I want to build educational technologies that are as compelling and engaging as the very best social media apps, video games or movies. Like our most dedicated educators, I would like our technology to captivate learners, young and old, and cultivate attitudes towards learning and growth that are compatible with the demands of the modern world. In pursuit of these goals, I conduct research on the design, use, and impacts of intelligent technologies for learning and behavior change. This work involves blending techniques from the entertainment industry (that foster engagement) with those from artificial intelligence and intelligent tutoring systems (that promote learning), as well as running studies to better understand whether and how the resulting learning experiences impact learners.
- Ph.D. Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh, 2004.
- M.S. Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997.
- B.S. Mathematics & Computer Science, Truman State University, 1995.
Highlights & News
- After ten wonderful years at USC, I decided to return to my home state of Illinois to join the College of Education and Illinois Informatics Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I will miss California and all of my wonderful colleagues at USC.
- I just finished hosting my third ICT workshop. This one focused on empirical research on pedagogical agents and we had an all-star cast both presenting and participating. Slides are up for anyone interested (schedule page), and I’m working on a workshop report to share now.
- Just returned from a very fruitful visit to the UK to give talks at the University of Edinburgh and Newcastle University. I also cooked a meal in the European Digital Kitchen (called LanCook – it taught me in Italian!).
- We are very excited to be making a visit to MEND to test our Virtual Sprouts prototype. MEND is an organization dedicated to solving the problems of poverty, including addressing basic needs and education (Dec 2013)
- I attended the Cyberlearning Synthesis and Envisioning Meeting (June 2013)
- Interviews by the APA (virtual humans) and Riverside PE (educational video games).
- The NSF Cyberlearning Summit wiki – and contribute if you can (Jan 2012)
- Follow-up information from JSHS talk in DC (April 2010)