research Interests

  • Mathematical systems theory and complex information systems
  • Data science
  • High order networks and computational topology
  • Generalized uncertainty quantification and information theory
  • Semantic technology and computational semiotics