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.

I will be starting as an assistant professor of psychology at Yale University July 2019. Please get in touch if you are interested in PhD, postdoc, or postbac research assistantship opportunities.


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.