ESP Biography

COSMO GRANT, MIT philosophy grad student

Major: 24

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Cosmo Grant

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm a fifth year graduate student in philosophy at MIT. I'm originally from Glasgow, Scotland, and did my undergraduate degree in Maths & Philosophy at Oxford.

I mostly think about: (1) signaling games, which shed light on how initially meaningless symbols can come to have meanings in virtue of how we use them; (2) the epistemic foundations of game theory, which studies how players' states of mind (e.g. common knowledge of rationality) affect their behavior in a game; and (3) the foundations of statistics, e.g.the vices and virtues of significance testing.

Outside philosophy, I like juggling, cycling, board games, and messing around with computers.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S11889: Significance testing and its problems in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18 - 19, 2017)
Significance tests are everywhere: they are used across the sciences to evaluate probabilistic hypotheses. But they are controversial: some people even claim that the tests are bunk and should be given up. This course will describe how significance tests work: we will focus on Fisher tests, but may touch on Neyman-Pearson tests if there's time. And we will discuss some objections to significance testing: e.g. sensitivity to the stopping rule, sensitivity to the test statistic, and how a well-supported hypothesis may be rejected.

H10982: How to model states of mind in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
I have three red hats and two white hats. I put a hat on Alice, on Bob, and on Cat. I ask each in turn if she knows the color of her own hat. Alice says she doesn't know. Bob says he doesn't know. Cat says she doesn't know. What color is Cat's hat? This course will be an introduction to epistemic logic, a powerful and general framework for representing people's states of mind, e.g. their beliefs, their beliefs about the others' beliefs, their beliefs about the others' beliefs about the others' beliefs, and so on, all the way up. The framework will solve all our puzzles. But, more than that, we will point towards some applications of the framework in computer science, game theory and philosophy.