Ilker Yildirim

I am a research scientist at MIT. I mainly work with Josh Tenenbaum (MIT) and Winrich Freiwald (The Rockefeller University). Before, I did my Ph.D. studies at University of Rochester advised by Robbie Jacobs.
E: ilkery at
P: 585 2670718

You may find my CV here.


My research aims to reverse-engineer how causal models of the world are implemented in the mind and brain, and spans the fields of vision, multisensory perception, planning, and social cognition. I use a distinctive combination of tools and methods such as probabilistic generative models, video game engines, deep neural networks, quantitative pscyhophysics, neuroscience data from non-human primates, and increasingly also human neuroimaging.


Recent talks
  • Invited talk at the CNS symposium on "Human and Machine Cognition -- The Deep Learning Challenge". Boston, USA. March, 2018.

  • I organized a workshop titled "Deep Learning in Computational Cognitive Science" at CogSci 2017, London, UK. July 2017.
  • Invited talk at the Hierarchical Multisensory Integration Workshop, Barcelona, Spain. June 2017.
Recent Abstracts and Workshop papers

  • Efficient inverse graphics in biological face processing systems. Yildirim, I., Freiwald, W. A., Tenenbaum, J.B. (2017). Computational and systems neuroscience (Cosyne) 2017.
  • Interpreting Dynamic Scenes by a Physics Engine and Bottom-Up Visual Cues. Yildirim, I.*, Wu, J.*, Du, Y., & Tenenbaum, J.B. (2016). 1st Workshop on Action and Anticipation for Visual Learning, European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV).

Data Set

Tutorials and Code

Below are short notes on Bayesian inference and Bayesian nonparametrics. I provided sample code alongside each note hoping that it will be helpful. Feel free to drop me a line about what you think, and if you see any bugs. See the Computational Cognition Cheat sheets for an extensive list of tutorials, including the ones below.