Patrick Shafto, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology and Computer Science


  • Postdoctoral Associate, MIT, 2004-2007
  • PhD, Northeastern University, 2004

Research Interests

Human learning and inference, Probabilistic computational models of learning and inference, Machine learning.

Select Publications

For a complete list, see my lab website.

  • Bonawitz, E.B., Shafto, P., Gweon, H., Goodman, N.D., Spelke, E. & Schulz, L. (2011). The double-edged sword of pedagogy: Instruction affects exploration and discovery. Cognition.
  • Buchbaum, D., Griffiths, T.L., Gopnik, A. & Shafto, P. (2011). The influence of statistical and pedagogical cues on children's imitation of causal action sequences. Cognition.
  • Shafto, P., Kemp, C., Mansinghka, V. & Tenenbaum, J.B. (2011). A probabilistic model of cross-categorization. Cognition.
  • Shafto, P. & Goodman, N. (2008). Teaching games: Statistical sampling assumptions for pedagogical situations. Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
  • Shafto, P., Kemp, C., Bonawitz, E., Coley, J.D., & Tenenbaum, J.B. (2008). Inductive reasoning about causally transmitted properties. Cognition. 109, 175-192.
  • Kemp, C., Shafto, P., Berke, A., & Tenenbaum, J.B. (2006). Combining causal and similarity-based reasoning. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems.

Courses Often Taught


  • Introduction to computer programming for Psychology majors
  • Statistics


  • Computational Cognitive Science
  • Introduction to computer programming for Psychology majors