Ö. Nilay Yalçin

Assistant Professor

Teaching & Research Interests

  • Cognitive Science
  • Affective Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • AI Ethics and Responsible AI
  • Open Science & Open Data

Nilay's biography

Nilay is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) researcher with an interdisciplinary background in Cognitive Science and Engineering. Her research focuses on modeling socio-emotional behaviors in computational systems in order to develop interactive systems that can understand human behavior and advance our understanding of human cognition by providing us means to evaluate our assumptions in a systematic and controlled environment. She has been focusing on complex concepts such as empathy, affect, personality and theory of mind in a variety of contexts such as healthcare, education and creativity. She plans to continue pursuing research to understand factors shaping people’s behaviors with their growing personal interactions with virtual agents and develop innovations that would have a positive effect on our society. Nilay is a proud member of Women in CS and Women in ML groups, and an advocate of Open Science and Open-Source Software.


  • PhD in Artificial Intelligence, School of Interactive Arts & Technology, Simon Fraser University, 2015-2019
  • MSc in Cognitive Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012-2014
  • BEng in Management Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, 2005-2010