Douglas Fisher

I have long done research, teaching, and service in artificial intelligence, including machine learning and cognitive modeling. In recent years I have focused on the nexus of computational creativity and sustainability, notably place-based, conservation-oriented AI story telling. My current students are exploring the theory and practice of using and augmenting large language models in pursuit of these applications and others. I am keenly interested in broader impacts of CS research, and broadening participation, for which I think that computational creativity and sustainability have considerable drawing power. I served as an NSF Program Director overseeing AI and ML research funding, as well as contributing to sustainability efforts at NSF, for which I received a Director’s Award for excellence in program management. My experience at NSF is given on the CRA/CCC blog. Courses listed below include AI, computational creativity, computing and the environment, the Ethics of AI, Computation and Cognition, and a favorite service course on the theory of formal languages, automata, and computation, for which I am writing a Wikibook.

My curriculum vitae.

Office hours

  • Where: Sony building (1400 18th Ave S, 4th floor) Office A4034.
  • When:
    • Tuesdays 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
    • Thursdays 9:30 am to 11:00 am
    • I will not hold office hours during VU academic year breaks (Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter, MLK, Spring, Summer), and perhaps very occasionally because of illness or a conflict (which I will announce here).
  • I will be on professional travel February 2-4, February 8-10, February 20-22, and March 19 – 21, and March 24-28, 2024 and will not have office hours.

Undergraduate Advising

Undergraduate advising of all CS minors, and of CS Second majors who are in A&S, Blair, and Peabody. Monday, April 22 will be my last day as the advisor for CS second majors and CS minors.


Spring 2024

CS 4260 and CS 5260 (Artificial Intelligence)

CS 3892 (Projects in Computational Sustainability)

Fall 2023

CS 4260 and CS 5260 (Artificial Intelligence)

CS 3252 and CS 5252 (Theory of Automata, Formal Languages, and Computation)

Spring 2023

CS 3891 and CS 5891 (Computational Creativity)

CS 3252 and CS 5252 (Theory of Automata, Formal Languages, and Computation)

Spring 2020, 2021, 2022

CS 4269 Project in Artificial Intelligence

Fall 2021

CS 3891 Computing and the Environment

Spring 2019, 2020

University Course The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (with Professor Helen Shin, of English and of Media Studies)

Fall 2019, 2020

CS 8395 Computation and Cognition

Fall 2018

ES 1115: Vanderbilt and the New Madrid Earthquake

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