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Cognitive Science

First Name: 
May Jadallah
Organization/Institution: 
Cognitive Science
First Name: 
Firat Soylu
Professional Title: 
Postdoctoral Fellow
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First Name: 
Kreshnik Begolli
Professional Title: 
MA
Organization/Institution: 
About Me (Bio): 
Kreshnik Begolli is a 4th year PhD. Student in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine. He is primarily interested in how cognitive science research can help make improvements in education. Kreshnik studies paradigms in analogical reasoning, language acquisition, and perceptual learning in an effort to better understand the way we abstract complex patterns from our environment and reason inductively. As a complement to this line of research, Kreshnik is also interested in uncovering and developing optimal learning schedules in the hopes of creating learning environments that are adaptive to each learner's style. This inquiry led him to pursue his B.S. degree in Cognitive Science at UCLA, where he graduated with Departmental and Collegial Honors, A Specialization in Computing, and a Minor in Linguistics.
First Name: 
Jennifer Darrah
Professional Title: 
7th grade Science and Math RtI
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About Me (Bio): 
I'm have returned from working in Panama City, Panama. I am trying to rebuild my science material all over again. I work as a 7th grade science teacher for one general education class and one special needs. I also, am responsible for the middle school math RtI process.
First Name: 
Stephanie Spiris
Professional Title: 
Teacher
First Name: 
S. Lynneth Solis
Professional Title: 
Doctoral Student
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About Me (Bio): 
S. Lynneth Solis is a graduate of the Mind, Brain, and Education program and a current doctoral student in Human Development and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research interests focus on the study of conceptual development. What are the cognitive processes that lead children to evermore complex conceptions of phenomena in the world? Furthermore, how can adults—educators and parents—best support these cognitive processes to guide children in the acquisition of deep understandings? In the Learning About Complex Causality in the Classroom project, I am involved in studies looking at the way children best learn and understand complex causal models in science learning. One study investigates how young children interpret mutually causal phenomena (as in symbiosis), in which the cause-effect interaction pattern is not unidirectional. Another study looks at students’ ideas about action at a distance. Two other projects study students' understanding of probabilistic and distributed causation.
Cognitive Science
First Name: 
Victor Lee
Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor
Organization/Institution: 
First Name: 
Neil Heffernan
Professional Title: 
Associate Professor and CoDirector of Learning Sciences Grad. Program
Organization/Institution: 
About Me (Bio): 
Dr. Neil Heffernan graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in History and Computer Science. Neil taught mathematics to eighth grade students in Baltimore City as part of Teach for America, a program that selectively recruits top candidates to teach in inner-city schools. Neil then decided to do something easier and get a PhD in building intelligent tutoring systems. Neil enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Science Department to do multi-disciplinary research in cognitive science and computer science to create educational software that leads to higher student achievement. For his dissertation, Neil built the first intelligent tutoring system that incorporated a model of tutorial dialog. This system was shown to lead to higher student learning, by getting students to think more deeply about problems. It is based upon detailed studies of students, which produced basic cognitive science research results on the nature of human thinking and learning. This technology was patented and licensed to Carnegie Learning Inc. which has sold tutors to 1,000+ high schools across the US. Neil is now a tenured professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he is focused on creating "cognitive models", computer simulations of student thinking and learning, which are then used to design educational materials, practices and technologies. Neil and his colleagues are working in close collaboration with the Worcester Public Schools, teams of teachers and WPI graduate students to create the next generation of intelligent tutoring systems. Neil’s current system, called ASSISTments is used by 6,000+ middle school student as part of their normal math class. He has gotten awards from the Worcester school system and the Massachusetts of School Committees for his work helping schools. Neil has written over 40 strictly peer-reviewed publications. Neil is one of the most successful grant writers at WPI. Since coming to WPI, Neil has received over a dozen grants (3 from NSF including the prestigious CAREER award, 3 from the US Dept of Education, as well as grants from the Office of Naval Research, the US Army, the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center and the Spencer Foundation) worth over 9 million dollars. Recently, Neil’s work was cited in the National Educational Technology Plan. Neil started the learning sciences and technologies program and has seen to grow to include three more faculty members and now have a PhD program that he is the executive director of.
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