Harold Mitchell Top Floor
tel. 01334 463500
My main interests include social learning, cultural transmission, and cumulative cultural evolution. I have a background in linguistics and artificial intelligence, and I am currently part of a large collaborative project between the School of Biology and the School of Psychology, funded by the John Templeton Foundation. I am working on my PhD project on cumulative culture in humans.
More specifically, I am looking at a large-scale dataset collected over a 15 year period as part of a collaborative programming competition organised by MathWorks. Once an entry is submitted it becomes public and available for use by any other participant, so participants could submit a novel solution, modify an existing one, or submit any combination thereof. Each contest produces a collection of code artefacts that evolve over time through gradual modifications by multiple individuals. These are microcosms of cumulative culture and present a wonderful opportunity to study such an elaborate phenomenon in a dataset that allows for objective quantification, while capturing most of the real-life complexities of cumulative culture.