Hi! I’m Arya McCarthy. I am a computer scientist, musician, cyclist, runner, and world politics aficionado. Expatriated from Texas, I’ve had the good fortune to wander. A constant drive for me is to make the communities we’re a part of healthier, effective, and welcoming. I’m convinced that the impossible, the improbable, and the inevitable are separated by your grit, and I hope to bridge the new digital divide through understanding humans and their languages.

I am a research scientist at Scaled Cognition, where I work on rational, controllable AI models for high-trust scenarios. I earned my Ph.D. while introducing on structure-grounded translation and morphology techniques for 1,000+ languages. I also interned and published at Google, Duolingo, and Facebook. I invite you to explore my publications (i.e., 41 research papers and a book).



I’ve played the bagpipe for over a decade. These days, it’s a great way to social-distance. I also typeset original bagpipe compositions in LaTeX, which is criminally underestimated as a tool for bringing beauty into the world.


I completed my Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University, designing machine translation that uses panlingual weak supervision with David Yarowsky in JHU’s LoReLab. I was an Amazon Fellow and the 2022–2023 Frederick Jelinek Fellow. I graduated from SMU in 2017 with a bachelor’s in mathematics and computer science and a master’s in computer science. There, I worked with David Matula on convex optimization, graph theory, and number theory. Along the way, I studied at Stanford University and the University of Edinburgh.

Selected publications:

See all 41 publications…


I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. Friends and strangers on trains have shared their tenderness with me. Whether clinging to scaffolding in bell towers, sloshing for miles through stormwater drains, mountainside sunrises in New Mexico, or jumping over filched restaurant candles for Charshanbe Suri, the world finds a way to rekindle the creative spark.

For fellow graduate students, I encourage you to do one thing when you travel to conferences. Book a few extra days if you can afford it, push back your return flight, and take in the area’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and museums.