Governing Board Elections
The Cognitive Science Society is honored to nominate the following candidates for open positions on the Governing Board and thank them in advance for their willingness to serve.
Elections open: May 19, 2022
Elections close: June 9, 2022
I work on computational models of cognition, exploring how the ideal solutions to computational problems that arise in everyday life can help us understand human behavior. My work draws on ideas from many of the disciplines that make up cognitive science, covering topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, cultural evolution, and decision-making, and I have collaborated with developmental and comparative psychologists, linguists, economists, sociologists, statisticians, computer scientists, and neuroscientists. Prior to moving to Princeton I was at the University of California, Berkeley, where I was Director of the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences from 2010-2018, and Brown University. I have been a member of the program committee for the annual conference since 2007, have organized multiple workshops and tutorials at the conference, and have served on the sponsorship committee. On the sponsorship committee I played a role in significantly increasing contributions to support the conference from technology companies. As a member of the Governing Board I would focus on building broader interdisciplinary connections for the Society, including links to the growing research communities in artificial intelligence and computational social science in both academia and industry.
I study learning and visual cognition. In particular, I am interested in the universal principles and specific factors that modulate development of perceptual representations and information processing strategies during expertise acquisition such as face recognition and reading. I adopt an interdisciplinary approach, using a variety of methods and techniques from artificial intelligence, experimental psychology, psycholinguistics, and cognitive neuroscience to study the human mind at different levels of analysis and organisation. In my view, Cognitive Science is characterised by understanding a cognitive system in terms of representation and information processing through interdisciplinary integration.
I have been regularly attending and presenting at the annual meetings of the Society since CogSci 2003 in Boston, where I was a student volunteer and talk presenter. At CogSci 2006, I won the Best Language Modelling Paper Award. My graduate students have won three travel awards at CogSci 2013, 2015, and 2019 respectively. I have been a member of the CogSci Program Committee since 2016, and an Associate Editor for the Society journal Cognitive Science since 2018. Most recently, I organised CogSci Hong Kong Meetup in conjunction with CogSci 2021, and will co-organise the Hong Kong Meetup for CogSci 2022.
Diversity is essential to scientific discovery and invention, and I am committed to strengthening the international reach of the society. I have studied and worked at institutions on three different continents, including UC San Diego and the University of Edinburgh, and am currently based in Hong Kong, a city which links China, Asia, and the world. If elected to the Governing Board, I will reach out to the under-represented regions in the Society’s international membership, in particular Greater China and other regions in Asia. Through my connections with both the research institutions and companies in Greater China and other parts of Asia, I will do my best to facilitate and enhance contributions from these under-represented regions.
In my academic work, I focus on the nature of human reasoning, especially reasoning in mathematics. I am particularly interested in the boundaries of the perceptual, and the role that specialized notational and symbol systems play in extending our ability to reason about and experience abstract mathematical forms. To pursue this, I use methods from and apply results to psychology, education, cognitive modeling, and computer science, and have been a core part of several applications in the math ed space. My work as an industry data scientist at Netflix applies many of the same modeling paradigms to very large data sets, primarily to build cognitively grounded, interpretable and actionable models of choice and taste.
I believe that Cognitive Science is at its best when it values many different kinds of contribution, and especially when our theoretical work maintains strong bidirectional connections to applications. If elected to the Governing Board, I would work to build stable, long-term bridges between academic and industry researchers that leverage the unique contributions that both can provide. My initial goals would be to facilitate industry participation by creating venues that advance industry-relevant conversations and discussions, and to facilitate the already-happening shift toward seeing non-academic research as high value work that lies in parallel to—not in competition with—academic questions.
I teach Artificial Intelligence and Computational Cognitive Science at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Turin and I am a Research Associate at the ICAR-CNR Institute in Palermo (Cognitive Robotics Lab). My research revolves around the following areas: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computational Cognitive Science, and Human-Machine Interaction. On these topics I have published more than 90 articles in international peer-reviewed conferences and journals, and the book “Cognitive Design for Artificial Minds” (Routledge, 2021). I am currently Vice-President of the Italian Association of Cognitive Science (2017-2022), ACM Distinguished Speaker on the topics of cognitively-inspired AI and computational models of cognition (https://speakers.acm.org/speakers/lieto_12489). The results of my research have been obtained via collaboration with researchers and students from experimental psychology, computer science, philosophy, linguistics and neuroscience, and I am a strong advocate of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity for the study of natural and “artificial” cognition. More info about my bio can be found here: https://www.antoniolieto.net/.
