Principal Investigator

Ed Vul (email)
Ed did his undergraduate degree at UCSD and his PhD at MIT. He is broadly interested in making formal computational models to make sense of humans' puzzling behavior.

Graduate Students

Lauren Oey
Lauren is a fourth year graduate student in the Department of Psychology. She is interested in how humans are so good (or so bad) at knowing what other humans know and knowing what information to provide to change what others know. In particular, she studies deception and communication as a dynamic social inference process. Lauren completed her undergraduate studies in brain and cognitive sciences, linguistics, and statistics at the University of Rochester in 2018.
Erik Brockbank
Erik is a fourth year graduate student in Psychology. He is currently interested in how people develop intuitive theories that allow them to navigate in the world, as well as the ways in which Bayesian models can help us understand cognitive development in children. Erik completed his undergraduate and master's degrees in Symbolic Systems at Stanford University.
Isabella Destefano
Isabella is a fourth year graduate student in the Psychology Ph.D program at UCSD. She completed her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science and Mathematics at Vassar College. Her research interests are broadly related to developing a more precise formal understanding of the psychophysical space over which perceptual representations are defined and how those spaces can bolster computational models of cognitive processes. She is also interested in the role perception and cognition play in communication through visual media. Her current research focuses on biases and individual differences in color perception and memory.
Yang Wang
Yang is a third year Psychology graduate student interested in vision and things other than vision. Previously, he was a UCSD undergrad majoring in math & psychology.
Wenhao (James) Qi
James is a third year graduate student in Psychology. He wants to build human-like machines. He is currently interested in how people make welfare tradeoffs with other people. He completed his undergraduate degree in Automation at Tsinghua University in China.
Cameron Holdaway
Cameron is a third year graduate student in Psychology. His research focuses on the amazing cognitive tools we employ to make decisions, despite constant uncertainty and limited resources. He is interested in methods such as meta-learning and meta-reasoning that allow humans to be such efficient thinkers, and the ways we can incorporate these tools to improve artificial intelligence. Cameron completed his undergraduate degree in Mathematics at the University of Rochester and has previously worked as a data scientist.
Lambda's primary research interest is predicting and manipulating whether, when, and where people drop food on the floor.


Drew Walker
(PhD 2017)
Drew is now an assistant teaching professor at the Cognitive Science department at UC San Diego.
Tim Lew
(PhD 2017)
Tim is now a data scientist at Quora.
Rob St Louis
(MS 2017)
Rob is now a quantitative researcher at Facebook.
Kristin Donnelly
(MS 2017)
Kristin is now at the Haas School of business.
Nisheeth Srivastava
(post-doc 2016)
Nisheeth is now an Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
Kevin Smith
(PhD 2015)
Kevin is now a post-doc in the Computational Cognitive Science Group at MIT.
Cory Reith
(post-doc 2014)
Cory is now a cognitive scientist at Pacific Science and Engineering.