Tom Hartvigsen


Data Science Ph.D. student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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I’m a Ph.D student in Data Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute studying sequential representation learning, advised by Prof. Elke Rundensteiner and Prof. Xiangnan Kong and collaborating with Cansu Sen in the Data Science Research Group.

Research objectives

My high-level interest is in mental models and their role in Artificial Intelligence. I am particularly interested in how we learn and curate our mental models and would eventually like to approach this representation learning problem through the lense of early childhood development. During my PhD so far, my research has involved the combination of Recurrent Neural Networks and some Reinforcement Learning techniques (which together loosely emulate human decision making). I have so far applied these techniques on modeling clinical decision making scenarios using both clinical time series and sequences of notes, studying irregular time series, early classification, attributed document classification, and medical word embedding.

Please feel free to contact me with questions regarding my research or Data Science at WPI at

Useful links


In my spare time, I enjoy rock climbing, cycling, reading (fantasy, science fiction, science fact), and music (playing guitar/violin and listen mainly to folk and indie rock).