If elected to the Governing Board I’d work to make the Society have 1) a stronger connection and coordination with the many national societies of Cognitive Science that are available all over the World, and 2) a stronger involvement and support in events, workshops, initiatives started by students and early career researchers working at the intersection of different disciplines falling under the umbrella of Cognitive Science (e.g. “AI and Cognition”, “Anthropology and Linguistics”, “Robo-ethology” etc.). Also, I will fight to keep the annual conference accessible and affordable for early career research all over the world, and to keep the Society a place where inclusion, integrity, and open-mindness stand as central pillars of all the coordinated and organized scientific activities.
My current research interests include language and memory, focusing on semantic processing, sentence comprehension, concepts, and event future thinking. My trainees, collaborators, and I have studied human knowledge of events and the influences of this knowledge on language comprehension for a number of years. We use human empirical research of multiple types with both healthy and clinical populations. We implement and test theories using computational modeling, including connectionist and network science models. I have been a member of the CSS since 1996, and I was elected as a Fellow in 2020. With Vladimir Sloutsky and Brad Love, we co-organized the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (2008). I have been a member of the Editorial Board of Cognitive Science since 2010, and I Chair the Selection Committee for the Jeffrey L. Elman Prize for Scientific Achievement and Community Building. Early career researchers are the present and future of the CSS. We need to retain and attract members who care deeply about interdisciplinary approaches to studying the mind and brain. One way in which we can offer more to our members is to use easily available virtual technology to offer CSS-sponsored talk series, career workshops, and discussion panels throughout the year. We can gather, exchange ideas, and help one another in multiple ways and on a more consistent basis, in addition to our annual conference. Equity, diversity, and inclusion on many dimensions need to be central to all of our decisions and actions as a Society.
I study the human language system and its relation to cognition using developmental and cross-linguistic approaches. Throughout my work, I adopt a multimodal view of language by drawing on evidence from both auditory (speech) and visual (gesture, sign) modalities. My work is informed by theoretical and methodological approaches from different disciplines under cognitive science, including psychology and linguistics. The goal of my research is to establish which aspects of human cognition are universally shared and which aspects might be shaped by linguistic diversity.
Having experience in conducting research in various contexts, including countries with well-established infrastructure for research (US, Netherlands) and developing countries (Turkey), I am committed to making cognitive science inclusive and accessible for individuals with diverse backgrounds. If elected to the board, I would especially like to contribute to the Society’s efforts in increasing visibility and representation among early career researchers who are traditionally more likely to experience career limitations.
I study language from a multimodal perspective, looking at how speakers and signers bring together semiotically diverse communicative strategies in multimodal utterances, including gesture, onomatopoeia, and iconic prosody. My work combines large-scale statistical analyses of natural language data (corpus analysis, linguistic typology) with experimental methods borrowed from psychology. I am committed to open and reproducible research, especially with respect to statistical methodology. I have used my role as a statistics educator at workshops and summer schools to advocate for open science practices, and I am proud that during my term as Editor-in-Chief, the interdisciplinary Cambridge University Press journal “Language & Cognition” was one of the first linguistics journals to implement registered reports and an open materials policy.
I see the Cognitive Science Society as a major nexus for furthering open science and reproducible research practices across the various disciplines that fall under the Society’s umbrella, also via the lever of the annual conference and its proceedings. I’d love to continue my advocacy for these topics as a member of the Governing Board. In addition, I have experience working with interpreters for different signed languages for both virtual and physical events, and I would love to assist in maintaining and expanding the annual conference’s commitment to accessibility for deaf researchers. Finally, I believe that my experience running large virtual events (the annual conference of the UK Cognitive Linguistics Association had 10 live parallel sessions) would be of help with the Society’s annual conference.
The Cognitive Science Society is pleased to announce the establishment of the CogSci Grove which aims to mobilise cognitive scientists to offset carbon emissions associated with their professional activities.