Dr. Varma is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. He is also a faculty member in the Cognition and Brain Science program in the School of Psychology (https://psychology.gatech.edu/people/faculty/800). He earned his B.S. in Mathematics and Cognitive Science from Carnegie Mellon University and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Vanderbilt University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Center for Innovations in Learning at Stanford University. He was the Huebner Chair in Education and Technology at the University of Minnesota before coming to Georgia Tech.
Dr. Varma is a cognitive scientist who uses computational modeling and behavioral experiments to investigate those complex forms of cognition that are uniquely human, and indeed make us human. His primary line of research is in mathematical and computational thinking, where he investigates the cognitive mechanisms underlying our ability to understand abstract mathematical concepts (e.g., in geometry and topology) and to reason about computationally hard problems (e.g., the travelling salesperson problem). His work on problem solving and language understanding is characterized by the development of computational models and, increasingly, the use of machine learning techniques.