MPCR Lab Researchers

  • William Edward Hahn, Ph.D.

    Research Scientist & Co-Director MPCR Lab

    William Edward Hahn graduated from Guilford College in 2008 with a B.S. degree in Mathematics/Physics and research focus in neural networks/particle swarm optimization. After Guilford, William researched artificial intelligence and immune systems at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before joining the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University in 2011. In 2014, William co-founded the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Laboratory with the purpose of building a team of creative scientists, programmers, and engineers to develop novel hardware/software environments that allow the exploration of the intersection of perception, computation, and robotics. In the Summer of 2016, William received a Ph.D. for his work in Sparse Coding and Compressed Sensing, and in the Fall 0f 2016 was hired as Research Scientist to continue his work in the MPCR Lab.


  • Elan Barenholtz, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor & Co-Director MPCR Lab

    Elan Barenholtz is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at FAU. Elan earned his Ph.D at Rutgers University/New Brunswick in Cognitive Psychology in 2004 , followed by a postdoc at Brown University in Cognitive Science.  He joined FAU in 2007 as director of the Visual Mind Lab, which conducts behavioral and computational work in vision science, learning and memory.  More recently, he co-founded the MPCR to begin an interdisciplinary effort to investigate the basic computational principles underlying cognition and behavior using a platform of artificial neural networks that control robotic agents behaving within a natural environment. The long-term goal of this initiative is to begin developing a unified computational theory of embedded cognitive function.


  • Michael A. Teti

    Graduate Researcher

    Michael joined the MPCR lab in February 2015 and received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Florida Atlantic University in August 2016. Before joining the MPCR lab, he modeled the propagation of invasive species throughout Lake Okeechobee and the Florida Everglades in the FAU Geoscience Department. He has since combined cutting edge, neurally-inspired methods in machine learning with his knowledge of remote sensing and GIS to create new ways to solve geospatial problems, such as land cover classification of aerial photographs and autonomous tracking of animal species using drones. Besides working on novel applications for machine learning algorithms, he has also worked to develop new algorithms in the areas of sparse coding, compressive sensing, and locally-competitive neural networks. He believes machines can do anything and is also the CTO of VoxelRx, LLC, an offshoot of the lab dedicated to performing medical imaging using machine learning.


  • Michael J. Kleiman, M.A.

    Graduate Researcher
    Michael J. Kleiman is a graduate student attending Florida Atlantic University, pursuing a doctorate in Experimental Psychology. He works closely with Dr. Elan Barenholtz and Dr. William Hahn to pair high precision eye movement tracking with the latest developments in machine learning and deep neural networks to predict presence and progression of attention and functioning disorders among clinical populations. Michael belongs to the Visual Mind Laboratory where he examines eye fixation behavior, as well as the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Laboratory where he works on utilizing machine learning to predict and discriminate classifications based on eye movement data. He has a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science and Psychology from Florida State University, as well as a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University.
  • Emily Stark

    Doctoral Student, Lab Manager

    Emily Stark joined the lab in Fall 2017 as a doctoral student. She received her B.S. in Statistics with a minor in Psychology from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. Her research interests and experiences are diverse, starting in the biology/medical field and then becoming more mathematical in nature. Her previous research pulls from game theory, graph theory and data science. Recently, she worked with historical neural networks from cognitive psychology applied to social psychological phenomena. Specifically focusing on the topology and dynamic properties of network models of attitudinal formation and change.

    In MPCR she is focusing on Machine Olfaction and Deep Learning applications to bioinformatics and disease treatment. Sense of smell is perhaps the least understood of the human senses, however using certain working dogs as a proof of concept, the exploration of olfaction could result in major developments across multiple fields.


    Nara Stark

    Diabetic Alert Dog

    Nara is the least scientific member of MPCR and only contributes to science in very minor ways. However, she is a vital part as she is a trained Diabetic Alert Dog. As a service dog her rights are protected by the ADA and accompanies Emily everywhere to keep her safe.

  • Rachel St. Clair

    Doctoral Researcher, Graduate Neuroscience Training Program

    Rachel’s main focus centers in multimodal, translational machine learning in complex systems and brain sciences, where she is receiving her doctor’s in philosophy. Her background in both medicine and biology helps structure the integration of machine learning models for both academia and industry applications. Previous work involves a variety of research fields including mental disorder diagnosis, epileptic mice investigations, and synthetic drug detection. Drawing from interdisciplinary experiences drives her current integrative research in deep learning proteomics, cancer imaging, and therapeutic XR platforms. Her future accomplishments aim to include advancements in artificial animal models, microfluidic machine learning, connectomics, and general AI. Besides her highly rewarding work in deep artificial neural networks, Rachel enjoys novel experiences such as travelling and gastronomy.

  • Stephen Ramirez

     Stephen is an early member of the lab, as he joined when he was an undergraduate biology major studying animal perception and behavior. He is currently obtaining a Master’s of Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University, while continuing to do research in the MPCR Lab. He is also knowledgeable about many domains of engineering, both practical and theoretical. He has worked on the autonomous drone, the autonomous electric wheelchair, and many other projects. He is excited about furthering his technical knowledge and applying machine learning techniques to his projects as part of his Master’s thesis.

  • Alex Clark

    Doctoral Student, Treasurer of MPCR

    I started in the MPCR lab when I began studies in the PhD program at the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University in Fall 2016.  I have a BS in Math/Statistics, and a BA and MA in Philosophy with a focus in Philosophy of Mind.  In 2009 I completed my Master’s Thesis entitled In Defense of the Smooth Reduction of Folk Psychology in which I argued that the functional success of a folk psychology makes it indispensable in understanding human cognition and behavior, and that success in using neural networks to mimic human cognition does nothing to eschew that fact.

    I believe that Neural Networks and Machine Learning can make valuable improvements to a wide variety of real-world tasks, and can help with a variety of academic and scientific research problems.  In my Doctoral research I would like to implement Neural Networks to mimic human and animal behavior and thereby glean insights into various questions of human cognition and Philosophy of Mind.  My immediate project is to create a Network that can determine dog breeds from a picture.  In addition I am offering my support and assistance to the Rover Team project, the EEG Team project, and the MPCR lab’s podcast.
  • Anthony Sanchez

    Publications Manager and EEG Team Leader MPCR Lab at FAU


    Anthony Sanchez is an undergraduate pre-medical neuroscience major at Florida Atlantic University, currently working as a behavioral analyst for adults with autism. He joined the MPCR lab at FAU in 2016 as an undergraduate researcher part of a directed independent study and is now the publications manager for the lab, responsible for the transition of novel lab research into the publication phase. In conjunction with fellow researchers, his primary research focus in the lab concerns potential medical applications of machine learning, specifically the analysis and prediction of presented stimuli and/or internal mental perceptions utilizing electroencephalographic data. Another aspect to this research involves EEG data conversion into functioning code for use in manipulation of various artificial constructs both virtual and mechanical. Anthony intends on attending medical school to focus on neurology.

  • Océane Boulais

    Blockchain Research Team

    Océane Boulais is an Electrical Engineering student coming into her senior year. Océane loves creating, making and breaking things at the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Laboratory, especially when there’s an opportunity to talk about the power of STEAM (STEM +Art).

    She’s a bitcoin dev/blockchain tech enthusiast and looks forward to advancing encryption solutions with zero-trust protocols that will be most useful for the future of society.