Patrick Watson, Ph.D.

College of Computational Sciences


  • Ph.D. in Neuroscience and B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Illinois (at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Researcher at the Beckman Institute, an interdisciplinary research institute devoted to leading-edge research in the physical sciences, computation, engineering, biology, behavior, cognition, and neuroscience
  • Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories
  • Joint appointment at Minerva and IBM's Thomas J. Watson research center, where he develops cognitive computing technologies for education
  • Worked on two IARPA projects, one designing brain-inspired networks for inferring meanings in noisy data, and the other for increasing human intelligence via brain stimulation
  • Published research at Neurocomputation, Neuroimage, and Frontiers in Neuroscience
  • Co-author of a creative nonfiction essay on the poetics of science, forthcoming from The Kenyon Review

Patrick Watson is a neuroscientist with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and B.S. in Molecular Biology, both from the University of Illinois (at Urbana-Champaign). He uses computational and machine learning techniques to help understand how the brain learns, remembers, and generates new hypotheses.

As an aspiring polymath, he's collaborated with historians on Individual and Collective Memory Consolidation, a book analyzing parallels between individual and collective memory, and worked with kinesthesiologists on a fitness intervention to enhance cognition. Professor Watson teaches the first-year Formal Analysis Cornerstone.