MIRA Members


Lisa Miracchi

Prof. Lisa Miracchi is the PI of MIRA. She is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research is mainly in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophy of cognitive science. She is currently working on a project on the foundations of Artificial Intelligence that combines her achievement-first, competence-based approach to mental states with dynamical and embodied approaches. 



Sonia Roberts

I am a Electrical and Systems Engineering PhD student in Kod*lab, which is part of the GRASP lab at the University of Pennsylvania. I am studying legged locomotion in fragile environments such as sand, rubble piles, or dense vegetation.

I graduated from Vassar College in 2010 with a B.A. in Cognitive Science where I worked under Prof. John Long building and experimenting with biologically inspired robots to test hypotheses about biomechanics and evolutionary biology.

Prior to coming to UPenn, I worked as a research technician on the Fly Olympiad Project at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus attempting to create a functional map of the Drosophila melanogaster brain.

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Eugene Vaynberg

Eugene Vaynberg seeks to pursue a PhD in philosophy. He received bachelor's degrees in physics and math from the University of Rochester and has since been taking philosophy courses through Penn's College of Liberal and Professional Studies. He is interested in the philosophy of science, mind, cognitive science, psychology, and biology. 


Ramathi Bandaranayake

Ramathi is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania (Class of 2018). She is pursuing a double major in philosophy and English. Her areas of interest include philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophical questions related to freedom and autonomy. She is interested in mental representation, perception, and objectivity, and issues related to mathematics and science education and public understanding of science and mathematics. She is a member of the Philomathean Society, and in her spare time enjoys reading, hiking, music and film.


Sonia Pearson

Sonia Pearson is an undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, pursuing a double major in cognitive science and philosophy and a minor in math. She is interested in the way in which people make decisions and the extent of their own agency. In her free time, she likes to read and make terrible jokes.