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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Postdoctoral Fellows

Aidas Aglinskas

Aidas works on a project funded by the Simons Foundation modeling heterogeneity of brain-connectivity in Autism. Specifically, he interrogates large datasets of resting-state fMRI to look at patterns of functional connectivity - using advanced computational methods. The project goal is to better understand subtypes and factors in Autism spectrum disorder. Before coming to BC, Aidas got his doctoral training at the university of Trento, Italy - where he used fMRI to understand how knowledge concepts are represented across brain networks.

Yujing Huang

Yujing is interested in how meaning and structure of language interact. Her research interests includes how semantics is expressed via syntactic structure and what conceptual primitives enables children to learn languages. She is also interested in developing statistical models for data analysis.

Graduate Students

Mariela Jennings

I am interested in using computational modeling and crowdsourcing to learn more about the way language works. Recently, I learned about probabilistic programming languages and became very excited about their development and applications!

Wei Li

I graduated from Cornell University with a major in developmental psychology. I’m interested in how children learn words, concepts, and language in only a few years with limited cognitive capacity and limited experience with the world. I’m also interested in integrating computational modeling and big data into cognitive development research.

Özlem Sakar

I am a master’s student in the Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology program at Boston College on a Fulbright. Being a Kurdish-Turkish bilingual, I am interested in second, third language acquisition, language in AI, sociolinguistic and computational modelling.

Alejandra Trejo

Alejandra graduated from Boston College in 2015 with a double-major in psychology and communication. After working in roles that focus on relationship-building, within Customer Success as well as development and fundraising for a nonprofit, she has returned to Boston College as a graduate student in the School of Social Work. Alejandra is a Mexican-American native Spanish speaker who is interested in learning more about how immigrant families retain or lose their native language as new generations are raised surrounded by the pressures of assimilation.

Juliani Vidal

Hello! I'm a second-year Master's student at the University at Buffalo studying data analysis. I previously worked in Professor Hartshorne's lab as an undergraduate and loved it so much, I had to come back! Currently, I am interested in personally learning new methods of statistical analysis with which we can extract more information from our data. Being multilingual, I am also interested in heritage speakers and second language acquisition.

Postbac Students

Wesley Ricketts

I graduated from Boston College in 2019 with a double major in Psychology and Linguistics. I'm interested in research concerning bilingualism, second language acquisition, and language attrition. I am also interested in sociolinguistics.

Co-op Students

Myles Bandel

I am a fourth year at Northeastern University, majoring in linguistics with minors in computer science and Japanese. I'm interested in the language acquisition of children as well as second language acquisition for adults.


Ethan Amato

My name is Ethan Amato. I’m a Junior in MCAS pursuing a major in Psychology and minors in Computer Science and Asian Studies. My research interests include how children pick up on the intricacies of language and how the structure of language itself may lend itself to that natural acquisition. I’m very excited to work with the team at L3!

Seun Eisape

Hi! I am a rising Sophomore at Haverford College studying Computer Science with a minor in theater and Psychology or neuroscience. I am interested in what allows children to learn the intricacies of language so intuitively. I am also interested in Artificial intelligence and what allows machines to think for themselves/create something new.

Ning Hua

Ning works on natural language understanding and clinical informatics. She is interested in building artificial life in general.

Asher Kang

Asher is a senior at Boston College majoring in Computer Science and Linguistics. His current research uses Machine Learning and corpus data to create predictive models of belief states + sentiments of speakers, and also experiments with unaccusative verbs as instances of syntactic bootstrapping. His future projects will focus on issues of Automatic Speech Recognition and Turkish NLP.

Philip Le

Hi, my name is Phúc, but you can also call me Philip! I am a rising senior at Grinnell College, majoring in Psychology and concentrating on Statistics and Neuroscience. I am interested in conspiracy theories and decision-making. Particularly, I want to know what factors are involved in people’s belief in and formation of conspiracy theories, besides how we can manipulate those factors for better judgment of news. I am way too excited to be part of the L3 team this summer and explore questions about language learning!

Tinuade McClish

Hi! My name is Tinuade McClish, and I am a junior at Pace University majoring in Psychology (B.A.) with a minor in English. I am interested in psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics, as well as research about other cognitive processes such as memory, creativity and overall how those facets affect the way we communicate and utilize language. I'm very excited to work with the L3 Lab this summer and gain research experience!

