Dr. Marie Postma appointed Professor of Computational Cognitive Science
The Executive Board of Tilburg University has appointed Dr. Marie Postma as Professor of Computational Cognitive Science effective August 1, 2023. Postma’s research focuses on improving our understanding of human cognition in support of collaboration between humans and AI systems. Postma will continue to serve as department chair of Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence at the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences and as research leader of the Computational Modeling of Brain and Behavior group.
For AI-based applications to be able to provide information and advice safely and effectively in different contexts, it is important that they take into consideration human cognitive limitations, such as restricted attentional resources and perceptual biases. Computational cognitive science provides useful modeling tools for analysis and prediction of information processing in the brain and human behavior. This can be useful in domains such as education or health, as in the recently funded project on ‘AI Deployment Journey in Healthcare’ in which Postma participates. Computational cognitive science also has the potential to support the achievement of cognitive resilience for defense purposes. With the increasing use of cyber and cognitive warfare including deepfakes, spreading of disinformation on social media, and manipulation of public opinion for destabilization purposes, analyses of cognitive phenomena are of relevance for preserving both individual and collective safety and security.
Postma will work together with researchers specialized in the domain of data science, safety and security, search engine algorithmic bias and deep fake detection to support Dutch governmental institutions in their fight against disinformation. In addition, she will contribute to the development of educational programs in the domain of artificial intelligence and cyber security at Tilburg University.
Dr. Marie Postma (born 1974 in former Czechoslovakia) received a master’s degree in computational and theoretical linguistics from the University of Tromsø in Norway and a master’s degree in logic from the University of Amsterdam with high honors. In 2006, she obtained her PhD from the Institute of Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam with her dissertation focusing on modal-logic models of speech patterns, based on a theory anchored in biological mechanisms of sound frequency perception. In her current research she further explores the link between perception and attention by means of analyzing and modeling experiences with a high degree of attentional focus in simulated environments, using behavioral and neurophysiological measurements.
At Tilburg University, Postma established and served as the academic director of three new educational programs in the domain of data science and artificial intelligence. The inter-School MSc in Data Science & Society and the BSc and MSc in Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence offer a human- and society-oriented perspective on recent rapid developments in the area of information and communication technology. Under Postma’s leadership, the programs grew rapidly in size and led to the establishment of a new department at Tilburg University which she is currently heading. The Department of Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence houses a vibrant international community of more than 100 researchers and professionals in the domain of cognitive science, artificial intelligence, computer science, and computational social sciences.