Max Kleiman-Weiner

I’m a PhD student in Computational Cognitive Science at MIT advised by Josh Tenenbaum and funded by fellowships from the Hertz Foundation and NSF. Previously, I was a Marshall Scholar in Statistics at Oxford where I worked with Tim Behrens, a Fulbright Fellow in Beijing and before that was an undergraduate at Stanford.


I’m interested in the unique features of cognition that give rise to the sophistication and scale of human social behavior. To this end, I study social decision making and judgment in humans and machines using computational tools such as Bayesian modeling, reinforcement learning and game theory. My current research focuses on rational accounts of prosocial behavior and the nature of normative concepts such as morality and fairness.


  1. Kleiman-Weiner, M., Shaw, A., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2017). Constructing Social Preferences From Anticipated Judgments: When Impartial Inequity is Fair and Why? In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
  2. Kleiman-Weiner, M., Saxe, R., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2017). Learning a commonsense moral theory. Cognition. [pdf]
  3. Kleiman-Weiner, M., Ho, M. K., Austerweil, J. L., Littman, M. L., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2016). Coordinate to cooperate or compete: abstract goals and joint intentions in social interaction. In Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
  1. Ho, M. K., MacGlashan, J., Greenwald, A., Littman, M. L., Hilliard, E. M., Carl, T., Brawner, S., Tenenbaum, J. B., Kleiman-Weiner, M., & Austerweil, J. L. (2016). Feature-based joint planning and norm learning in collaborative games. In Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
  2. Kleiman-Weiner, M., Gerstenberg, T., Levine, S., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2015). Inference of intention and permissibility in moral decision making. In Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
  3. Allen, K., Jara-Ettinger, J., Gerstenberg, T., Kleiman-Weiner, M., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2015). Go fishing! Responsibility judgments when cooperation breaks down. In Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
  4. Gerstenberg, T., Ullman, T. D., Kleiman-Weiner, M., Lagnado, D. A., & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2014). Wins above replacement. In Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
  5. Zhang, L., Kleiman-Weiner, M., Luo, R., Shi, Y., Martorell, R., Medina, A., & Rozelle, S. (2013). Multiple micronutrient supplementation reduces anemia and anxiety in rural China’s elementary school children. The Journal Of Nutrition, 143(5), 640–647. [pdf]
  6. Kleiman-Weiner, M., Luo, R., Zhang, L., Shi, Y., Medina, A., & Rozelle, S. (2013). Eggs versus chewable vitamins: Which intervention can increase nutrition and test scores in rural China? China Economic Review, 24, 165–176. [pdf]
  7. Frank, J. R., Bauer, S. J., Kleiman-Weiner, M., Roberts, D. A., Tripuraneni, N., Zhang, C., Ré, C., Voorhees, E., & Soboroff, I. (2013). Evaluating Stream Filtering for Entity Profile Updates for TREC 2013 (KBA Track Overview). In Proceedings of the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC).
  8. Frank, J. R., Kleiman-Weiner, M., Roberts, D. A., Niu, F., Zhang, C., Ré, C., & Soboroff, I. (2012). Building an entity-centric stream filtering test collection for TREC 2012. In Proceedings of the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC).
  9. Luo, R., Kleiman-Weiner, M., Rozelle, S., Zhang, L., Liu, C., Sharbono, B., Shi, Y., Yue, A., Martorell, R., & Lee, M. (2010). Anemia in rural China’s elementary schools: Prevalence and correlates in Shaanxi province’s poor counties. Ecology Of Food and Nutrition, 49(5), 357–372.
  10. Cepeda, C., Cummings, D. M., Hickey, M. A., Kleiman-Weiner, M., Chen, J. Y., Watson, J. B., & Levine, M. S. (2010). Rescuing the corticostriatal synaptic disconnection in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington’s disease: exercise, adenosine receptors and ampakines. PLoS Currents, 2. [pdf]
  11. Kleiman-Weiner, M., Beenhakker, M. P., Segal, W. A., & Huguenard, J. R. (2009). Synergistic roles of GABAA receptors and SK channels in regulating thalamocortical oscillations. Journal Of Neurophysiology, 102(1), 203–213. [pdf]
  12. Schofield, C. M., Kleiman-Weiner, M., Rudolph, U., & Huguenard, J. R. (2009). A gain in GABAA receptor synaptic strength in thalamus reduces oscillatory activity and absence seizures. Proceedings Of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(18), 7630–7635. [pdf]
  13. Cepeda, C., André, V. M., Yamazaki, I., Wu, N., Kleiman-Weiner, M., & Levine, M. S. (2008). Differential electrophysiological properties of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor-containing striatal medium-sized spiny neurons. European Journal Of Neuroscience, 27(3), 671–682. [pdf]
  14. Kleiman-Weiner, M., & Berger, J. (2006). The sound of one arm swinging: a model for multidimensional auditory display of physical motion. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Auditory Display. [pdf]