Distinguished Fellows for 2017-2018

Oct 02, 09, 2017Andrew Lo

Andrew Lo is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1984. Before joining MIT’s finance faculty in 1988, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School as the W.P. Carey Assistant Professor of Finance from 1984 to 1987, and as the W.P. Carey Associate Professor of Finance from 1987 to 1988. Dr. Lo has published numerous articles in finance and economics journals, and has authored several books including Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought (Princeton University Press, 2017), A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street (Princeton University Press, 2011), Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective (Princeton University Press, updated ed., 2010), The Evolution of Technical Analysis (Bloomberg Press, 2010), and The Econometrics of Financial Markets (Princeton University Press, 2nd ed., 1996). He is currently co-editor of the Annual Review of Financial Economics and an associate editor of the Financial Analysts Journal, the Journal of Portfolio Management, and the Journal of Computational Finance. His awards include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Paul A. Samuelson Award, the American Association for Individual Investors Award, the Graham and Dodd Award, the 2001 IAFE-SunGard Financial Engineer of the Year award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the CFA Institute’s James R. Vertin Award, the 2010 Harry M. Markowitz Award, and awards for teaching excellence from both Wharton and MIT.

The following lectures will be held at 4 p.m. in Psychology 1312:

October 2     Evolutionary Models of Human Behavior, Bounded Rationality, and Intelligence 

October 9     Can Financial Engineering Cure Alzheimer's Disease?


Jan 18, 22, 29, 2018Henry Roediger and Kathleen McDermott

Henry (Roddy) L. Roediger, III is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Roediger received his Ph.D. in 1973 at Yale University and then joined the faculty at Purdue University. In 1988, he was appointed Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Psychology at Rice University, and in 1996 he moved to Washington University in St. Louis, where he became Chair of the Department of Psychology. Dr. Roediger’s research has concentrated on many aspects of human learning and memory, including memory illusions, collective memory, and methods of improving learning and memory. He has served as president of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and has been elected president of several other organizations of psychologists. Roediger is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and several organizations of psychologists. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994 and, in 2004, a Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa, from Purdue University. Roediger is a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists and was awarded the Society’s Howard Crosby Warren Medal for his research on false memories in 2008. In 2012, the APS awarded him the William James Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2016 he received the APS Lifetime Mentoring Award. In 2017, Roediger received the John P. McGovern Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Kathleen McDermott is Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Director of the Memory & Cognition Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. McDermott received her Ph.D. from Rice University in 1996. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Washington University School of Medicine, she became a ladder faculty member in Psychology. Dr. McDermott investigates human memory encoding and retrieval and how they interact. Her research uses both behavioral and functional neuroimaging (fMRI) techniques. Ongoing projects include explorations into individual differences in learning abilities; how memory is used to envision future events; why attempting to retrieve recently-experienced information enables the learner to gain more from a subsequent learning episode; and the contribution of regions within parietal cortex to encoding and retrieval. The American Psychological Foundation and APA's Science Directorate awarded McDermott the 2004-2005 F. J. McGuigan Young Investigator Prize. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. She is Associate Editor for Psychological Science.  In February 2017 her work was featured in the PBS NOVA special “Memory Hackers.”

The following lectures will be held at 4 p.m. in Psychology 1312:

January 18     Making It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (Roddy Roediger) 

January 22     Individual Differences in Learning Efficiency (Kathleen McDermott)

January 29     Collective Memory: A New Arena for Cognitive Research (Roddy Roediger)


Feb 26, 2018
Mar 05, 12, 2018
Carl Craver

Carl Craver is Full Professor in the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program and the Department of Philosophy at Washington University in Saint Louis. Dr. Craver received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998. After a two-year postdoc at the University of Maryland, College Park, he joined the Philosophy faculty at Florida International University, and he moved to Washington University in Saint Louis in 2001. Dr. Craver’s areas of specialization include philosophy of science, with particular emphasis on the philosophy of cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology; philosophy of mind, with particular emphasis on memory, self, personhood, and agency; history of neuroscience, with particular emphasis on neurophysiology and cognitive neuropsychology; and cognitive neuropsychology, with particular emphasis on autobiographical and episodic memory and its role in moral and economic decision-making. His 2007 book, Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience (Clarendon Press), develops a framework for thinking about the norms of scientific explanation in physiological sciences such as neuroscience.  His 2013 book with Lindley Darden, In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries across the Life Sciences (University of Chicago Press), develops a mechanistic view of discovery in biology. He is working with Shayna Rosenbaum, York University to study deficits in agency and moral reasoning in people with amnesia. Other research interests include general work on the nature of scientific explanation, the norms of progress for experimental instruments and techniques, and the difference between modeler's and maker's knowledge of the brain.

The following lectures will be held at 4 p.m. in Psychology 1312:

February 26   Consent without Memory: Episodic Amnesia and Moral Responsibility

March 5          The Explanatory Power of Network Models: Causal and Mathematical Approaches

March 12        Memory and the Space of Reasons: Empirical and Normative Theories of Remembrance


Mar 15, 2018
Apr 02, 2018
Partha Mitra

Partha Mitra is Crick-Clay Professor of Biomathematics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He received a B.Sc degree in Physics from Presidency College, Kolkata in 1989 and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Harvard University in 1993. He was a postdoctoral member of the Bell Laboratories theory group from 1993-95 and Member of Technical Staff from 1996-2003. In 1997 Dr. Mitra was Assistant Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech. Dr. Mitra is also H. N. Mahabala Chair Professor (visiting) at IIT Madras, India (2015-) and Senior Visiting Researcher at RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Tokyo, Japan (2014-). Dr. Mitra is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and Senior Member of the IEEE.

