I want to understand you

but I feel frustrated
because I don't know how to

but it's okay
because since you're a brain
I just need to feed you your data
and you'll understand yourself

and since you're within me
if I listen closely, I will as well

Wilka Carvalho
Aspiring Brain and Machine Learning Scientist

My name is Wilka1 Torrico De Carvalho and I am an Afro-Latino, socially sensitive, aspiring brain and machine learning scientist. I am currently a PhD Student in Computer Science at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and an NSF graduate research fellow in neuroscience exploring principled methods of analyzing the mind and brain. Among those which excite me most are

  1. Bayesian nonparametric methods for its ability to specify methods by which humans might define (potentially) infinite hidden variables in response to observed data;
  2. reinforcement learning for its ability to elucidate how humans may place value on what they encounter in attempts to optimize their experience; and
  3. artificial neural networks for their potential to give insight into how neural networks can incorporate mechanisms for learning hidden variables into their topology.

My long term goal is to develop and advance unified theoretical models for cognition, behavior, and learning that I may corroborate through experimental work with humans and through AI-based computer simulations.

As a member of groups underrepresented in research and academia, outreach is important to me. I encourage all young scholars (especially those from marginalized backgrounds) to reach out to me with any questions. Relevant topics include (but are not limited to) pursuing computational methods of studying the mind and brain, pursuing undergraduate research, applying for fellowships, and graduate school. I am especially interested in increasing minority representation in STEM, so please feel free to reach out from me if you’re a young minority scholar pursuing STEM. To learn more about my interests here, please read this post.

I am eternally curious. Here are some questions that keep me up at night in case you’re interested.

Feel free to contact me at wcarvalho92[at]gmail.com


May, 2017: I will be a machine learning research intern at IBM this Fall!
April, 2017: I have been selected for the GEM Fellowship under the sponsorship of IBM!
March, 2017

February, 2017: Our paper, “Variational Recurrent Adversarial Deep Domain Adaptation” was accepted to ICLR!

  1. I am named after Pablo Willka Zarate, an indigenous Bolivian revolutionary that led one of the largest indigenous rebellions in Bolivia’s history.