About Josh Moller‑Mara

Hey, I’m Josh Mōller-Mara. I’m an limnn\lim_{n\to\infty}nth year PhD candidate studying Neural Science at NYU, currently living in San Francisco. Before that, I graduated from UC Berkeley with a triple-major in Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and Statistics.

Josh Moller-Mara smiling with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background
A photo of me from .

Interests and Research

I’m interested in neuroeconomics, decision-making, Bayesian statistics, computational reproducibility, and free software.

My research in neuroeconomics as a PhD student revolves around risk. Specifically, how do mice and rats make decisions under risk? And can we compare their preferences across time and between species?

Answering these questions requires a large amount of data. So, in the Erlich Lab in Shanghai, I helped to design and build a high-throughput rodent experimental system that automated the process of collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of behavioral choices. Here I applied my background as a Linux systems administrator, using an infrastructure-as-code approach to ensure systems were reliable and reproducible. Some of the tools I used were Ansible (and occasionally Docker), Clojure (for backend real-time analyses), ClojureScript + React/reagent (for a front-end dashboard for our system), MariaDB, RabbitMQ, and Nix (for reproducible analyses).

To infer preferences from choices, I designed and wrote Bayesian statistical models in Stan and R. For more on this check out my Society for Neuroeconomics 2021 poster.


I exclusively use free and open-source software. (Check out the GNU project’s explanation on why free software is important.) I believe that free software is more accessible (especially considering socioeconomic status) and reproducible than proprietary counterparts, and importantly it encourages mutual cooperation and the sharing of knowledge.

To this end, I use Emacs for my text editor (check out mollermara.com for blog posts on Emacs, or /emacs), GNU/Linux (NixOS) for my operating system, and programming languages like R (instead of MATLAB). Check out more of what I use on my /uses page or in my /notes/.


Check out my /contact page for my contact info.