Bill Thompson (he/him/they)


2121 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, California

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where I direct the Computational Cognitive Science Laboratory. I am Faculty in the Department of Psychology, the Program in Cognitive Science, and Berkeley’s new Masters in Computational Social Science.

My research examines human cognition from a computational perspective, combining experimental psychology with machine learning and cognitive modeling to address basic questions about human learning and reasoning. I am particularly interested in the computational problems that arise in multi-agent intelligence and the solutions that human minds and societies have discovered: language, social cognition, and cultural evolution. You can learn more about my work in this recent essay.

In Spring 2024 I will lead a graduate seminar on Large Language Models and Cognitive Science. I was incredibly fortunate to win the 2022 NOMIS and Science Magazine Young Explorer Award.

Prior to UC Berkeley, I was a postdoc in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University, working with Tom Griffiths. I did my PhD at the University of Edinburgh, working with Simon Kirby and Kenny Smith.

Selected Publications

  1. Mathew D Hardy, Bill D Thompson, PM Krafft, and Thomas L Griffiths
    Nature Human Behaviour, 2023
  2. Bill Thompson, Bas van Opheusden, Ted Sumers, and Thomas L. Griffiths
    Science, 2022
  3. Bill Thompson, Seán G. Roberts, and Gary Lupyan
    Nature Human Behaviour, Oct 2020
    Number: 10