About us

We are a group of data scientists with interest in brains and, more general, biomedical research. Our research is more diverse than most labs, and also changes much more quickly! Right at the moment, much of the research in the lab is about deep learning and its applications. We also do a good bit of neural data analysis. Right now we are also very much interested in causality and its links with machine learning.


Making sense of data is possibly the biggest problem in Neuroscience and beyond. We build algorithms to analyze data. We also use theory as well as computational and neural modeling to understand how information is processed in the nervous system, explaining data obtained in collaboration with electrophysiologists and in psychophysical experiments. Lastly, we constrain and develop new technologies aimed at obtaining data about brains.

Our conceptual work addresses information processing in the nervous system from two angles: (1) By analyzing and explaining electrophysiological data, we study what neurons do. (2) By analyzing and explaining human behavior, we study what all these neurons do together. Much of our work looks at these questions from a normative or causal viewpoint, asking what problems the nervous system should be solving. This often means taking a Bayesian approach. Bayesian decision theory is the systematic way of calculating how the nervous system may make good decisions in the presence of uncertainty. Causal inference from observational data promises to be a key enabler for progress in science.

We’ve pursued projects that involve handshake greetings, human movement, cell-phone related parkinson’s research, competitions at Kaggle, meta-science analysis, data sharing initiatives, and recording from all neurons in a mouse.

The best way to get a sense of what’s currently going on in the lab is to check out the work of individual lab members:

Lab Members

Our research group is remarkably interdisciplinary. Our interests span statistics, physics, biology, applied mathematics, molecular biology, metascience, cognitive science, and many other disciplines. Visit our people page to see more information on each person who works in the lab (publications, contact information, photos).

Lab Culture

Our lab is a wonderful spot for anyone who is super driven by curiosity and likes to learn/move through ideas quickly. Instead of one big “lab project”, everyone is generally the chief of their own individual projects.

Since our lab includes several fields, we don’t have big lab meetings with everyone. Instead, we engage in a number of practices to facilitate good communication in the lab. Currently these include

  1. Weekly ‘lab teachings’ where someone teaches a thing. http://kordinglab.com/2018/08/29/upcoming-lab-teaching.html
  2. ‘One-on-ones’. Every semester everyone in the lab is expected to sit down with everyone else for an hour.
  3. Lab tea time. It’s tea! And science. A 10-minute talk by someone about anything, including their current work.
  4. Coding overviews. Structured like the one-on-ones
  5. A lab hammock, hangboard, and art on loan from the Penn Museum
  6. Monday morning donuts @ 9:00am

Every week, more or less, we chat about current lab practices and sometimes vote on new things.


Here are some cool people in fields that interest us. note: This list is in no way complete. We have a lot of collaborators – if you’ve collaborated with us and want a link here, let us know!

University of Pennsylvania:

Northwestern University: