lucy lai

neuroscience ph.d. student

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I am a final-year Ph.D. candidate at Harvard in the Neuroscience program, supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Harvey Fellowship. I am advised by Sam Gershman. I am also currently a TSVP Visiting Scholar with Gail Tripp and Kenji Doya at the beautiful Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan. Previously, I studied Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Applied Math at Rice University.

I’m broadly interested in theories of learning: how do our intricately-designed brains enable us to interact with and learn from the world? How do these learning mechanisms break down in psychiatric disease? What makes our learning capabilities different than the best artificial intelligence systems? How can we enhance the collaboration between artificial and natural intelligence? I explore these questions by building models of human behavior inspired by machine learning and cognitive science.

Outside of research, I enjoy teaching, running along the Charles, hosting dinner parties, writing stuff, and dancing bachata. From 2021-2023, I was a Resident Tutor at Quincy House, where I lived with and advised Harvard College students.

My popular guide on applying to grad school: All About PhD Applications (Second Edition, Updated July 2022)

Email me at lucylai (at) g (dot) harvard (dot) edu.