Vivek began his career in aerospace engineering and numerical modeling, spending a few years working at MathWorks. Neuroscience courses at Brandeis convinced him to switch fields and get his PhD in Computation & Neural Systems at Caltech, after which he started his own lab at HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus. At Janelia, his lab has developed methods to record and perturb the activity of populations of identified neurons in the brains of head-fixed Drosophila while the animal is behaving in a virtual reality environment. Using these and other techniques like EM connectomics, they seek to understand recurrent circuit dynamics underlying navigation. Vivek, who is now a Senior Group Leader, also serves as Head of Mechanistic Cognitive Neuroscience at Janelia, leading a new, 15-year research effort to understand cognitive behavior and computations at the level of their circuit, cellular and molecular implementation in rodents, fish and flies.