I am an advanced graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. My primary interests are in general philosophy of science, philosophy of neuroscience, and feminist philosophy.
My dissertation addresses why robustness--understood as sameness (of inferences, results, and phenomena) over variation (in models, methods, and initial conditions)--in science has both more functions and more limitations than philosophers of science and scientists have recognized. I analyze cases of robustness analysis, methodological triangulation, and the explanation of robust phenomena. For example, I address questions such as: How does the epistemic context of a research project affect the type and practice of robustness analysis (i.e., searching for robustness between a result and set of models)? How and why do researchers fail to triangulate on some result? What characterization of a construct is required to successfully triangulate on that construct with multiple methods? My analysis draws on case studies from recent developments in network neuroscience and implicit social cognition, in which I argue robustness procedures play important roles. I also re-evaluate classic cases from the history of science like Euler’s Königsberg bridges and Perrin’s Brownian motion experiments.
Another area of research is in feminist philosophy broadly construed. I research the demographics of philosophy and causes of the underrepresentation of women and minority groups across various disciplines. Along with many of my co-authors, I have researched possible factors for women's and black students' underrepresentation in philosophy. Additionally, some of my co-authors and I have proposed a causal framework for testing claims about intersectionality, which would be able to test claims about intersectionality of these factors or about the experiences of black women in philosophy, were the appropriate data sets available. In another article, I draw from work in standpoint epistemology and indigenous archaeology to argue that psychological research into racial microaggressions would benefit from community science methods: including more people of color outside of academia in the development of research questions, design of studies, and interpretation of results.
Much of my work in feminist philosophy and the demographics of philosophy ties into recommendations and interventions in the philosophy classroom. I bring this expertise to my teaching and mentoring through the Pittsburgh Summer Program in Philosophy of Science (see more on my inclusive pedagogy page). Through Minorities and Philosophy, I have also compiled interventions from the social psychology literature concerning minorities' experiences in computer science, physics, and engineering. This literature review has resulted in several documents with plausible recommendations for improving and diversifying the philosophy classroom.
I am a student member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, an interdisciplinary neural and cognitive science center with both Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University. I am also a member of the Pittsburgh Empirical Philosophy Lab. Before attending Pitt, I completed my Master's in Philosophy at Georgia State University with an emphasis in Neurophilosophy. While there I received the Brains & Behavior Fellowship. Prior to Georgia State, I completed my Bachelor's in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.