Guangyu Robert Yang is the Silverman (1968) Family Career Development Assistant Professor in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. He joined the MIT faculty in 2021 as an assistant professor both in BCS and on the artificial intelligence and decision-making faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing (SCC). His research connecting artificial neural networks to the actual functions of cognition is distinctive in its close interplay between computational and biological systems, and ambitious in its use of computational modeling to understand the optimization of neural systems which function to accomplish multiple tasks. As a postdoc with theoretical neuroscientist Larry Abbott at Columbia University, Yang applied principles of machine learning to study the evolution and organization of the olfactory system. The neural networks his models generated show important similarities to the biological circuitry, suggesting that the structure of the olfactory system evolved in order to optimally enable the specific tasks needed for odor recognition.