John Cohn

IBM Fellow in MIT-IBM Watson AI Research Group

What has been important in your life you’d like to share from your vision and expertise?

“I’ve found that the more serious my life and work get, the more important it is for me to make time for Play. I found that bringing play to my work has helped make me more creative, more resilient, and has helped me connect better with people all over the world. My interest in Play has also been a stepping-stone to some of the best jobs I’ve had it in my four decades of work. I really love a quote from George Bernard Shaw, he said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”.


John Cohn is an IBM Fellow in the MIT-IBM Watson AI Research Group based in Cambridge, MA. John earned a BSEE from MIT (’81) and a Ph.D in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (‘91)  where he was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2014. John has authored more than 40 technical papers, contributed to four books and has >120 worldwide patents. In 2005 John was elected a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to high speed integrated circuit design.

John is active in education issues at a local, state and national level.  In 2019, John was awarded the IEEE CAS John Choma Education award for his efforts at STEM promotion. He is so passionate about promoting STEM careers that he spent 59 days living and inventing in an abandoned steel mill as part of Discovery Channel’s technical survival show “The Colony”.  John lives with his family in a restored 19th century schoolhouse in Jonesville Vermont and is eager to share his love of science and technology with anyone who will listen.


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