Zenna Tavares bio photo

Zenna Tavares

I'm a Ph.D candidate at MIT. I think about how to build computer programs that think as humans think. You can contact me on zenna[at]mit[dot]edu

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Who Am I

I am a Ph.D candidate in the both the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT. I work in the Computer Aided Programming Group under supervision of Armando Solar Lezama.

I am from London. I have two big brothers: Kibwe who cofounded architecture/animation studio Factory Fifteen and musician/designer/artist Gaika.

What do I do

I work to understand and mechanize the various forms of human reasoning. This primarily consists of developing algorithms and languages for (Bayesian) probabilistic modeling and causal inference. I use a variety of tools in programming languages and analysis, statistics, and (deep!) machine learning. I like to design little programming languages that synthesize these ideas, such as Omega.jl.

What do I do (with less the mumbo jumbo)

I have two goals. First, is to understand how humans reason, which is to say, how they come to derive knowledge from observing and interacting with the world. Second, I aim to construct tools that advance science, engineering and (hopefully) the humanities. Perhaps suprisingly, there is a sizable chunk of furtile ground that allows me to do both more or less simulteanously.