Y-Lan Boureau was appointed as a Junior Fellow in 2014 as a postdoctoral researcher at New York University. She resigned her Fellowship in 2015 after accepting a position at Facebook. She did her undergraduate studies at École Polytechnique in France and completed her Ph.D. at New York University and École Normale Supérieure, working in machine learning and computer vision.
Her doctoral work has yielded theoretical and practical insights into the extraction of mid-level visual features and the so-called pooling operations integral to most modern image recognition systems. She has also worked to clarify the picture of interactions between neuromodulators dopamine and serotonin, which play critical roles in many aspects of affective learning and behavioral shaping. Her current research focuses on self-control, and investigates neural mechanisms for rational arbitration between costs and rewards in a changing environment, by building computational models of optimal control