I am a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney in Sydney Australia (this appointment is equivalent to Assistant Professor in the US). I was trained as a post-doctoral researcher at Northwestern University with the Department of Psychology and the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center, working primarily with Dedre Gentner. I received my BA in Linguistics from the University of Rochester in 2003 under the advisement of Jeff Runner, and my PhD in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 mentored by Art Markman and Cathy Echols. While a psychologist, I take an inter-disciplinary cognitive science approach, collaborating with computer scientists, linguists and physical science educators. 

    My research investigates the nature and acquisition of knowledge in children and adults. This work focuses on the representation and formation of abstractions-- the kinds of abstractions that allow scientists to recognize the same causal pattern in the development of economic pricing bubbles and the melting of polar icecaps, or enable 3-year olds to recognize the same grammatical pattern in "bob told sally the news" and "my dad threw me the ball." That is, I am particularly interested in the representation and learning of relational systems (e.g., marriage and catalysis), the roles within such systems (e.g., husband and reagent), and how to utilize language and analogy to foster this learning.  

I have published papers on relational cognition in the domains of categorization, causal reasoning, science education and psycholinguistics.
 For reprints or inquiries of any sort: micahbg@gmail.com

Selected Publications:                           
Rottman, B., Gentner, D., & Goldwater. M. B. (2012).  Causal systems categories: Differences in novice and expert categorization of causal phenomena. Cognitive Science,36, 919-932.

Goldwater, M. B., Markman, A. B, Stilwell, C. H. (2011). The empirical case for role-governed categories. Cognition, 118, 359-376.

Goldwater, M. B., & Markman, A. B. (2011). Categorizing entities by common role. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 18, 406-413

Goldwater, M. B., Tomlinson, M, Love, B. C., & Echols, C. H, (2011).  Structural priming as structure-mapping: Young children use analogies from previous utterances to guide sentence production. Cognitive Science, 35, 156-170.

Runner, J. T., & Goldwater, M. B. (2011). On the representational nature of representational noun phrases. In J. T. Runner (Eds.) Syntax and Semantics Vol. 37: Experiments at the Interfaces. Emerald Group Publishing LTD.

Rein, J., Goldwater, M. B., & Markman, A. B. (2010). What is typical about the typicality effect in category-based induction? Memory & Cognition, 38, 3, 377-388. 

Goldwater, M. B. & Markman, A. B. (2009). Constructional Sources of Implicit Agents in Sentence Comprehension. Cognitive Linguistics, 20, 4, 675 - 702