Dr. Mitra is interested in understanding intelligent machines that are products of biological evolution (particularly animal brains), with the basic hypothesis that common underlying principles may govern these "wet" intelligent machines and the "dry" intelligent. Dr. Mitra initiated the idea of brain-wide mesoscale circuit mapping, and his laboratory is carrying out such mapping in the Mouse and the Marmoset (at RIKEN BSI, Japan). These projects in have generated over a petabyte of data, and Dr. Mitra’s group is building a Machine Vision system for Gigapixel image data, a “virtual neuroanatomist”. Dr. Mitra has an active theoretical research program in machine learning and control theory, where he is using tools from statistical physics to analyze the performance of distributed/networked algorithms in the "thermodynamic" limit of many variables.

Dr. Mitra played an active role in helping shape the US Brain Initiative and is an active contributor to Scientific American. Dr. Mitra has performed in Roald Hoffman’s “Entertaining Science” series at the Cornelia Street Cafe and recorded an album of the songs of Rabindranath Tagore. He was the organizer of a series of public science lectures at the New York Public Library (Science Soirees at the SIBL). In collaboration with sculptor Fre Ilgen, he has produced artistic renditions of nervous system architecture.


Apr 16, 23, 30, 2018Tony Prescott

The SAGE Center Distinguished Fellow for April is Tony Prescott, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield, UK, and Director of Sheffield Robotics, an inter-disciplinary research institute across both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. Dr Prescott develops biomimetic robots that resemble animals, including humans. His goal is both to advance the understanding of biological life, and to create useful new technologies such as assistive, educational and entertainment robots. With his collaborators he has developed the whiskered robots Scratchbot and Shrewbot and the companion robot pet MiRo. He is currently working to develop brain-like control systems for the iCub humanoid robot that will provide the robot with memory for past events and with a “sense of self”. As the co-founder of the British start-up company Consequential Robotics he is also engaged in commercial projects to develop assistive robots that will enhance the experience of life as we age. In 2016, Dr. Prescott co-edited, with Ehud Ahissar and Eugene Izhikevich, The Scholarpedia of Touch (Springer Atlantis Press), he is also the lead editor of Living Machines: A Handbook of Research in Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems to be published in March 2018 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Prescott is a partner in The Human Brain Project where his research group is working on episodic memory for the iCub humanoid robot and spatial memory for mammal-like robots, both of which will involve modelling the brain's hippocampal system. His YouTube channel contains links to online interviews, talks and movies about his group’s robots and research.

The following lectures will be held at 4 p.m. in Psychology 1312:

April 16     Understanding the Brain by Building Robots 

April 23     How Robots Could Change Our View of the Human

April 30     Are Friends Electric? Our Future Lives with Robots and Artificial Intelligence


May 07, 14, 21, 2018Anna Christina (Kia) Nobre and Luciano Floridi

Anna Christina  (Kia) Nobre, FBA, is the Chair in Translational Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and is Professorial Fellow at St Catherine's College and Honorary Fellow at New College, UK. She is also Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, where she is affiliated with the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Dr. Nobre received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1992; after postdoctoral appointments at Yale and Harvard, she was McDonnell Pew Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience and the Astor and Todd Bird Junior Research Fellow at New College (1994-1996). At Oxford, Dr. Nobre is Head of the Department of Experimental Psychology. She directs the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA) – a state-of-the-art facility for studying neural dynamics involved in supporting healthy human cognition and understanding their disruption in neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, co-directs the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, and leads the cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging theme of the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre. Dr. Nobre’s research looks at how neural activity linked to perception and cognition is modulated according to memories, task goals and expectations. She is a member of the Academic Europaea, an advisor to the James S. McDonnell Foundation for the Understanding Human Cognition Program, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience and for Science Advances.

Luciano Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, where he is also the Director of the Digital Ethics Lab of the Oxford Internet Institute. Also at Oxford, he is Distinguished Research Fellow of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics of the Faculty of Philosophy, and Research Associate and Fellow in Information Policy of the Department of Computer Science. Outside Oxford, he is Faculty Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute and Chair of its Data Ethics Group; and Adjunct Professor of the Department of Economics, American University, Washington D.C. Dr. Floridi received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Warwick. His appointments include the Faculty of Philosophy (1990) and the Department of Computer Science (1999) at the University of Oxford; Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford (1990-1994); Francis Yates Fellow in the History of Ideas at the Warburg Institute, University of London (1994-1995); Research Fellow in Philosophy at Wolfson College (1994-2001); postdoctoral research scholarship at the Department of Philosophy, Università degli Studi di Torino; Markle Foundation Senior Research Fellow in Information Policy at the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, University of Oxford (2001-2006); Associate Professor of Logic (tenure) at the Università degli Studi di Bari (2002-2008); Professor of Philosophy and UNESCO Chair in Information and Computer Ethics at the University of Hertfordshire (2009-2014); Fellow by Special Election of St Cross College (2006-2017). Dr. Floridi’s research concerns primarily Information and Computer Ethics (aka Digital Ethics), the Philosophy of Information, and the Philosophy of Technology. Other research interests include Epistemology, Philosophy of Logic, and the History and Philosophy of Skepticism. He has published over 150 papers in these areas, in many anthologies and peer-reviewed journals. His most recent books are The Fourth Revolution – How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality (Oxford University Press, 2014); The Ethics of Information (Oxford University Press, 2013, volume two of a tetralogy on the foundation of the philosophy of information); The Philosophy of Information (Oxford University Press, 2011, volume one of the tetralogy); Information – A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010).


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