Chris Ketchum has poem accepted for publication

Chris Ketchum has had one of his poems accepted for publication in Five Points, a journal of literature and art published by Georgia State University. The poem is titled, “Disordering,” and will appear in the Winter 2019 issue.

Congratulations, Chris!

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Roxanne Rashedi has abstract accepted for oral presentation at AME 2019

Our extended abstract, “Reasoning Together: Promoting Mutual Understanding in Technology Design for Individuals with Autism” has been accepted for oral presentation at Association for Moral Education’s 45th annual conference. Authors are Roxanne Rashedi and Maithilee Kunda.

Congratulations, Roxanne!

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Maithilee Kunda gives invited talk at NAS Colloquium

Maithilee Kunda gave an invited talk on “Imagery-based AI” at the National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium on, “The Brain Produces Mind by Modeling.”

The colloquium was organized by Richard Shiffrin, Danielle Bassett, Sophie Deneve, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, and Josh Tenenbaum. Many of the other interesting talks from this colloquium can be found here.

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Two papers accepted to CogSci 2019

We have two papers that will be presented at CogSci 2019 this summer in Montreal, Canada:

Technology-Based Cognitive Enrichment for Animals in Zoos: A Case Study and
Lessons Learned. Benjamin J. Scheer, Fidel Cano Renteria, and Maithilee Kunda. (See here for a nice video about Ben’s work!)

AI and Cognitive Testing: A New Conceptual Framework and Roadmap. Maithilee Kunda.

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VU spotlight on Ben Scheer’s work with orangutans

Vanderbilt has just done a nice writeup and video about lab member Ben Scheer, highlighting his work on our “orangutan app” for Zoo Atlanta and many other projects. Way to go, Ben!

Read the full story (and see the video) here:

Student creates app for orangutans

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Roxanne Rashedi presents poster at IES PI meeting

Our newest postdoctoral research fellow, Roxanne Rashedi, presented a poster on our new IES-funded project for teaching theory of mind and social skills to adolescents on the autism spectrum, at the IES PI meeting in Washington, DC.

Poster title: Visual Supports and Theory of Mind Reasoning: Autism Spectrum Disorders

ies_poster

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Temple Grandin visits our Imagery-Based AI class

We were very excited to host Dr. Temple Grandin at our class in Imagery-Based AI:

Dr. Grandin also gave a keynote at a conference on Envisioning the Future of Human-Technology Partnerships (organized in part by Vanderbilt’s new Frist Center for Autism and Innovation).

In addition, she was invited to speak as part of Vanderbilt’s Chancellor’s lecture series:

Grandin rejects low expectations, insists workforce critically needs people with autism in VU lecture

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Vanderbilt’s new Frist Center for Autism and Innovation

We are excited to be a part of Vanderbilt’s newly created Frist Center for Autism and Innovation:

https://my.vanderbilt.edu/autismandinnovation/

This new center aims to support and develop the neurodiverse talents of individuals with autism, especially in relation to workforce and employment settings, and was made possible by a $10 million endowed gift from Jennifer and Billy Frist. Full news story here:

Vanderbilt University launches the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation

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Ellis Brown, Fernanda Eliott, and Xiaotian Wang present work at ACS 2018

We had a strong showing at this year’s Advances in Cognitive Systems conference, which took place at Stanford University. Ellis Brown gave an oral presentation on our work modeling human visual attention and salience for moving targets. Fernanda Eliott presented a poster on IACI, a proposed new cognitive architecture for modeling and studying open ended visual data exploration. And Xiaotian Wang presented a poster on our investigations of how different training regimes affect the performance of neural networks for object recognition.

Full citations below:

Brown, E., Park, S., Warford, N., Seiffert, A., Kawamura, K., Lappin, J., and Kunda, M. (2018). SpatioTemporal Template-based Search: An architecture to model human search for spatiotemporal targets. Sixth Annual Conference on Advances in Cognitive Systems, Menlo Park, CA.

Eliott, F., Stassun, K., and Kunda, M. (2018). IACI: A human-inspired computational architecture to help us understand visual data exploration. Sixth Annual Conference on Advances in Cognitive Systems, Menlo Park, CA.

Wang, X., Wang, X., and Kunda, M. (2018). Ordering of training inputs for a neural network learner. Sixth Annual Conference on Advances in Cognitive Systems, Menlo Park, CA.

