Alex Tamkin

PhD Student, Computer Science, Stanford University

Email: atamkin_stanford_edu | Twitter: alextamkin

I'm a third-year PhD student in Computer Science at Stanford, advised by Noah Goodman and part of the Stanford NLP Group. My research area is machine learning, especially applied to natural language processing. Recently, I've been thinking about curiosity, abstraction, and transfer in unsupervised learning.

In the past, I've worked on projects in reinforcement learning, HCI, and computational astronomy. I've also spent time at Google Brain, Google Language, and Google Civics.

I'm grateful to be supported by an Open Philanthropy AI Fellowship.


Viewmaker Networks: Learning Views for Unsupervised Representation Learning

Alex Tamkin, Mike Wu, Noah GoodmanICLR 2021

Language Through a Prism: A Spectral Approach for Multiscale Language Representations

Alex Tamkin, Dan Jurafsky, Noah GoodmanNeurIPS 2020

Investigating Transferability in Pretrained Language Models

Alex Tamkin, Trisha Singh, Davide Giovanardi, Noah GoodmanFindings of EMNLP 2020; Presented at CoNLL 2020

Distributionally-Aware Exploration for CVaR Bandits.

Alex Tamkin, Ramtin Keramati, Christoph Dann, and Emma Brunskill. NeurIPS 2019 Workshop on Safety and Robustness in Decision Making; RLDM 2019

Being Optimistic to Be Conservative: Quickly Learning a CVaR Policy

Ramtin Keramati, Christoph Dann, Alex Tamkin, and Emma Brunskill. AAAI 2020

Recursive Routing Networks: Learning to Compose Modules for Language Understanding.

Ignacio Cases, Clemens Rosenbaum, Matthew Riemer, Atticus Geiger, Tim Klinger, Alex Tamkin, Olivia Li, Sandhini Agarwal, Joshua D Greene, Dan Jurafsky, Christopher Potts, and Lauri KarttunenNAACL 2019 A Gestural and Visual Interface for Human-Drone Interaction.

Jessica R Cauchard, Alex Tamkin, Cheng Yao Wang, Luke Vink, Michelle Park, Tommy Fang, and James A Landay. HRI 2019

Identifying Exoplanets with Deep Learning: Towards Improved Planet Occurrence Rates with Kepler, K2, and TESS.

Andrew Vanderburg, Christopher Shallue, Liang Yu, Anne Dattilo, and Alex Tamkin. American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts, 2019

Other Writing

Understanding the Capabilities, Limitations, and Societal Impact of Large Language Models

Alex Tamkin*, Miles Brundage*, Jack Clark, Deep GanguliArXiv. Blogpost: [Stanford HAI] Press: [VentureBeat] [Datanami]


Other topics I think a lot about:

  • Fostering a healthy and inclusive research culture

  • AI policy, safety, and equity

  • Connecting people and ideas from different fields

Outside of research, I organize the Stanford Queer in AI Dinner with Stanford Inclusion in AI

I also like making art, especially ceramics and photography!