Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The MIT Probabilistic Computing Project

We build probabilistic computing systems that exploit uncertain knowledge to learn from data, infer its probable causes, make calibrated predictions and choose effective actions. We also study the computational principles and building blocks needed to design, implement and analyze these systems, drawing on and contributing to an emerging integration of key ideas from probability theory and computer science. Our research includes work on machine learning and artificial intelligence fundamentals, as well as applications to modeling human cognition and to intelligent data analysis.

So far, this work has yielded new general-purpose probabilistic programming technology and intentionally stochastic (but still digital) hardware for real-time Bayesian inference. It has also yielded academic and commercial Bayesian database systems that automate the analysis of high-dimensional data tables.


For a full list of papers, technical reports, and conference presentations, please see our publications page.


The ProbComp Reading List serves as a shared basis of knowledge for the project.

Principal Investigator

Vikash K. Mansinghka
(office) 46-4094A
(lab) 46-5089
Vikash Mansinghka is a research scientist at MIT, where he leads the Probabilistic Computing Project. Vikash holds S.B. degrees in Mathematics and in Computer Science from MIT, as well as an M.Eng. in Computer Science and a PhD in Computation. He also held graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. His PhD dissertation on natively probabilistic computation won the MIT George M. Sprowls dissertation award in computer science, and his research on the Picture probabilistic programming language won an award at CVPR. He co-founded a venture-backed startup based on this research that was acquired by, was an advisor to Google DeepMind, and is a co-founder of Empirical Systems, a new venture-backed AI startup aimed at improving the credibility and transparency of statistical inference. He served on DARPA's Information Science and Technology advisory board from 2010-2012, and currently serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Machine Learning Research and the journal Statistics and Computation.

Current Members


Former Members


The MIT Probabilistic Computing Project is hosted by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Our work is generously supported by research contracts with DARPA (under the XDATA and PPAML programs), the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Laboratory, and Shell Oil, as well as gifts from Analog Devices and Google. The views expressed on this website and in our research are our own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of our government or corporate sponsors.