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Paper on visual imagery in AI published in journal Cortex

Our paper surveying computational models of visual mental imagery in different areas of AI research (visuospatial reasoning, language understanding, etc.) has just been published in the journal Cortex, as part of a special issue on “The Eye’s Mind – visual imagination, neuroscience and the humanities.”

Kunda, M. (2018). Visual mental imagery: A view from artificial intelligence. Cortex, 105, 155-172. [pdf] [bibtex]

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New $1.4M IES grant for teaching social skills to students on the autism spectrum

The lab has received a new $1.4M grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to develop a new educational technology platform for teaching theory of mind and social skills to middle school students on the autism spectrum.

Maithilee Kunda is the principal investigator. This project builds on an existing educational technology called “Betty’s Brain,” developed by collaborator Gautam Biswas and his Open-Ended Learning Environments (OELE) research group. Other key collaborators include Pablo Juarez, Zack Warren, Amy Kinsman, and Amy Swanson from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The official title of the project is: Betty’s Mind: A Theory of Mind and Social Reasoning Intervention for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders Based on a Learning by Teaching Approach. More info can be found here:

https://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=2149.

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Tengyu Ma and Sean Cha present Toybox at CVPR workshop

Tengyu Ma and Sean Cha presented our newly released Toybox dataset at the 4th CVPR Workshop on Vision Meets Cognition: Functionality, Physics, Intentionality and Causality. The published short paper can be found here.

cvpr
(Sean, left, and Tengyu, right… Great job!)

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Toybox dataset online!

Our Toybox dataset has been posted online:
https://aivaslab.github.io/toybox/

This is the culmination of hundreds of hours of effort from many of our lab members. A tip of the hat to Xiaohan Wang, whose ideas catalyzed this work and who led the dataset effort.

The dataset is described in more detail in this preprint:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.06034

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Two papers accepted to CogSci 2018

We have two papers accepted to the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Conference:

“Shapes in Scatterplots: Comparing Human Visual Impressions and Computational Metrics,” by Joe Eilbert, Zameese Peters, Fernanda Eliott, Keivan Stassun, and Maithilee Kunda (oral presentation, acceptance rate 31%)

“Measuring Individual Differences in Visual and Verbal Thinking Styles,” by Noel Warford and Maithilee Kunda (poster presentation)

Congratulations to all of the coauthors!

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Maithilee Kunda presents lecture at AAAS headquarters

Maithilee Kunda was invited to Washington, DC, to speak for the annual winter lecture of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER). The event was titled, “Of Minds and Machines: What Artificial Intelligence Tells Us About Ourselves,” and Dr. Kunda served as a co-presenter along with Dr. Paul Scherz, assistant professor of moral theology and ethics at the Catholic University of America.

https://www.aaas.org/news/aaas-explores-what-artificial-intelligence-teaches-us-about-ourselves

mk_aaas_holiday_lecture

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Ben Scheer creates VR for Nashville musician

Lab member Ben Scheer made a virtual reality “music video” experience for a recent single by Nashville musician Kate Tucker.

See discussion of Ben’s work at the end of this article:

TVD Premiere: Kate Tucker, “In Your Arms” Single and its Virtual Reality Experience

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Paper accepted to AAAI-18

Our paper on, “Thinking in PolAR Pictures: Using Rotation-Friendly Mental Images to Solve Leiter-R Form Completion” has been accepted for presentation at the 2018 AAAI conference. The paper is authored by Josh Palmer and Maithilee Kunda. Congratulations, Josh!

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EMMI dataset paper presented at EPIC@ICCV

Our first paper on our new dataset, the Egocentric, Manual, Multi-Image (EMMI) dataset was presented by Maithilee Kunda at the Egocentric Perception, Interaction, and Computing (EPIC) workshop at the ICCV computer vision conference in Lido, Italy.

Link to abstract and paper.

Full dataset to be published soon!

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Ellis Brown gives talk at AISES 2017 National Conference

Ellis Brown gave an oral presentation about our work on using computational cognitive systems to model human visual information salience at the 2017 national conference of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Congratulations, Ellis!

Full citation: Brown, E. L., II, Seiffert, A. E., Warford, N., Park, S., & Kunda, M. (2017, September 21). Computational Cognitive Systems to Model Information Salience. Oral presentation given at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference. Denver, CO.

elb_aises_presentation

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Maithilee Kunda serves as panelist for AAAS event on AI and society

Maithilee Kunda was invited to be a speaker and panelist for a half-day symposium about AI and society hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) at a conference for members of the Religion News Association (RNA). The event was held in Nashville, TN.

