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Course Staff


Venkatesh Murthy

Hi, I am Venki. I have been on the faculty at Harvard for more than 20 years (yikes!). My research in neuroscience has spanned a wide range - from individual nerve connections to animal behavior. Currently, my group is interested in understanding the neural and algorithmic basis of sensory-guided behaviors, particularly olfactory behaviors. We have also become interested in the relation between animal and machine intelligence. I have taught introductory and advanced neuroscience courses at Harvard, and am very excited to teach this Gen Ed course, which started a few years ago as a Freshman Seminar in the College.

Head Teaching Fellow

Kumaresh Krishnan

Hey! I’m a 5th year PhD student in the MCO program, studying vision evoked behavior and decision making in larval zebrafish. Excited to interact with all of you and learn together! Always happy to chat about literally anything, so feel free to reach out!

Teaching Fellows

Adam Lowet

Hi! I’m Adam, a fifth-year PhD student in Harvard’s Program in Neuroscience. I study how animals learn from rewards and punishments, and specifically, whether the mechanisms the mammalian brain uses to do this are similar to recently-developed methods in machine learning that accomplish the same task. So I’m extremely excited to explore the link between natural and artificial intelligence with all of you! 

Bo Liu

I am Bo Liu, a G4 PhD student from MCO program. I am interested in the Neuro-AI interface. Currently, I am working with Prof. Venkatesh Murthy and Dr. Yuhai Tu (IBM) on computational olfaction: given that we have one nose and two nostrils (which, combined with anatomy, suggests that we have two different odor representations on two sides of the brain), our model showed that learning between two hemispheres aligns these two representations.

Ji-Yoon Kim

Hi, I’m Jiji, a Pharm.D. and 5th-year Ph.D. student in Jeffrey Macklis’s lab. I currently study molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of precise circuitry in the cortex, known to be involved in higher cognitive and associative functions. Looking forward to meeting you all. Always happy to chat. Please feel free to come and say hi, and ask any questions.

Leannah Newman

Hi! I am a 3rd year PhD student in the Program for Neuroscience, studying processing of bilateral olfactory input. I am mainly interested in electrophysiology, meaning the electrical properties of different neurons and how they contribute to larger circuits! I’m always happy to help, so feel free to reach out!

Sandra Romero Pinto

Hi! I’m Sandra, a fifth-year PhD student in Harvard’s Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology (SHBT). I study how the animal brain learns to associate a certain ‘value’ to elements in its environment by trial and error. In particular, I am trying to understand how this process of value association can become biased, leading to excessive ‘optimism’ or ‘pessimism’ that is characteristic of certain psychiatric disorders. I am very excited to meet you all this semester and discuss about intelligence. Please reach to me for whatever you may need!

Tejas Ramdas

I’m a graduate student in the neuroscience program broadly interested in computation, learning, and memory in single cells. I aim to combine theoretical and experimental approaches to investigate the mechanisms underlying information storage in unicellular organisms like Paramecia and in single neurons. Looking forward to a fun and enriching semester with you all! Please come and give me company at office hours :) 

Yuki Dai

I am a 4th year PhD in Program in Neuroscience from Dr. Lauren Orefice’s laboratory. In the lab, I study how chronic social isolation and sensory deprivation affects the development of the somatosensory circuits and behaviors.