Josef Klafka

Lab Manager

Carnegie Mellon University


I’m interested in how we learn to express ourselves and understand others through language, a deeply complex but infinitely creative communication system, and how we learn and organize knowledge. I’m interested in applying insights from cognitive science to machine learning and vice versa.


  • Language acquisition
  • Language processing and communication
  • Computational methods


  • BS in Mathematics and BA in Linguistics, 2018

    University of Chicago



Lab Manager

Communication and Learning Lab, Carnegie Mellon University

Jul 2019 – Present Pittsburgh, PA
Manage and assist in building a new cognitive and developmental psychology research lab.

Lab Manager

Communication and Learning Lab, University of Chicago

Jul 2018 – Jul 2019 Chicago, IL
Managed a quickly-growing cognitive and developmental psychology research lab with 13 active projects and over 20 members.

Research Assistant

Language Processing Lab, University of Chicago

Jan 2017 – Jul 2018 Chicago, IL
Created stimuli and assisted in developing and running experimental syntax and pragmatics experiments.

Recent Posts

Language Evolution

Perfors & Navarro (2014) find something interesting in their iterated learning language game: cognitive priors determine the …



Efficient communication

How do we distribute information across what we say?

Probing word embeddings

What do neural networks encode about syntax and semantics?