Maithilee Kunda

Maithilee Kunda is an Assistant Professor of computer science and computer engineering in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. Before coming to Vanderbilt, she worked as a research scientist in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. Her work in artificial intelligence, in the area of cognitive systems, looks at how visual thinking contributes to learning and intelligent behavior with a focus on applications for individuals on the autism spectrum. She holds a B.S. in mathematics with computer science from MIT and a Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Tech, and she currently directs the laboratory for Artificial Intelligence and Visual Analogical Systems. In 2016, she was recognized as a visionary on the MIT Tech Review’s annual list of 35 Innovators Under 35.

Please see the lab website for details about specific projects and recent news.

Research openings, updated Fall 2016. The lab currently has openings for new Ph.D. students. More information about applying for these positions can be found here.


Maithilee Kunda
mkunda [at] vanderbilt [dot] edu

PMB 351679
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1679, USA

Phone: 615-875-8469
Fax: 615-343-5459

Lab Website

Selected Publications

Kunda, M., McGreggor, K., & Goel, A. K. (2013). “A computational model for solving problems from the Raven’s Progressive Matrices intelligence test using iconic visual representations.” Cognitive Systems Research, 22-23, pp. 47-66.

Kunda, M., & Goel, A. K. (2011). “Thinking in Pictures as a cognitive account of autism.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41 (9), pp. 1157-1177.

Kunda, M., & Ting, J. (2016). “Looking around the mind’s eye: Attention-based access to visual search templates in working memory .” Advances in Cognitive Systems, 4, 113–129.

McGreggor, K., Kunda, M., & Goel, A. K. (2014). “Fractals and Ravens.” Artificial Intelligence, 215, pp. 1-23.

A more complete list of publications can be found here.


Computational Mental Imagery (CS 8395, Vanderbilt). Offered Fall 2016. 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.

Computation and Cognition (CS 8396, Vanderbilt). Computational approaches to understanding human cognition, including research design and methods for integrating models with theory and observation. Topics include knowledge representation, concept formation, reasoning and search, analogy, mental imagery, and connectionism, as well as multidisciplinary perspectives on mind, brain, behavior, and society.

Introduction to Cognitive Science (CS 3790/6795, Georgia Tech).  Multidisciplinary perspectives on cognitive science. Interdisciplinary approaches to issues in cognition, including memory, language, problem solving, learning, perception, and action.

Modeling and Design / Computational Creativity (CS 7610, Georgia Tech).  Information-processing theories of modeling and design; topics include design decision making, problem solving and learning, and knowledge-based modeling and design.

Computing & Society (CS 4001, Georgia Tech).  Examines the role and impact of information and communication technology in society, with emphasis on ethical, professional, and public policy issues.