People

We are ...

  • About Me

    Tessa Verhoef conducts research at the intersection of language, cognition, cultural evolution and computation. After finishing a BSc and MSc in Artificial Intelligence, she obtained her PhD in Language Evolution at the University of Amsterdam. Before joining the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) she was a postdoc at the University of California, San Diego, where she conducted her NWO Rubicon research at the Center for Research in Language (CRL) and became a Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program (FISP) fellow at the departments of Communication and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Currently, she is an assistant professor in the Media Technology program at Leiden University where she co-founded the Creative Intelligence Lab (CIL). Her on-going research models the combined influence of cognitive biases and learning on emerging languages in various domains including gesture, cross-modal perception and space-time cognition. In addition, she loves building robots and her most recent activities involve new studies in human-machine interaction, synchronization and machine learning. Besides developing and running studies in the lab, she designs live exhibits to bring scientific questions, experiments and lectures to museums and festivals (most recently featured at Lowlands)

  • About Me

    Max van Duijn (1984) has a background in language, literature, and cognitive science. After completing his MPhil he took up a PhD position at Leiden University and the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group (SENRG) at the University of Oxford, where he worked on specific social-cognitive features (esp. Theory of Mind and recursive intentionality; A believes that B thinks that C wants….etc) in relation to language and narrative. He co-initiated the Fraternity Friendship Study (FFS), a longitudinal investigation of network formation, social cognition, and cultural evolution in student fraternities. From 2016 he started working at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, where he joined the board of the MSc in MediaTechnology and co-founded the Creative Intelligence Lab together with Tessa Verhoef. His NWO Veni project, which started in Januari 2020, aims to collect large numbers of stories told by children of different ages in order to extract features relevant to character construction and "fictional minds". This fuels new ways in which Theory of Mind and recursive intentionality can be understood in human development and how it can be modelled in artificial cognitive systems. His work is published in English and Dutch, in scholarly as well as popular venues.

  • About Me

    Rob Saunders is Associate Professor in the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). Saunders studied Artificial Intelligence at The University of Edinburgh and received his Ph.D. in Architecture from The University of Sydney. His research in Computational Creativity explores the role of intrinsic motivation, emergent languages and physical embodiment in the computational modelling of creative processes, creative individuals and creative societies. His collaborative robotic art practice provides a platform for knowledge mobilisation by materially engaging audiences in questions of machine creativity. He is a founding member of the Association of Computational Creativity.

  • About Me

    Researcher and designer, drawn to projects that involve multidisciplinary challenges and the potential to build connections between them. Formally trained as mechanical engineer and video game developer, his ongoing research interests focus on the interplay between humans and interactive technology, as well as the prospects of designing the impact of technology on society and human emotions.

  • About Me

    Originally a philosopher and social scientist, now on a delightful detour in NLP. Currently carrying out PhD-research in Max van Duijn’s A Telling Story project, where I compile a corpus of spontaneous child speech in order to train language models to process it. Besides this I am interested in empiricist views on the aims of science and of the very models that make the whole endeavour thrive. Philosophy is never far away, after all.

  • About Me

    I am a PhD candidate (working with Tessa Verhoef) studying the roles of cooperation, social cognition and community structure in the emergence of linguistic systems, in order to make inferences about the evolution of language in early humans. To do this, I use a variety of methods, including lab experiments and computational models, drawing on findings from cognitive science, linguistics and evolutionary anthropology.

  • About Me

  • About Me

  • About Me

    In my PhD research, I study sign language emergence and evolution primarily through computational modeling. I work closely with sign language linguists studying Kata Kolok, a village sign language found in Bali, Indonesia, in order to incorporate real data into model development, with the goal of making models that are ecologically valid.

  • About Me

    I'm a third year Architecture student at the TU Delft, also interested in Sociology and Journalism.