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  Fred was born on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is the youngest of six children. Before coming to IHMC in 2008, Fred spent many years in Athens, Georgia, studying at UGA's Artificial Intelligence Center and in the University's Computer Science department. He received an MS there in 2002 and a PhD in 2007. Before that, he studied philosophy, earning an MS degree from Tulane University in New Orleans and a BA from Spring Hill College in Mobile.

Fred's doctoral work, under the supervision of Donald Nute and Robert Robinson, dealt with defeasible logic, a family of rule-based nonmonotonic logics. Fred is currently working with Choh Man Teng, investigating the use of statistical information and nonclassical logics to reason with inconsistent knowledge bases.