Judith Fan (UC San Diego)
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 4:00 P.M.
Computer Science and Engineering Building (CSE) 1202 on the UCSD campus
Cognitive tools for learning & communication
How does the human mind transform a cascade of sensory information into meaningful knowledge? While traditional approaches to learning focus on how people process the data provided to them by the world, this approach leaves aside all of the powerful tools people have to actively reformat their experiences and generate new ones. For example, we choose what to look at, bring certain memories to mind, produce pictures to share, and compose stories to tell. The goal of our lab’s research is to “reverse engineer” the core mechanisms by which employing such cognitive tools empower us to learn and communicate our knowledge more effectively. Our recent work focuses on human visual communication, one of our most basic and versatile tools, because it also represents a key challenge for understanding how multiple cognitive systems interact to support complex, natural behaviors. This talk will highlight our recent progress, as well as open research questions, which we plan to pursue via collaborations between the cognitive science, human-computer interaction, and artificial intelligence research communities here at UCSD.
Fan received her AB in Neurobiology and Statistics at Harvard in 2010, following a nearly two-decade stint as a child based in Scottsdale, AZ. After receiving her PhD in Psychology from Princeton in 2016, she moved to Stanford for her postdoc. As of this July, she is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at UCSD.