Sam Michalka

they / she

Associate Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Engineering


Woman with medium length brown hair and purple shirt, Professor Sam Michalka, sitting on desk.


Milas Hall 357




  • Ph.D., Computational Neuroscience, Boston University
  • M.A., Psychology (Brain, Behavior, & Cognition), Boston University
  • B.S., Psychological Science, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute


  • Brain-machine interfaces
  • Machine learning and statistics
  • Augmented reality
  • STEM outreach

Dr. Michalka joined Olin as an Assistant Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Engineering in 2016. Her research is centered around developing brain-machine interfaces and understanding auditory and visual attention in humans using non-invasive techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG). She is committed to better integrating data fluency and computational thinking into science and engineering education.

Prior to joining Olin, Dr. Michalka was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology at Boston University. She earned her undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and psychological science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and her doctorate in Computational Neuroscience at Boston University. Outside of academia, Dr. Michalka worked as an engineer for General Electric and served as Executive Director of Machine Science, a small education outreach non-profit.

Select Publications

Michalka SW, Kong L, Rosen ML, Shinn-Cunningham B, Somers DC. (2015) Short-term memory for space and time flexibly recruit complementary sensory-biased frontal lobe attention networks. Neuron. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.07.028.

Michalka SW, Rosen ML, Kong L, Shinn-Cunningham B, Somers DC. (2015) Auditory spatial coding flexibly recruits anterior, but not posterior visuotopic parietal cortex. Cerebral Cortex. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhv303.

Michalka SW, Dalphond J, Martin FG. (2016) Inquiry Learning with Data and Visualization in the STEM Classroom. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2016. Savannah, GA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).