Columbia University in the City of New York

Catalyzing interdisciplinary discussion across science, artificial intelligence and economics

How does the brain cope with Complexity? How do we make decisions when confronted with practically infinite streams of information? On May 18-19, 2020, Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute is hosting a two-day conference dedicated to the idea that Curiosity and Creativity play key roles in this process.

The conference showcases cutting edge research on these questions in Neuroscience and Psychology (neural mechanisms of cognitive control, exploration, decision-making, information demand, memory and creativity), Computer Science (artificial intelligence of curiosity and intrinsic motivation) and Economics (decision making and information demand). Alongside formal presentations, the conference will encourage ample interactions among faculty, students and postdocs through informal discussions and poster presentations.




Registration is now open. Please register now to guarantee entrance. Registration will close on May 11, 2020, or when capacity is reached.

A limited number of partial student/postdoc travel stipends will be available. Details will be posted here by March 5, 2020.


Conference Agenda

Please click here for a complete listing of speakers and related activities.



Poster Abstract Submission

Graduate students and postdocs are welcome to submit abstracts for the poster session. Posters will be accepted from a diversity of disciplines in reflection of the overall conference. Click here to submit your abstract.

Submission deadline: Tuesday, March 31 at 11:59 pm ET.


List of Speakers


Jessica Andrews-Hanna, PhD
University of Arizona

Bruno Averbeck, PhD
National Institute of Mental Health

Kalina Christoff, PhD
University of British Columbia

Floris de Lange, PhD
Donders Institute

Joy Geng, PhD
UC Davis

Russell Golman, PhD
Carnegie Mellon University

Todd Gureckis, PhD
New York University

Catherine Hartley, PhD
New York University

Benjamin Hayden, PhD
University of Minnesota

Ming Hsu, PhD
UC Berkeley

Ifat Levy, PhD
Yale University

Yusufcan Masatlioglu, PhD
University of Maryland

Ilya Monosov, PhD
Washington University

Pietro Ortoleva, PhD
Princeton University

Ian Osband, PhD
Google Deep Mind, London

Michaela Pagel, PhD
Columbia University

Daniel Polani, PhD
University of Hertfordshire

Daniel Schacter, PhD
Harvard University

Tali Sharot, PhD
University College London

Kinneret Teodorescu, PhD
Technion, Israel

Jochen Triesch, PhD
Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies

Angela Yu, PhD
UC San Diego



The conference will be livestreamed. A link will be forthcoming. 


Steering Committee

Jacqueline Gottlieb, PhD, Chair, Columbia's Zuckerman Institute
Pierre Yves Oudeyer, PhD, INRIA, France
Robert Wilson, PhD, University of Arizona
Amitai Shenhav, PhD, Brown University
Elliot Ludvig, PhD, University of Warwick
Mark Dean, PhD, Columbia University

The Steering Committee gratefully acknowledges the many people who are helping plan, organize and run the conference.

Conference Registration

May 18 2020 8:00 am

Curiosity, Creativity and Complexity

Please join us for a two-day, interdisciplinary discussion of curiosity, creativity and complexity.

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