Tom Griffiths

Former BIDS Senior Fellow

Real name: 
Tom Griffiths

Tom Griffiths is Director of the Computational Cognitive Science Lab at Princeton University.  At UC Berkeley, he was an associate professor in psychology and cognitive science. He did his undergraduate degree at the University of Western Australia and received a PhD from Stanford University in 2005. After a brief stint teaching at Brown University, he came to Berkeley in 2006, and his research resulted in awards from a number of organizations, including a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, and the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association. His research focused on using mathematical and computational tools to study human cognition. The key question he seeks to answer is how to describe processes of thinking and learning in mathematical terms. To do this, he develops models of human behavior and tests them on behavioral data, running large crowdsourced experiments or using existing behavioral databases. Since many of the problems he studies—learning and using language, discovering causal relationships, learning concepts and forming representations—are things that people are better at than computers, one consequence of this research is developing new machine learning techniques for processing text and analyzing data.