Wilka Carvalho

Kempner Research Fellow

KEMPNER GLOBAL COMMUNITY I speak: English, Spanish

Contact Information


Originally from NYC, Wilka Carvalho earned a BS in physics from Stony Brook and a PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan, working with Satinder Singh, Honglak Lee, and Richard Lewis. He has been fortunate to spend significant time in industry labs, including DeepMind and Microsoft Research. Carvalho is currently a research fellow at Harvard University’s Kempner Institute for the Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence.

Research Focus

Carvalho’s current research focuses on cognitive science, deep learning, and reinforcement learning; and he is interested in algorithmic theories for human learning and generalization. He is exploring the ways in which richly structured representations are discovered and exploited in order to enable sophisticated behavior and rapid adaptation. He currently thinks a lot about how humans plan, compose behaviors, and coordinate with other social agents in complex environments like the real world and is particularly drawn to human social reinforcement learning. To think about these topics, he advances deep reinforcement learning algorithms describing human learning and generalization. While his training is in machine learning, he hopes to collaborate broadly with neuroscientists and cognitive scientists. Please reach out!