Gaia Tavoni (2012) – Assistant professor
I attended the international PCS Master at its inception in 2011-12. It was a challenging experience and a source of intellectual growth where I came into contact with several advanced research environments in Turin, Paris and Trieste. After the Master, I moved to Paris, where I did my PhD in the Laboratories of Statistical and Theoretical Physics at the École Normale Supérieure. At ENS, I worked under the supervision of Rémi Monasson and Simona Cocco on the identification and study of cell assemblies, or memories, in neuronal data through inference and simulations of network models. Subsequently, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Computational Neuroscience Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where I worked with Vijay Balasubramanian and Joshua Gold, on developing Bayesian and complexity theories of high-level cognition and statistical models of perceptual learning. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Institute for Informatics at Washington University in St. Louis, where I started a Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience lab. My group focuses on applying concepts and methods from physics and mathematics to the study of learning, memory and decision-making. The PCS master was for me a springboard towards research and I highly recommend it to all the students interested in the modern applications of statistical physics.
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