Deena Mohamed

Hello! My name is Deena Mohamed and I am a rising junior at Boston College. I am currently majoring in Sociology with a minor in Arabic Studies. As the daughter of native Arabic speakers, my interests include second language acquisition and how it differs from first language acquisition. I am also interested in general language skills.

Wenshuo Qin

I am a freshman at Boston College, majoring in neuroscience. I am currently really enjoying cognitive science and am excited to gain more research experience. I like to study language understanding from the perspective of building neural models, and I am very excited to be a part of this amazing team!

Alexa Rivas

My name is Alexa Rivas and I am a junior at BC majoring in psychology with a minor in English. I am interested in pursuing research as a career and am excited to begin my research experience here in the L3 lab! As someone who is bilingual, a topic of interest for me is the way that language is organized within the brain of individuals who speak multiple languages!

Imaan Salimi

Hi! My name is Imaan and I am a rising junior studying Brain and Cognitive Science and Psychology at the University of Rochester. My research interests include studying how humans perceive the world, how beliefs are formed and social intelligence.

Inés Martinez Velasco

Inés is an undergraduate student majoring in Islamic Civilizations and Political Science. She was born and raised in Mexico City and is half Argentinian. She’s hoping to pursue a career in the foreign service and reach fluency in Arabic. She is also a research assistant in the sociology department. She's very interested in language acquisition. Within the KidTalk project, she works on participant recruitment.

Affiliated Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

Mingtong Li

Graduate Student

I graduated from Cornell University with an MA in developmental psychology. I’m interested in the mechanisms behind language acquisition, mainly how children associate semantic meanings with words visually and acoustically. I’m also interested in iconicity in language and its cross-linguistic effect on human cognition.

