Establish Colby as a nationally recognized center of excellence in interdisciplinary human-centered AI teaching and research.

Learn about our progress in our 2021-2022 Annual Report


Amanda Stent

Director, Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Olin 136

Amanda Stent came to Colby in 2021 to fulfill the college’s vision of establishing Colby as a nationally recognized center of excellence in interdisciplinary human-centered AI teaching and research. Rich with experience from her time at Bloomberg, Yahoo, AT&T Labs, as well as her time at Stony Brook University as an associate professor of computer science, Amanda’s enthusiasm for AI and the idea of what AI can do for the faculty, staff and students at Colby, is a great asset to all.

Amanda holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Rochester. She is the co-inventor of over 30 patents and has authored or co-authored over 100 papers in the field of natural language processing.

Amy Poulin

Associate Director, Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Olin 129

Amy Poulin is the Associate Director of the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence. With over 16 years of experience here at Colby in both academic and administrative areas, she has a deep understanding of how Colby works. When she isn’t at Colby working toward the mission of our institute, she enjoys spending time with her family and camping.

Amy has a B.S. of Biology from the University of Maine and is working on getting certified in data science at the University of Michigan.

Tahiya Chowdhury

Postdoctoral Associate, Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Olin 128

Tahiya Chowdhury is the first Davis AI postdoctoral scholar. Her research uses time series modeling, computer vision and social media analytics to model dynamically changing physical environments. She is interested in energy-efficient and privacy-preserving deep learning. She will conduct research, consult with Colby faculty, staff and students on AI projects, and teach hands-on introductions to AI.

Michael Yankoski

Postdoctoral Associate, Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Olin 142

Dr. Michael Yankoski is a postdoctoral associate at the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies before working with Notre Dame’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering as a postdoctoral research associate. Michael’s current research focuses on the social and political implications of AI and dis/misinformation. (Google Scholar) (ORCID)

Office hours this fall will be Thursday 11am-12pm, or by appointment set up via email.

Dale Kocevski

Faculty Fellow, Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Olin 142

Hong Zhang

Faculty Fellow, Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Olin 128

Ray Wang


Dawit Boku


Elsa Grant '25


Elsa is a sophomore majoring in Psychology with an interest in social psychology and group dynamics. She has a passion for digital design and the community building aspect of her position as communications lead.



Internal Advisory Committee

The Davis Institute for AI Internal Advisory Committee is composed of faculty, staff and students from across the College.

2022-2023 Members: Jim Behuniak (Humanities), Stacy Doore (Computer Science), Aaron Hanlon (Science and Technology Studies & Interdisciplinary Studies), Kara Kugelmeyer (Libraries), Derek Huffman (Social Sciences), Andrea Tilden (Natural Sciences), Dan Siff (ITS), Carolyn Anderson (DavisConnects),  Izzy Hurley ’23 (Student Member),  Katie Bernard ’25 (Student Member),  Kalyan Khatiwada ’26 (Student Member),  Peggy Jones ’26 (Student Member)

External Advisory Committee

The Davis Institute for AI External Advisory Committee is composed of Colby alumni and corporate / government / NGO partners.

Profiled External Advisory Board Member: Kristofer Hamel, World Data Lab.

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators In 2021-22:

  • 19% of faculty, spanning all four divisions, taught courses that involve AI
  • 15% of students took courses that involve AI
  • 6 Davis AI distinguished speaker series talks, including one co-hosted with the Medical Humanities initiative and one co-hosted with the Critical and Indigenous Studies initiative

Made possible by the Davis Family.


Economics & Finance

Exploring how artificial intelligence and machine learning can process large volumes of information and identify patterns to analyze market behavior and interactions among consumers, firms, and governments.

Computational Social Sciences

Examining the human condition through artificial intelligence by gathering and analyzing data to understand human thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.


Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, & Genomics

Strengthening our research and preparing students to use big data to benefit fields ranging from ecology to medicine.


The Environment & the Oceans

Providing enhanced computational resources, training, and collaborators to support Colby’s ability to keep pace with the rapidly changing tools and techniques for studying the environment. 


Ethics & Society

Filling the need for future leaders of this field to have an appreciation of history, culture, and societies, and the ability to think critically about a range of issues.

Faculty across disciplines—philosophers, ethicists, sociologists, and more—will explore the ethical implications of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Recent Publications

  • * Stent, A., Mann, G., & Kambadur, P. (2023). NLP in Finance. In Machine Learning and Data Sciences for Financial Markets: A Guide to Contemporary Practices (pp. 563–592). chapter, Cambridge University Press.
  • * Good, A., Lin, J., Sieg, H., Fergurson, M., Yu, X., Zhe, S., Wieczorek, J., & Serra, T. (2022). Recall distortion in neural network pruning and the undecayed pruning algorithm. In Proc. NeurIPS. arXiv preprint: https://arxiv.org/abs/2206.02976.
  • * Al Madi, N. (2022) How readable is model-generated code? Examining readability and visual inspection of GitHub Copilot. To appear in Proceedings of ASE 2022. 
  • * Li, Y., Li, C., Chen, J., & Roinou, C. (2022) Energy-aware multi-agent reinforcement learning for collaborative execution in mission-oriented drone networks. In Proceedings of IEEE ICCCN.
  • * Layton, O. W., & Fajen, B. R. (2022). Distributed encoding of curvilinear self-motion across spiral optic flow patterns. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 1-15. [HTML] nature.com
  • * Maus, N., & Layton, O. W. (2022). Estimating heading from optic flow: Comparing deep learning network and human performance. Neural Networks, 154, 383-396. [HTML] sciencedirect.com
  • * Layton, O. W., Powell, N., Steinmetz, S. T., & Fajen, B. R. (2022). Estimating curvilinear self-motion from optic flow with a biologically inspired neural system. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 17(4), 046013. [PDF] iop.org
  • * Steinmetz, S. T., Layton, O. W., Powell, N. V., & Fajen, B. R. (2022). A Dynamic Efficient Sensory Encoding Approach to Adaptive Tuning in Neural Models of Optic Flow Processing. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 16. [HTML] nih.gov*

Made possible by the Davis Family.

Made possible by the tremendous generosity of the Davis family and trustee of its charitable foundation Andrew Davis ’85, LL.D. ’15, the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence will provide new pathways for talented students and faculty to research, create, and apply AI and machine learning (ML) across disciplines while setting a precedent for how liberal arts colleges can shape the future of AI.

For decades the Davis family, through The Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund, has contributed generously to the evolution of the academic and cocurricular experience at Colby, and the Davis Institute builds on this tradition of leadership. With Andrew Davis’s support, his family provided a $25-million gift in 2017 to create DavisConnects, Colby’s innovative model for post-graduate success, as well as a $10-million lead gift in 2013 to construct the Davis Science Center on Colby’s campus. In 2000 the Davis family selected Colby as one of five partner institutions to pilot the Davis United World College Scholars Program (UWC), which funded UWC graduates’ attendance at Colby and continues to make a profound impact at the College.