Hi, welcome to my page! My name is Yiyun (pronounced E-uwing). I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Alexandra Rosati of the Cognitive Evolution Group. I graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Brain & Cognitive Sciences and a B.A. in Mathematics.
I am a cognitive scientist interested broadly in the evolution of behavior and cognition. My current projects investigate how learning and decision-making processes develop in macaques. I design and conduct cognitive experiments at the Cayo Santiago Field Station in Puerto Rico, working with over 1700 free-ranging rhesus macaques.
Throughout my academic career, I have really enjoyed mentoring and teaching opportunities. I have mentored over 30 students, many of whom come from underrepresented communities, through independent research, senior theses, and NSF-funded summer internships. I have been a graduate student instructor for four semesters, teaching introductory classes in Behavioral Neuroscience and Evolution and Behavior as well as graduate classes in Advanced Statistics.
In addition, I am passionate about science outreach and communication. I am a science communication fellow at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, designing and presenting inquiry-based, interactive activities that showcase my research with K-12 students and public patrons of the museum. I have also developed teaching modules on animal cognition for DEI community outreach and serve on the executive board of the NSF-funded science communication project Primate Learning in Action.
In my spare time, I love capturing beautiful, joyous, and special moments through photography. Feel free to browse through some of my photos under the Photography page. I serve as an alumni admissions interviewer for the University of Rochester and have interviewed over 100 prospective students over the past 6 years. I occasionally serve as a study-abroad consultant for younger Chinese students who are in the process of applying to schools in the US. I love eating good food, traveling, snuggling with my two rescue dogs, reading, and hiking.