We work in four main areas:

  • Modeling human decision making
    • optimization problems like bandit problems and optimal stopping problems that involve making sequences of decisions under uncertainty in structured environments, with clear decision making goals, and the possibility of comparing human behavior to optimal behavior
    • the use of strategies in decision making, including non-compensatory heuristic strategies, with a focus on the relationship between environment structure and the use of heuristics, the possibility of changing environments requiring adaptation, and the allowance for individual differences between people
  • Collective cognition and the wisdom of the crowd
    • applying cognitive models to improve wisdom of the crowd performance, using the models to infer latent knowledge from observed behavior, and forming aggregated crowd answers based on the latent knowledge
    • using cognitive models to extend the types of behavioral data that can be combined, moving beyond simple scalar estimates to expressions of knowledge like rankings, partial rankings, sequences or decisions, and combinations of all of these
  • Modeling memory with clinical applications
    • applying models of memory and knowledge representation to detect and understand changes caused by aging and impairment, using real-world clinical data
  • Bayesian statistical methods
    • using graphical models and computational Bayesian methods to¬†improving the evaluation and application of cognitive models to data, and to extend the theoretical scope of the cognitive models

Current Graduate Students

Maime (Hongyang) Guan, 5th year
Holly Westfall, 1st year
Nidhi Banavar (with Mimi Lilljeholm)
Jeff Coon (with Barbara Sarnecka)
Bobby Thomas (with Barbara Sarnecka)

Current Undergraduate Students

Stephanie Doering
Matt Tillis
Isaiah Cushman
Karyssa Courey

Former Graduate Students

Percy Mistry, now post-doc at Stanford
Irina Danileiko, now at Blizzard entertainment
Profile Image James Pooley, now at Success Academy Charter Schools
Shunan Zhang, now at Apple
Matt Zeigenfuse, now at Swiss Re
Matt Dry, now at the University of Adelaide
Mark Mackay, now at Flinders University of South Australia
Dani Navarro, now at the University of New South Wales


E.-J. Wagenmakers, University of Amsterdam
Ben Newell, University of New South Wales
Kevin Gluck, US Air Force Research Laboratory
Bouzas lab, National Autonomous University of Mexico