Salena Torres Ashton

School of Information

My name is Salena Torres Ashton and I'm a PhD student with the School of Information. I currently research why people ask questions, how questions inform our hypotheses about others’ plans, and how formally represent these plans to implement artificial intelligence. I use machine learning, probabilistic/ causal reasoning, qualitative methodologies, and AI. Since 2020, I've worked as a graduate research associate for the Theory of Mind-based Cognitive Architecture for Teams (ToMCAT). I program most often in Python, then R, C++, or Lisp. Before entering my PhD program, I worked in industry as a professional social/ family historian and math teacher-- so I'm always interested in mixed methodologies. I use hands-on teaching to show others how to reason through historical evidence, draw mathematical ideas, and ask better questions in any field. I also enjoy solo backpacking and natural gardening.