Joanna Bryson

Favourite Thing: Figure out how something works (especially to do with intelligence.)



University of Chicago (undergrad in Behavioural Science), Edinburgh (Masters in AI & Psychology), MIT (PhD in AI)


Work History:

I programmed for banks, then in the middle of my grad degrees I got to work for LEGO, and also Harvard & Edinburgh doing research.

Current Job:

Reader (Associate Professor)


University of Bath

Me and my work

I study natural and artificial intelligence, by making scientific AI models of real animal behaviour.

My Typical Day

I’m an academic, so some days I do research, some days I write papers, some I write grants, some I teach, some I meet with my graduate students or visiting colleagues.

What I'd do with the money

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Smart, curious, friendly.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

I listen to WMBR on Internet Radio so I keep hearing new music I don’t know.

What's your favourite food?

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I love going to scientific meetings in beautiful places and talking late into the night.

What did you want to be after you left school?

A scientist, but first I got a job as a programmer to pay off my tuition bill.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

I only got in trouble with other kids–for being such a geek.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Physics (because the teacher was awesome.) Before that, general science & English literature.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Right now we’re working on understanding why some people are mean and exclude each other, while other people try to be inclusive. That seems very important, I hope we help understand that.

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

My aunt bought us lots of animal books even before I could read, then when I was six we had a unit on dinsoaurs, and I decided to be a paleontologist.

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

A programmer, or maybe by now, a manager. Sometimes I think I should figure out how to go into helping the government, but I guess I’d still be a scientists then, just not an academic one.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

I’d like to read faster, be more fit (without spending time!), be easier to understand.

Tell us a joke.

Other stuff

Work photos: