PI Leilah Lyons conducts research at the intersection of human-computer interaction and the learning sciences, partnering with domain specialists and informal educators to innovatively apply human-computer interaction techniques to introduce learners to STEM topics. She is both an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago in the Learning Sciences Research Institute as well as the Director of Digital Learning Research at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). Dr. Lyons earned her Computer Science Ph.D. and Museum Studies Certificate from the University of Michigan.
Co-PI Josh Radinsky is an Associate Professor in the interdisciplinary Learning Sciences program, and in the department of Curriculum and Instruction, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He studies teaching and learning with data visualizations, with a focus on historical inquiry and spatial reasoning with data maps. He is Director of the American Migrations project (http://americanmigrations.
Jessica Roberts is a learning sciences PhD candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) specializing in the role of data visualization and geographic information systems (GIS) as tools for learning in informal learning environments like museums. Her research explores how visitors share meaning around a data exhibit through dialogue and how interaction design impacts dialogue and interactions. Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre design from Northwestern University, her alternative elementary teacher’s certification through National-Louis University, and the Geospatial Analysis and Visualization Certificate through UIC’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs in tandem with her PhD coursework. She taught elementary school for three years in Chicago Public Schools and currently serves as the Director of Student Relations and Outreach on the Chicago regional board for the Do the Write Thing Challenge, a national anti-violence writing program. www.jessicaannroberts.com
Fracesco Cafaro is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a research assistant at the Learning Technology Group (Electronic Visualization Laboratory). He has earned Master’s degrees in Computer Science from the UIC and in Engineering of Computing Systems from Politecnico di Milano (Italy). His research investigates how theories from learning, cognitive, and computer sciences can provide the scaffolding for the design of intuitive, embodied interactions.
Ray Kang is a Learning Sciences PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research explores the assessment and learning analytics of educational activity. Ray earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a double major in Biology and Philosophy. He went on to earn his M.A. from the University of Chicago, which focused on cognitive neuroscience and psychiatric treatment.
Rebecca Edyt is a Research Associate in Digital Learning at the New York Hall of Science, primarily aiding in data collection and analysis of research exhibits. Rebecca earned her bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, CT with a major in psychology. Her thesis, How Good is Gold: Recognition of the Golden Rectangle examined the accuracy of humans’ ability to judge Golden Rectangles and comparison rectangles.