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Lab receives NSF grant

We have been awarded a research grant through the National Science Foundation’s Science of Learning program. The grant is titled, “Learning Visuospatial Reasoning Skills from Experience” and is led by Maithilee Kunda, in collaboration with Bethany Rittle-Johnson (Psychology & Human Development, Vanderbilt) and Linda Smith (Psychological & Brain Sciences, Indiana University).

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Zameese Peters presents research at 2017 Leadership Alliance National Symposium

Zameese Peters gave an oral presentation about his research on “Building a Visual Long Term Memory for Artificial Intelligence Enabled Data Exploration in Astronomy” at the 2017 Leadership Alliance National Symposium in Hartford, Connecticut.

IMG-1697330294

Zameese also presented his work at the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy symposium on August 3.

IMG-1373005139

Congrats, Zameese!

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CogSci 2017: Fernanda Eliott and James Ainooson present posters

Fernanda and James each presented a poster at the Cognitive Science conference in London, UK:

Fernanda Eliott: Visual data exploration: How expert astronomers use flipbook-style visual approaches to understand new data

cogsci2017_fe

James Ainooson: A computational model for reasoning about the Paper Folding task using visual mental images

cogsci2017_ja

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New Vanderbilt Center for Autism and Innovation

Maithilee Kunda is co-PI for the new Vanderbilt Center for Autism and Innovation, funded through a Vanderbilt Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPS) pilot award.

The website of the new center can be found at:

https://my.vanderbilt.edu/autismandinnovation/

See a writeup of AIVAS Lab contributions here:

https://my.vanderbilt.edu/autismandinnovation/team/

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Binula Illukpitiya wins second place in poster symposium

Binula placed second in the Vanderbilt summer research symposium for high school students, presenting a poster on his research on developing a new “Wearable Camera for Analysis of Human Visual Attention.”

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Fernanda Eliott serves as panelist at STEM Think Tank and Conference

Fernanda Eliott served as a panelist for a panel on “Putting Computer Science to Use in the Industry and University Settings”, at the STEM Consortium’s 2017 STEM Think Tank and Conference in Nashville, TN.

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Lab receives Vanderbilt Discovery Grant

With Maithilee Kunda as PI, the lab has received one of Vanderbilt’s Discovery Grants for 2017. The title of the project is, “New Explorations in Visual Object Recognition.” This research has been led by lab member Xiaohan Wang. The full list of Discovery Grant projects can be found here:

https://www.vanderbilt.edu/provost/occi/projects-dg-2017.php

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Maithilee Kunda speaks at Egocentric Vision workshop

Maithilee Kunda was an invited speaker at the Workshop on Egocentric Vision: From Science to Real-World Applications, held in Bloomington, Indiana. The title of her talk was, “Looking and thinking: What wearable cameras can reveal about visual mental imagery.”

The full video of the talk can be seen here: https://youtu.be/JGNpGnbx6Is

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Fernanda Eliott attends LATTICE symposium

Fernanda Eliott attended the inaugural LATTICE symposium in Seattle, WA, for “Launching Academics on the Tenure-Track: An Intentional Community in Engineering.”

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Two papers accepted to CogSci 2017

We have had two papers accepted for poster presentation at this year’s CogSci conference, led by James Ainooson and Fernanda Eliott, respectively. The papers are:

  • Ainooson, J., and Kunda, M. (2017). A computational model for reasoning about the Paper Folding task using visual mental images.
  • Eliott, F. M., Stassun, K., and Kunda, M. (2017). Visual data exploration: How expert astronomers use flipbook-style visual approaches to understand new data.

Congrats to James and Fernanda!

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Journal article published in Intelligence

Maithilee Kunda, together with colleagues Isabelle Soulières (University of Quebec at Montreal), Agata Rozga (Georgia Tech), and Ashok Goel (Georgia Tech) have published an article in the journal Intelligence, titled, “Error patterns on the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices Test.”

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2016.09.004

Below is the abstract of this paper:

Although many psychometric tests, like the Raven’s Progressive Matrices test, are commonly evaluated according to total score, additional variables can lend insight into the underlying cognitive processes of the test takers. We examine conceptual errors on the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) test. We present a new, complete classification of error types on the SPM using a two-kind coding scheme. We also present a new method for analyzing group errors patterns on these kinds of tests. We present two examples of this analysis using our SPM error classification. The first looks at the errors made by an artificial intelligence model of Raven’s problem solving. The second example looks at the errors made by children and adults who are typically developing or have been diagnosed with autism. We close by discussing implications of this error classification and analysis method for the interpretation of SPM scores, towards a better understanding of the diversity of cognitive processes involved in Raven’s problem solving.

