Patrick Shafto

Henry Rutgers Term Chair in Data Science &

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Rutgers University - Newark


pat_donkey.jpegI am Henry Rutgers Term Chair in Data Science and Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Rutgers - Newark. I am also affilidated with the Institute for Data Science, Learning and Applications (I-DSLA) and have appointments in Psychology, Rutgers Business School, and the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN) at Rutgers. 

Previously I was Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Computer Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of Louisville. I received my PhD in Experimental Psychology from Northeastern University working with John Coley, and spent 3 years at MIT working with Josh Tenenbaum before arriving at Louisville.

I lead the CoCoSci Lab. My research focuses on understanding learning. This leads me to draw upon a variety of fields including Psychology, Education, Computer Science, and Statistics. The goal is to identify tools and methods for facilitating learning and use these to affect change in practically relevant contexts.

I am always looking for undergraduate and grad students (and sometimes postdocs). If you are interested, please check out recent papers and email me.

Email me at patrick.shafto at rutgers dot edu.

See my Curriculum Vitae.


NSF REESE, CAREER award: Investigating the implications of social reasoning for learning from teaching (2012-2017)

DARPA XData: Developing tools to facilitate analysis of very large data sets (2012-2015).


A full listing of papers can be found on our papers page.

Open source software projects

BayesDB: A Bayesian database table, lets users query the probable implications of their data as easily as a SQL database lets them query the data itself.

CrossCat: A domain-general Bayesian method for analyzing heterogenous, high-dimensional data.


06/17/13: What's the most natural way to learn? It might surprise you, Washington Post

05/26/11:Now you know: When should you teach children, and when should you let them explore? The Economist

03/16/11: Why preschool shouldn't be like school, Slate magazine

01/18/11: When teaching constrains discovery, Discover magazine