Tom Williams


  • 2017 (Anticipated), Joint Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, Tufts University
  • 2013, M.S. in Computer Science, Tufts University
  • 2011, B.A. in Computer Science, Hamilton College


In the Fall 2015 Semester, I co-designed and co-taught Artificial Intelligence with Professor Anselm Blumer. Together, we overhauled this course in order to add coverage of topics in Probabilistic AI. This required me to rewrite the course goals, syllabus, schedule, homework assignments, and quizzes, to teach sessions throughout the course, provide assistance to students, and grade certain assignments and quizzes.

My students very positively received the overhauled course. Of all the quotes from my teaching evaluations, the one I'm perhaps most proud of is this: “I have never had someone put such a visible effort into each lecture and I really appreciated seeing all the time and hard work Tom put into making sure we had the best learning experience possible.”

Due in part to the success of this course, I have been asked by my department to teach AI in Spring 2017. This is the first time in five years a graduate student in my department has been allowed to teach a course.

My teaching philosophy can be found detailed in this blog post.

I have served as a teaching assistant for a number of undergraduate- and graduate-level classes:

  • Tufts CS150-PR: Probabilistic Robotics, A graduate-level course using the ADE robot architecture and the iRobot Create, 2014
  • Tufts CS50: Problem-Solving by Computer, An introductory course taught in Racket, 2014
  • Hamilton CS110: Introduction to Computer Science, An introductory course taught in Python, 2010-2011
  • Hamilton CS105: Explorations in Computer Science, An introductory course taught in Visual Basic, 2010-2011

Throughout my graduate career I have had the pleasure of working with a number of talented Tufts undergraduate students. Below are a list of select students who have co-authored papers with me, are now graduate students, or whose senior research projects I supervised.

  • Steven Lessard (now a graduate student at UCSD)
  • Nathaniel Pelz (Co-author on 2014 ROMAN Paper. Now at Epic Systems)
  • Saurav Acharya (Co-author on 2016 HRI Paper. Ongoing)
  • Monika Dragulski (Now at Microsoft, Conversational Agents division)
  • Maxwell Bennett (Now at Kindred Systems)
  • Jordan Mickel
  • Laura Brooks
  • Daria Thames (Ongoing)
  • Julia Novakoff (Ongoing)

Relevant Coursework

  • Situated Natural Language Discourses in Robotics
  • Probabilistic Robotics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Cognitive Modeling
  • Machine Learning
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Graduate Core Course in Cognitive Psychology
  • The Predictive Brain
  • Graduate Core Course in Biopsychology
  • Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science
  • Syntactic Theory
  • Knowledge Representation Issues Across Psychology
  • Brain-Computer Interaction
  • Philosophy of Science