Patrick Shafto

Associate Professor of Psychology and Computer Science


pat_donkey.jpegI am an Associate Professor in the Departments 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 p.shafto at louisville dot edu.

See my Curriculum Vitae.


NSF REESE, CAREER award: Investigating the implications of social reasoning for learning from teaching.

DARPA XData: Developing tools to facilitate analysis of very large data sets.


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