Most of Alec’s recent efforts involve thinking about how to teach selflessness.  This might seem silly, since selflessness has strong intuitive and emotional components, but walking a path is most often aided by a view of the destination.

Professional Resume: resume

Academic Work: MS in Electrical Engineering, BS in Psychology, and BS in Computer Science, from a mix of Cornell University, Reed College, Portland State University, and Boston University.  I have also studied Buddhist Philosophy at Ranjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal and Maitripa College.


  • 2016: Psygraph, a collection of four tools designed to promote mindfulness.
  • 2003-2012: MATLAB, where I worked on Scientific File Formats, Image Processing, Digital and Multimedia Signal Processing, and System Objects.
  • 1996: ArborRhythms Music Processor, a way of producing MIDI and digital audio with a flow graph that resembles a syntactic tree.

Books, Conference Papers, and Journal Articles:

  • 2022: Gnostic Models is a book jokingly entitled “How to Feel by Alec McMansplainer”. On a more serious note, it is a profound analysis of our self that is designed to help us feel better.
  • 2020: A Common Framework for Cognitive Science is a (somewhat audacious) article for the Cognitive Science Society that extends Dual Process Theory to cover more ground.
  • 2020: The Whole Part, a book exploring the sciences of mereology (parts and wholes) and reference as they apply to cognition.
  • 2017: Sustained Attention in Focused Attention versus Open Monitoring Meditation – Behavioral and Neurophysiological Changes.  Poster at the 29th Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Boston, MA, USA
  • 2014: Mathematics of Enlightenment, a poster session presented at the Mind and Life Conference about parallels between Buddhist philosophy and mathematics.
  • 2011: Cognitive Set Theory, a book describing a psychological model equating (psychological) concepts with (mathematical) sets.
  • 2001: A Comparison of DHP Based Antecedent Parameter Tuning Strategies for Fuzzy Control, a paper presented at North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society conference.
  • 2001: Dual Heuristic Programming for Fuzzy Control, another paper presented at the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society conference.

Mostly Unpublished:

  • 2021: Is Negativity Bias Half-Empty?, an experiment testing whether absence bias can explain negativity bias
  • 2018: Is event symmetry the result of reverse processing during sleep?, an experiment testing whether sleep is responsible for encoding anticausal memory in our minds. 
  • 2002: Analysis of the Instantaneous Estimate of Autocorrelation, a paper written at Portland State University that generalizes the notion of autocorrelation.
  • 2003: Blind Signal Decomposition: A study in the separation of unknown signals, a paper looking at competitive filters as a means of signal separation, also written at Portland State University. You would probably be better off looking at ICA (independent component analysis) for this task.