PositionAssistant Professor of Biology
My goals for this position are to build a robust neuroscience curriculum, while actively conducting research, advising students, and teaching 5 courses a year using innovative pedagogy. In research, I studied the development of spatial navigation in small aquatic animals. I created an interpretable model of the brain area responsible for visual navigation, representing it as a combination of unsupervised and supervised learning, with a self-organized echo state network controlled by a hard-wired reinforcement system. Using information theory and cutting-edge network analysis, I demonstrated that this model explains several key patterns seen in biological imaging data. As a teacher, created and taught 12 courses, including Statistics and Data Science (R+ggplot), Computational Neuroscience (Python), Network Science, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, Sensory Physiology, Neuroethology. Supervised 24 student research projects. Led workshops on active pedagogy; was regularly engaged as a public speaker, communicator, event facilitator. Contributed to an HHMI project on innovative education and scientific literacy. As a side project, built an AI agent (game bot) that uses multivariate analysis, graph techniques, and a naive Bayes classifier to play a version of a competitive deck-building game (MtG), for a website offering online training for this game (draftsim.com).