Nagarjuna G.




Designation: PROFESSOR (H)


Nagarjuna is interested in understanding the structure and dynamics of knowledge (epistemology, knowledge organization, knowledge representation, biological roots of cognition, and education), nature of life and evolution. This interest is executed in the respective domains: Information Technology, History and Philosophy of Science, and Biology Education. The social, economic and political aspects of information technology also engages his serious attention.

Knowledge is a network

The structure of knowledge can be better described in terms of a network, as in a semantic network, is the point of departure of our work. Meaning of any concept that we harbour or any activity that we do as cognitive agents is generated out of links between concepts or activities. No node in such a network is meaningful on its own right, but only by virtue of the links the node has with the neighbouring nodes. Nothing will be considered a bit of information unless it is linked to others.

We use this framework to study the problem of conceptual change in both ontogeny (individual cognitive development) and phylogeny (history of ideas).  By studying the nature of changes in the knowledge network  we  wish to capture the dynamics of knowledge, and each snapshot of the network at any given time as the structure of knowledge.  This is how we are approaching the problem of structure and dynamics of knowledge.

In concrete terms we undertake research and development work in the gnowledge laboratory, where we are currently investigating on the following topics.

  • studio based constructionist learning (we conduct workshops for schools on how ICT can be used for meaningful learning.  See more details at gnowledge lab site.)
  • Developing GNOWSYS, a node oriented computing system (an official GNU project.).
  • Studying the nature of dependency relations in a cognitive system (see publications below).
  • Using dependency relation to develop a unique roadmap of all knowledge (this project is now online at  This will eventually develop as an atlas of knowledge.  This is our version of knowledge cartography.
  • Refined concept mapping for science education, for teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Testing the hypothesis that rigor develops by minimal use of relation types, and not by refining the concept. This is also the basis of our cognitive  development model where agents begin with procecdural, implicit,  modular knowledge and develop declarative, explicit and non-modular  knowledge.
  • A characterization of scientific knowledge as procedurally redescribed reproducible knowledge (see "layers in the fabric of cognition"). 

Apart from these topics the gnowledge lab is currently engaged, His work as an epistemologist and an ontologist ranges on issues related to modeling life and cognition and evolution of complexity; biological roots of knowledge; muscularity of mind, explaining how consciousness and higher level of cognition can be seen in human beings; symbol grounding problem and a design for an autonomous cognitive agent; and also on policy and politics of information and communication technology.  The last topic is executed both professionally as well as an activist promoting free software and free knowledge.

He blogs at


Please see the updated list of publications


Areas of Interest:

Course Coordinator: