Kushin Mukherjee

Psychology PhD student

University of Wisconsin-Madison


I'm a third year Psychology PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My primary interest is in the nature of visual concepts. How are they learned? Why are they useful? Can machines be taught these concepts? I study drawings as a means to answer these questions. Take a look at my publications and talks on my CV to the left!

I'm affiliated with the Knowledge and Concepts Lab, Schloss Visual Reasoning Lab, Austerweil Lab, and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. I grew up in Kolkata, India, a bustling city with hot summers and torrential monsoons. Noticing a distinct lack of snow in my climate collection, I moved to upstate New York, where I received my BA in Cognitive Science and Japanese from Vassar College.

While at Vassar, I was advised by Ken Livingston and Josh de Leeuw. I also spent a summer at the Computation and Cognition Lab at Stanford University as a CSLI intern, working with Judy Fan and Robert Hawkins.


  • Visual communication
  • Neural network models of cognition
  • Visual Perception


  • BA, Cognitive Science and Japanese, 2019

    Vassar College



PhD in Psychology

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sep 2019 – Present Madison
I'm currently interestered in how people learn visual concepts and how these concepts might support behavior such as sketching.
I use a combination of behavioral experiments and computational modeling techniques to try and answer these questions. My primary advisor is Tim Rogers.

BA in Cognitive Science and Japanese

Vassar College

Aug 2015 – May 2019 New York

I was introduced to Cognitive Science at Vassar through Ken Livingston's freshman writing seminar - The Science and Fiction of Mind.
The title of my undergraduate thesis was Visual Cognition and Graphical Production: Exploring Semantic Part Structure in Communicative Sketches.
I also picked up a second major in Japanese, and spent the summer of 2016 studying at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo.
Josh de Leeuw introduced me to computational modeling in cognitive science, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to minor in Mathematics.

I was also involved with Vassar Debate and was a member of the Vassar Men's Rugby Team during my undergraduate years.


High School

La Martiniere for Boys

Apr 2000 – May 2015 Kolkata, India
I spent 15 years in La Martiniere from nursery school till 12th grade and made many lifelong friends.
I focused on STEM subjects in high school though I really wanted to do studio art.


(2019). Communicating semantic part information in drawings. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

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