External Collaborators

Stefano Anzellotti

Boston College

Dave Barner

University of California, San Diego

Josh de Leeuw

Vassar College

Laura Germine

McClain Hospital

Tobi Gerstenberg

Stanford University

Roman Feiman

Brown University

Noah Goodman

Stanford University

Yi Ting Huang

University of Maryland

Sam Mehr

Harvard University

Christopher Erb

Brown University

Tim O'Donnell

McGill University

Martha Palmer

Colorado University, Boulder

Steve Pinker

Harvard University

Jesse Snedeker

Harvard University

Hugh Rabagliati

University of Edinburgh

Josh Tenenbaum

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Liane Young

Boston College


  •   Jocelyn Chan (Undergraduate, Spring '20 - Spring '21, BC '21)
  •   Everett Kim (Undergraduate, Spring '19 - Spring '21, BC '21)
  •   Hannah Yoon (Undergraduate, Spring '20 - Fall '20, BC '23)
  •   Alejandra Sanchez (Undergraduate, Fall '19 - Fall '20, BC '21)
  •   Parker Robbins (Postbac Research Assistant, Summer '20 - Fall '20)
  •   Alex Ichimura (Co-op research assistant, Fall '20, NEU)
  •   Megan Rest (Co-op research assistant, Fall '20, NEU)
  •   A. Ezekiel Coleman (Undergraduate, Fall '20, BC '23)
  •   Alex Clendenning (Undergraduate, Summer '20, UC Berkeley)
  •   Amelia Fineberg (Undergraduate, Summer '20, UC Berkeley)
  •   Chris Mitchell (Undergraduate, Summer '20, UC Berkeley)
  •   Irene Yi (Undergraduate, Summer '20, UC Berkeley)
  •   Lilia McGee-Harris (Undergraduate, Summer '20, Swarthmore College)
  •   Siva Zhou (Undergraduate, Summer '20, Pomona College)
  •   Anna Petti (Co-op research assistant, Spring '20, NEU)
  •   Rui Han (Co-op web developer, Spring '20, NEU)
  •   Jianru Wang (Co-op web developer, Spring '20, NEU)
  •   Wendy Uelk (Undergraduate, Summer '19 - Spring '20, BC '20)
  •   Tony Chen (Undergraduate, Fall '17 - Spring '20, BC '20)
  •   William Pyle (Undergraduate, Fall '18 - Spring '20, BC '20)
  •   Rachel Duquette (Undergraduate, Spring '18 - Fall '19, BC '21)
  •   Jeff Wang (Undergraduate, Spring '20, BC '22)
  •   Katherine Karafotas (Undergraduate, Fall '18 - Spring '19, BC '21)
  •   Joyasha Johnson (Undergraduate, Fall '19, BC '20)
  •   Madeleine McCann (Undergraduate, Fall '18 - Spring '19, BC '22)
  •   Eric Gu (Co-op research assistant, Fall '19, NEU)
  •   Juliani Vidal (Undergraduate, Spring '17 - Spring '19, BC '19)
  •   Briana Ruiz (Undergraduate, Summer '19, UC Irvine)
  •   Miguel Mejia (Lab Coordinator, 2018-19)
  •   Zeen Naeem (Assistant to the Lab Manager and the Research Technician, Fall '18 - Spring '19, Bath University)
  •   Tiwalayo Eisape (Undergraduate, Summer '18 - Spring '19, BC '19)
  •   Sarah Al-Mayahi (Undergraduate, Fall '18 - Spring '19, BC '21)
  •   Claudia Reino (Undergraduate, Fall '18, BC '20)
  •   Christian Ramirez (Undergraduate, Fall '18, BC)
  •   David Kocen(Undergraduate, Spring '18 - Spring '19, BC '21)
  •   Eric Echeandia (Undergraduate, Fall '18 - Spring '19, BC '19)
  •   Lily Feinberg (Undergraduate, Fall '16 - Spring '19, BC '19)
  •   Seung Kim (Undergraduate, Spring '18 - Fall '18, BC '20)
  •   Alice Lim (Undergraduate, Spring '19, BC '21)
  •   Jacob Bennet (Undergraduate, Fall '18 - Spring '19, BC '20)
  •   Shaan Bijwadia (Undergraduate, Fall '18, BC '19)
  •   Avery Gu (Undergraduate, Fall '18, BC)
  •   Suzie Su (Undergraduate, Fall '18, Oberlin '19)
  •   Justin Feng (Graduate Affiliate, Fall '18, BC)
  •   Taylor Martinez (Undergraduate, Summer '18, Rochester '19)
  •   Zachary Barker (Undergraduate, Spring '17 - Summer '18, BC '19)
  •   Camille Phaneuf (Undergraduate, Summer '17 & Summer '18, Michigan)
  •   Rudmila Rashid (Undergraduate, Summer '18, U Penn '19)
  •   Kathrin Roberts (Undergraduate, Summer '18, U of Nebraska at Kearney '19)
  •   Ning Duan (Undergraduate, Spring '18, BC '19)
  •   Han Xiang Choong (Undergraduate, Spring '18 - Summer '18, BC '19)
  •   Hayley Greenough (Co-op research assistant, Spring '18, NEU '19)
  •   Lauren Skorb (Lab Coordinator, 2016-2018)
  •   Katherine Montas (Undergraduate, Fall '17 - Spring '18, BC '21)
  •   Julie Hong (Undergraduate, Fall '17, BC '20)
  •   Casey Nicastri (Undergraduate, Fall '17 - Spring '18, BC '20)
  •   Nicola Roux (Undergraduate, Spring '17 - Spring '18, BC '20)
  •   Kayley Okst (Undergraduate, Spring '17 - Spring '18, BC '19)
  •   Clinton Tak (Undergraduate, Spring '17 - Spring '18, BC '18)
  •   Alexa Dudley (Undergraduate, Fall '17 - Spring '18, BC '18)
  •   JungHo Lee (Undergraduate, Spring '17 - Spring '18, BC '18)
  •   Affy Wu (Undergraduate, Spring '17 - Spring '18, BC '18)
  •   Parker Robbins (Co-op research assistant, Fall '17, NEU)
  •   Olivia Eastwood (Undergraduate, Fall '17, BC '21)
  •   Varun Nambikrishnan (Undergraduate, Summer '16)
  •   Yena Kim (Pre-Bac, Summer '16)
  •   Caitlin Garcia (Undergraduate, Spring '17, BC '18)
  •   Jonathan Ravid (Developer/Coordinator, 2016-2017)
  •   Marissa Russell (Undergraduate, Summer '17)
  •   William Merrill (Undergraduate, Summer '17)
  •   Ernesto Gutierrez (Undergraduate, Summer '17)
  •   Mark Seong Hun Yu (Pre-Bac, Spring '16)
  •   Jesse Mu (Undergraduate, Fall '15 - Spring '17, BC '17)
  •   Liana Llado (Undergraduate, Spring '16 - Spring '17, BC '17)
  •   Will Ades (Undergraduate, Spring '16 - Spring '17, BC '17)
  •   Cora Ives (Undergraduate, Spring '16 - Spring '17, BC '17)
  •   Maria Jose Valdivia Cox (Undergraduate, Spring '16 - Spring '17, BC '17)