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Mark Pitt

Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, 2019

Mark Pitt is a professor in the Department of Psychology. He is recognized for his work in two highly interdisciplinary fields: spoken language understanding and quantitative modeling. Pitt has published more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles, and his research has been continuously funded for more than 25 years.

Pitt's work has advanced our understanding of how the brain uses knowledge it has learned about a language to comprehend a talker's speech, in particular when speech is unclear (e.g., sloppy or ambiguous pronunciations). He led a large team in creating the first annotated corpus of conversational speech (Buckeye Speech Corpus) which is used worldwide by language researchers in many fields. Pitt's work in quantitative modeling has sought to improve statistical inference in psychology. Along with his close colleague, Professor Jay Myung, he has adapted quantitative methods from statistics and computer science to distinguish competing models of cognition (e.g., memory, categorization), and most recently introduced a technology (adaptive design optimization) that can improve the precision and efficiency of behavioral tests, such as those designed to measure mental states (e.g., impulsivity, cognitive control).

Pitt is also the recipient of the Hatcher Memorial Award (2004) and the Joan N Huber Faculty Fellowship Award (2007), both from the College of Arts and Sciences. He received his PhD from Yale University.