<img style="float:right; PADDING-LEFT:10px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px" src="https://stanford.edu/~mtessler/donuts_Mht.JPG" width="250px"> It is a remarkable fact that so much is learned from ideas expressed vaguely in words. Precisely defining our terms can be difficult, yet we tend to know what people mean when they say it. How do we uncover the latent messages from vague language? And how does communicating our ideas, even vaguely, spur the evolution of thought and of culture? I am a graduate student in the [Department of Psychology](https://psychology.stanford.edu) at [Stanford](http://stanford.edu), working with [Noah Goodman](http://cocolab.stanford.edu/ndg.html) and the [CoCoLab](https://psychology.stanford.edu). I am interested in cognition, language, and learning. I view language through the lens of psychology, and psychology through the lens of computer science and statistics. I am also interested in the philosophy of science, particularly with respect to statistical inference. I occasionally write [stories about travels](https://mhtess.blogspot.com). You can email me at `mtessler@stanford.edu` + [Github: mhtess](https://github.com/mhtess) + [Twitter: mhtessler](https://twitter.com/mhtessler) + [Project library: mhtess](https://mhtess.github.io) ### Events + I'm teaching a two-week course on [Computational Pragmatics](http://stanford.edu/~mtessler/short-courses/2017-computational-pragmatics/) with Michael Franke, Sept. 11 - 22 as part of the Fall School on Computational Linguistics (German Linguistics Society) in Dusseldorf, Germany. ### Publications #### Manuscripts + **Tessler, M. H.** & Goodman, N. D. [A pragmatic theory of generic language.](http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.02926) *arXiv:1608.02926* (under review). + Ouyang, L.\*, **Tessler, M. H.**\*, Ly D.\*, & Goodman, N. D. [Practical optimal experiment design with probabilistic programs.](http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.05046) *arXiv:1608.05046* #### 2017 + **Tessler, M. H.**, Lopez-Brau, M. & Goodman, N. D. [Warm (for winter): Comparison class understanding in vague language](http://stanford.edu/~mtessler/papers/Tessler2017-cogsci-final.pdf) (2017). *Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.* + Yoon, E. J., **Tessler, M. H.**, Goodman, N. D., & Frank, M. C. ["I won't lie, it wasn't amazing": Modeling polite indirect speech.](http://langcog.stanford.edu/papers_new/yoon-2017-cogsci.pdf) (2017). *Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.* + Scontras, G. and **Tessler, M. H.** (2017). [Probabilistic language understanding: An introduction to the Rational Speech Act framework.](https://gscontras.github.io/probLang/) #### 2016 + **Tessler, M. H.** & Goodman, N. D. [Communicating generalizations about events.](http://stanford.edu/~mtessler/papers/Tessler2016-cogsci.pdf) (2016). *Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.* + Yoon, E. J.\*, **Tessler, M. H.**\*, Goodman, N. D., & Frank, M. C. [Talking with tact: Politeness as a balance between informativity and kindness.](http://stanford.edu/~mtessler/papers/YoonTessler2016-cogsci.pdf) (2016). *Proceedings of the 38th annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.* * Franke, M., Dablander, F., Scholler, A., Bennett, E., Degen, J., **Tessler, M. H.**, Kao, J., & Goodman, N. D. [What does the crowd believe? A hierarchical approach to estimating subjective beliefs from empirical data.](http://www.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de/~mfranke/Papers/FrankeDablander_2016_What_does_the_crowd_believe.pdf) (2016). *Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.* #### 2015 + **Tessler, M. H.** [Understanding *belief bias* by measuring prior beliefs for a Bayesian model of syllogistic reasoning.](http://stanford.edu/~mtessler/papers/Tessler2015-esslli.pdf) (2015). *Student Session of the 27th European Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information (ESSLLI).* + Degen, J., **Tessler, M. H.**, & Goodman, N. D. [Wonky worlds: Listeners revise world knowledge when utterances are odd.](http://cocolab.stanford.edu/papers/DegenEtAl2015-Cogsci.pdf) (2015). *Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.* #### 2014 + **Tessler, M. H.** & Goodman, N. D. [Some arguments are probably valid: Syllogistic reasoning as communication.](https://web.stanford.edu/~ngoodman/papers/cogsci14-syllogisms_tessler.pdf) (2014). *Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.* #### Conference posters + **Tessler, M. H.**, Lopez-Brau, M. & Goodman, N. D. [Warm (for winter): Comparison class understanding in vague language](https://c8a64e0d-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/comppsychlingmeaning/tessler.pdf?attachauth=ANoY7cqOPzTbpRtu-vdIkPikj19YSlgzmdnYVcjEp1jsS6QoXNTtVqsboKSHh_cjkuyoi_5iA_UeJgi_-1tdIuu1xsGFNlYl2nW0_X-EyhHZFkbd-OdcOR1Gtx42IVeh0IHpCs0waGSSD2e9klUuKmvKoEmCK1YL8PV8G8dTFg-BzlHP8IJ3KmTKy_Po5DviEVyHeeQH3TlBEizwMLOvrPq7R6VRnZm-AQ%3D%3D&attredirects=0) (February 2017) *Bridging computational and psycholinguistic approaches to the study of meaning (CSLI workshop)* Stanford University. + **Tessler, M. H.** & Goodman, N. D. [Talking in generalizations: A pragmatic theory of generic and habitual language.](http://stanford.edu/~mtessler/papers/spp-tessler-generics-2016.pdf) (2016). *Poster presented at 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Philosophy and Psychology.* ### Research tools and educational content + [RWebPPL](https://github.com/mhtess/rwebppl): An R package for WebPPL + [Probabilistic Language Understanding](https://gscontras.github.io/probLang/): An introduction to the Rational Speech Act framework + [Bayesian Data Analysis using Probabilistic Programs (in prep)](https://mhtess.github.io/bdappl/): Currently, mostly simple tutorials for WebPPL + [WebPPL OED](https://github.com/mhtess/webppl-oed): Optimal Experiment Design for WebPPL models #### Past courses, lectures, and workshops + [A Generic Workshop](http://stanford.edu/~mtessler/generic-wrkshp/generic-wrkshp.html) at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) at Stanford (Spring 2017) + [A quarter-long course on Bayesian Statistics for Psychologists](https://psych201s.stanford.edu) taught at Stanford (Summer 2016). + [A chapter on Bayesian Data Analysis](https://probmods.org/chapters/14-bayesian-data-analysis.html) using WebPPL for Noah Goodman's course on [Probabilistic Models of Cognition](https://probmods.org/v2/) (Autumn 2016) + [A lecture on Bayesian Data Analysis](http://probmods.github.io/ppaml2016/chapters/5-data.html) as part of a week-long course on [probabilistic programming using WebPPL](http://probmods.github.io/ppaml2016/) (Summer 2016) + [A short-course on Probabilistic Language Understanding](http://gscontras.github.io/ESSLLI-2016/) taught at the European Summer School for Logic, Language, and Information (ESSLLI) with Greg Scontras (Summer 2016). + [A lecture on Bayesian Data Analysis](http://forestdb.org/models/bayesian-data-analysis.html) using Church for Noah Goodman's course on [probabilistic models of cognition](https://probmods.org/) (Spring 2015)