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Noel Warford presents poster at Oberlin College

Noel Warford presented a poster on his research on “A New Test of Visual and Verbal Thinking” at the Oberlin Celebration of Undergraduate Research.

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Maithilee Kunda speaks at Emtech MIT

Maithilee Kunda gave a short talk about her research in AI and visual thinking at the MIT Tech Review’s Emtech conference. A video of the talk can be seen here:

http://events.technologyreview.com/video/watch/maithilee-kunda-vanderbilt-innovator/

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Partnering with Auburn on NSF INCLUDES project

Maithilee Kunda is a co-PI on a collaborative NSF INCLUDES project, led by Overtoun Jenda at Auburn University, titled, “South East Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in STEM (SEAPD-STEM).”

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Maithilee Kunda named to MIT Tech Review’s list of 35 under 35

TR35_visionary_graphic

Maithilee Kunda was named to the MIT Tech Review’s annual list of 35 Innovators Under 35, in the category of “Visionary,” based on her research on visual-thinking in AI that is inspired by studies of visual thinking in autism.

For more information, see:

TR 35 Under 35 website

VUSE writeup

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Gradient descent in the real world, a.k.a. lab mini golf

lab mini golf

A great end-of-summer lab outing to Grand Old Golf. We saw examples of setting the learning rate too high, one-shot learning, optimization through quantum tunneling, and even deep networks!

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New Vanderbilt course on Computational Mental Imagery

Maithilee Kunda will be teaching a new graduate course at Vanderbilt this fall called “Computational Mental Imagery.” Catalog description: Computational basis of visual mental imagery in human cognition and in artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Topics include knowledge representations and operations in mental imagery, role of mental imagery in problem solving, creativity, education, and scientific discovery, and variations in mental imagery in cognitive conditions such as autism.

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Mohamed El-Banani presents poster at CogSci

Mohamed El-Banani is presenting a poster at this year’s Cognitive Science conference in Philadelphia this week. The title of the research paper is, “A Computational Exploration of Problem-Solving Strategies and Gaze Behaviors on the Block Design Task.” (The full paper can be found here.) Maithilee Kunda is also attending the conference.

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Xiaohan Wang attends deep learning workshop

Xiaohan Wang is attending the 15th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop in Philadelphia this week. The title of this year’s workshop is, “Contemporary Neural Network Models: Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cognition.”

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Brandt Plomaritis presents poster at Vanderbilt Summer Symposium

Brandt Plomaritis is presenting a research poster at the Vanderbilt Student Research Summer Symposium. The title of the poster is, “Random Walks as a Model of Exposure to Examples during Infant Learning.”

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Maithilee Kunda and Julia Ting publish journal article in Advances in Cognitive Systems

A research paper, co-authored by Maithilee Kunda and Julia Ting, has just been published in the journal Advances in Cognitive Systems. The title of the article is, “Looking Around the Mind’s Eye: Attention-Based Access to Visual Search Templates in Working Memory.”

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Summer kickoff lunch at the SATCO

The first official lab meeting of the summer is taken outdoors to the much-loved SATCO (San Antonio Taco Company).

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Maithilee Kunda organizes Neuro-Diverse Symposium

Maithilee Kunda is organizing an event called, “Neuro-diverse: A Symposium on Autism, Neuroscience, and Perceptual Thinking.” The symposium will be held today on the Vanderbilt campus. More information, including invited speakers, program, time, and location, can be found here.

neurodiverse symposium

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Maithilee Kunda speaks at Eye’s Mind Conference

Maithilee Kunda is at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, this week to speak at a conference called The Eye’s Mind: Visual Imagination, Neuroscience and the Humanities. The title of her talk is, “Visual imagination – A view from artificial intelligence.”

eyes mind poster

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Paper accepted to CogSci 2016

Work by Maithilee Kunda, Mohamed El-Banani, and Jim Rehg has been accepted for poster presentation at CogSci 2016. The title of the paper is, “A Computational Exploration of Problem-Solving Strategies and Gaze Behaviors on the Block Design Task.”

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Maithilee Kunda joins Vanderbilt as assistant professor

Maithilee Kunda has joined Vanderbilt as a new assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering in the EECS Department.

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