Principal Investigator

Joshua Hartshorne

B.A. Mathematics, Oberlin College
M.A. Psychology, Harvard University
Ph.D. Psychology, Harvard University

I am interested in understanding what allows humans, but not current machines, to learn language – and why it is that children, despite their salient limitations of both cognition and experience, are so much more successful at language learning than adults. I am particularly interested in applying new and emerging methods (such as computational modeling and crowdsourcing) to core problems in the language sciences.

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Full-Time Staff

Sven Lucas Dietz

Senior Research Associate

M.Eng. Electrical Engineering, Technical University Vienna
Ph.D. Synthetic Biology, ETH Zurich

I am interested in Machine Learning and especially in Natural Language Processing (NLP) to improve how humans interact with computers using language. I work on processes of second language acquisition to implement models for interaction and training of algorithms.

Lauren Skorb

Lab Coordinator

B.S. Psychology, Spanish
Davidson College

I am interested in varied patterns of language development, with a particular interest in the effect of second language acquisition and cognitive impairments.

Jon Ravid


B.A. Chemistry, Psychology
Binghamton University

I am interested in mathematical and relational models of human decision making and how these can inform future machine learning algorithms, with a focus on improving current paradigms for natural language processing.

Mariela Jennings


B.S. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
George Mason University

I am interested in language acquisition, with a particular interest in second language acquisition. I am also interested in using computational models to understand how humans make inferences from the limited information encoded by language.


Lily Feinberg

I am a junior at BC studying Applied Psychology and Human Development. I am interested in language acquisition in young children and the results of problems that occur during this development.

Zachary Barker

I am a junior majoring in Psychology B.A. I am interested in how children develop cognitively and socially and how the inability to develop normally affects the child in multiple ways.

Caitlin Garcia

I am a senior at Boston College studying Psychology and Communications. I am interested in how young children understand the intentions of others through word choice and how language is learned through new media sources, such as e-books.

JungHo Lee

I'm interested in both traditional and novel statistical methods used in various social science disciplines as well as in second language acquisition at different stages of our lives.

Kayley Okst

I am a junior at BC studying Psychology and Hispanic Studies. I am interested in how the acquisition of language in children influences their perception of the world, as well as the mechanisms involved in learning a second language.

Nicola Roux

I am a sophomore at BC studying Psychology on a premed track with a French minor. I am interested in language acquisition especially in young children and the way language shapes the way we communicate with others and the world around us. I am also interested in the way language is specific to certain cultures or localities.

Eric Seferian

I am an undergraduate Junior Research Assistant. I am a Psychology B.A. major in my first semester with the lab.

Clinton Tak

I am a senior at Boston College studying Computer Science. I am interested in big data, machine learning, and how these two can be brought together to learn more about the world.

Affy Wu

I am a senior at Boston College studying math and computer science. I am interested in data analysis in social issues and building up statistical models for psychological research.

Juliani Vidal

I'm a junior at Boston College majoring in both Psychology and Sociology and minoring in French. I'm very interested in how children go about acquiring a primary and/or a secondary language and how that affects their development.

Marissa Russell

I am a senior at Emory University in Atlanta, GA double majoring in Linguistics and Spanish. I am very interested in the language acquisition of bilingual individuals as well as how communication disorders can manifest in this population.

Camille Phaneuf

I am a rising junior at the University of Michigan, where I am majoring in Neuroscience and Computational Cognitive Science. I am interested in modeling human language development and use through computer programs. I aim to apply these curiosities to other aspects of biological modeling in the future.

Parker Robbins

I'm a third-year student at Northeastern University majoring in linguistics and minoring in French. I am interested in combining generative linguistics with new methods of crowdsourcing data to build cognitively realistic models of first and second language acquisition.

William Merrill

I am a rising junior at Yale University majoring in Linguistics and Computer Science. I am interested in machine learning, computational and historical linguistics, and what child language acquisition can teach us about building better NLP systems.

Ernesto Gutierrez

I graduated in linguistics and Spanish from Pomona College, 2017. I am interested in (second) language acquisition, bilingualism and language retention, from a psycholinguistic perspective. I would like to study the mechanisms that allow for the maintenance of a minority/secondary language in situations of languages in contact.

External Collaborators


  • Varun Nambikrishnan (Undergraduate, Summer'16)
  • Yena Kim (Pre-Bac, Summer'16)
  • Mark Seong Hun Yu (Pre-Bac, Spring '16)
  • Jesse Mu (Undergraduate, Class of 2017)
  • Liana Llado (Undergraduate, Class of 2017)
  • Will Ades (Undergraduate, Class of 2017)
  • Cora Ives (Undergraduate, Class of 2017)
  • Maria Jose Valdivia Cox (Undergraduate, Class of 2017)