Michael Brent earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1985 and a Ph.D. in computer science in 1991 from MIT. He then served as Assistant and Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at the Johns Hopkins University, where his research focused on computational models aimed at explaining how children learn language. He brought these interests to the Department of Computer Science at Washington University in 1999, where he developed a second research program in computational biology. In 2006 he was named the Henry Edwin Sever Professor of Engineering.
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