Aude Oliva

Aude Oliva, a cognitive scientist and a computer scientist, is the director of strategic industry engagement in the Schwarzman College of Computing, the MIT director of MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, and senior research scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In her role as director of strategic industry engagement, Oliva develops and implements relationships between the College and corporate collaborators. The goal of these enterprising academic-industry collaborations is to develop and translate novel computing and artificial intelligence research into tools for real-world impact. For this, she interfaces with those interested in large-scale, multi-faceted engagements comprising research, student support, community building, and public interaction activities at MIT. Holding a stewardship role in the MIT AI Hardware Program, Oliva constructs and facilitates instrumental pipelines that, deliver AI hardware and software with significantly enhanced energy efficiency systems and she promotes career opportunities and visibility for students, researchers and participating companies. As inaugural lead of the MIT-Amazon Science Hub, she launched the multi-year collaboration between MIT and Amazon, to support innovative research in the fields of AI, robotics, computing, and engineering. As of Fall 2022, Oliva serves on the committee on Research Computing and Data, in the new Office of Research Computing and Data in the Office of the Vice President of Research.

Oliva earned a PhD and MSc in cognitive science from the Institut National Polytechnique of Grenoble, France, in addition to a MSc in experimental psychology from the Université Grenoble Alpes, France. She has her French baccalaureate in physics and mathematics and a BSc in psychology (minor in Philosophy). Oliva’s interdisciplinary research and publications span human perception/cognition, computer vision (visual AI), and cognitive neuroscience, focusing on their intersection. Her work in computational perception and cognition builds on the synergy between human and machine recognition, and how it applies to solving high-level recognition problems like understanding scenes and events, perceiving space, modeling attention, eye movements and memory, as well as predicting subjective properties of images (like memorability). Her research integrates knowledge and tools from computer vision, machine learning, deep neural networks as well as human perception, cognition and neuro-imaging (fMRI, MEG).

She is the recipient of several honors, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award in computational neuroscience, a Guggenheim fellowship in computer science, and a 2016 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship in cognitive neuroscience. Oliva is an elected fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. She has served as an expert to the NSF Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering on the topic of human and artificial intelligence and is a current member of the scientific advisory board for the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Oliva has served as editor and on the board on cognitive science journals, is listed on five patents, and has co-authored over 200 book chapters and reviews, journal publications and conference proceedings. Several of her trainees have created start-ups in the fields of AI and ML.

For requests for information about industry collaborations with the College, please contact Aude OIiva (