Brian Scassellati

A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of Computer Science & Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
Room / Office: Watson 501
Office Address:
51 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 208285
New Haven, CT 06520
Phone: (203) 432-1219
Fax: (203) 432-0593
  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M.Eng., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology


My research focuses on building embodied computational models of human social behavior, especially the developmental progression of early social skills. Using computational modeling and socially interactive robots, we evaluate models of how infants acquire social skills and assist in the diagnosis and quantification of disorders of social development (such as autism). My other interests include humanoid robots, humanrobot interaction, artificial intelligence, machine perception, and social learning.

Selected Awards & Honors:

  • 2008: A. Richard Newton Breakthrough Research Award from Microsoft
  • 2008: Keynote speaker, HRI Young Researchers Workshop, an NSF-sponsored tutorial at the 2008
  • ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
  • 2007: Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
  • 2007: Best Paper Award, 6th International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL)
  • 2006: Best Applied Computational Modeling Paper, 28th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
  • 2006: Guest speaker at the Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2005: Keynote Speaker, 5th International workshop on Epigenetic Robotics
  • 2004: Best Paper Award at the 3rd International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL)
  • 2004: Part of an NSF Science and Technology Center proposal that has entered the final phase of competition. From an initial field of more than 150 proposals, only 10 reached this final stage.
  • 2003: NSF CAREER Award
  • 2002: Selected as one of two nominees from Yale for the Packard Foundation Fellowship
  • 2000: Best Paper Award at the First International IEEE/RSJ Conference on Humanoid Robotics
  • 1995-8 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
  • 1995 Morris Joseph Levin Memorial Award for Best Oral Thesis Presentation
  • 1994-5 Bose Foundation Fellowship
  • 1993 Cray Research Scholarship
  • Member of Phi Beta Kappa, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi

Selected Publications:

  • E. Short, J. Hart, M. Vu, and B. Scassellati. No Fair!! An Interaction with a Cheating Robot. In Proceedings of the 5th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2010). Osaka, Japan, March 2010. 
  • C. Crick & B. Scassellati. Intention-based Robot Control in Social Games. In Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society Annual Meeting, 2009. BEST PAPER AWARD: Best Higher-Level Cognition Modeling Paper. 
  • K. Gold, M. Doniec, C. Crick, & B. Scassellati. Robotic Vocabulary Building Using Extension Inference and Implicit Contrast. Artificial Intelligence Journal. Vol. 173(1), p. 145-166. 2009. 
  • K. Gold & B. Scassellati. Using Probabilistic Reasoning over Time to Self-Recognize. Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Vol. 57(5), p. 384-392. 2009. 
  • F. Shic & B. Scassellati. A behavioral analysis of robotic models of visual attention. International Journal of Computer Vision, Vol. 73(2), p. 159-177, 2007. 
  • F. Shic, W. Jones, A. Klin & B. Scassellati. Swimming in the Underlying Stream: Computational Models of Gaze in a Comparative Behavioral Analysis of Autism. Cognitive Science, Vancouver, 2006. 
  • G. Sun & B. Scassellati. A fast and efficient model for learning to reach. International Journal of Humanoid Robotics, Vol. 2, No. 4, p.391-413, 2005.