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Ogi J. Ogas
|Occupation||Writer, theoretical neuroscientist|
|Known for||Game show contestant|
Ogi Jonathan Ogas is an American writer who received doctoral training as a computational neuroscientist. As of May 2016, he is a visiting scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he serves as Project Head for the Individual Mastery Project. Ogas is also known for his participation in game shows, especially Grand Slam (2007) and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (2006).
Ogas was born Johnathan Raymond Ogas,[when?] and grew up in Annapolis, Maryland.[better source needed] He attended Severna Park High School, where he was a member of the school's It's Academic team. He briefly attended the University of Iowa, where he ran into serious legal trouble when an undergraduate working on a film project for him was significantly injured. He is a graduate[clarification needed] of Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore.[when?] Ogas was awarded a Ph.D. in computational neuroscience by Boston University in 2009. He was a United States Department of Homeland Security Fellow during his graduate studies.[when?]
Ogas is a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard University School of Education, where he conducts research in the Laboratory for the Science of the Individual.[third-party source needed] According to him and L. Todd Rose, the science of the individual "relies on dynamic systems theory rather than group statistics. Its research methodology is characterized by 'analyze, then aggregate' ... rather than 'aggregate, then analyze'. ... The field obtained its theoretical foundations with the publication of a 2004 paper, 'A Manifesto on Psychology as Idiographic Science: Bringing the Person Back Into Scientific Psychology, This Time Forever,' written by one of the pioneers of the new science, Peter Molenaar."
Ogas is the Project Head for the Individual Mastery Project in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which The Washington Post has described as "aimed at understanding the development of individual excellence."
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Ogas's nonfiction book A Billion Wicked Thoughts (2011, with Sai Gaddam) analyzed the sexual terms used in web searches by approximately 100 million internet users. Some critics praised the book for its accessibility and entertainment value. Others noted that because the collected web searches were anonymous, the authors were limited in the conclusions they could draw from their analyses.
Before publication, some bloggers and online communities criticized the book and its authors for their nonstandard research methodology, aspects of their core premise, and lack of institutional review. The authors addressed this after publication, saying, "IRB oversight applies to human subjects research with federal funding, or that takes place at an institution with federal funding. We intentionally conducted our research outside of academia, without federal funding, in order to remain independent from the fierce tempest of ideological, social, and political pressures that besets the contemporary study of sexuality."
traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science through its adolescence as a cult of "shrinks" to its late blooming maturity--beginning after World War II--as a science-driven profession that saves lives ... [including] ... case studies and portraits of the professionals of the field--from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel ...
|$1 Million (15 of 15) - No Time Limit|
|Which of these ships was not one of the three taken over by colonists during the Boston Tea Party?|
|o A: Eleanor||o B: Dartmouth|
|o C: Beaver||o D: William|
|Ogas's $1,000,000 question|
Ogas won $500,000 on an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire that aired on November 8, 2006, using his cognitive science research to guide his game strategy. Ogas has intimated in interviews that he had a strong hunch about his final question (about the Boston Tea Party, shown), after tentatively eliminating three of the choices; he ultimately decided to walk away because of the large amount of money at risk ($475,000 of his $500,000). His hunch was correct. Since playing, he has appeared 22 times as the syndicated show's "Ask The Expert" Lifeline.
Ogas was also a contestant on Grand Slam, which aired in August and September 2007. He said that after feeling the intense emotional pressure on Millionaire, he developed a new suite of cognitive techniques for Grand Slam, including calming techniques as well as mathematical, verbal, and mnemonic heuristics derived from his brain research. He defeated former Millionaire contestant Nancy Christy in his first-round game and all-time game show winnings record holder and Jeopardy! champion Brad Rutter in the second round. Ogas then defeated former Twenty-One champion David Legler in the semifinals before losing to Ken Jennings in the final. More recently, he appeared on ABC's game show 500 Questions as one of the challengers.