Our Team

Our Team

Investigators

Robb Lindgren

Robb Lindgren

is Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Psychology at UIUC. He is also faculty in the Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, and Agency (DELTA) program. On ELASTIC3S, Robb oversees the research design and manages the data analysis effort focused on identifying core mechanisms of embodied learning and reasoning in science, exploring whether embodied learning effects can be extended to crosscutting concepts and more abstract ideas in science. His research generally investigates how physical, body-based interactions with learning content can facilitate new understandings, and how games and simulations can be effectively designed to take these types of interactions as input. He is also interested in how digital technologies can provide new approaches to assessing learning, such as examining where learners focus their attention, what choices they make, and how well they adapt to new situations.

Jose Mestre

José Mestre

is Professor of Physics and Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois. His research is at the intersection of science education and cognitive science, focusing on the learning of physics. On ELASTIC3S, José is developing learning and transfer assessments to examine the learning effects of our body-based simulations. He has made many pioneering contributions in areas such as the acquisition and use of knowledge by experts and novices, transfer of learning, and problem solving. He was among the first to publish scholarly articles on the use of classroom polling technologies (clickers) to promote active learning in large classes, and is a co-developer of Minds-On Physics, an activity-based high school physics curriculum that is heavily informed by learning research. Recently he has been applying methodologies common in cognitive science (e.g., eye-tracking) to study learning and information processing by physics novices and experts.

Wai-Fat Fu

Wai-Tat Fu

is an associate professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a part-time faculty at the Beckman Institute of Science and Technology. For the ELASTIC3S project, Wai-Tat is advising on the interface design and gestural interaction with the science simulations. He joined UIUC in 2006. Before UIUC, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Carngie Mellon University, after he spent about a year at Xerox PARC. He received his PhD in Cognition Science at George Mason University in 2003. His research lies at the intersection of cognitive science, human-computer Interaction, and artificial intelligence. His interests in cognitive science have been primarily in understanding the capabilities and limitations of the human mind. He is interested in developing computational models of human behavior and applying theories of cognitive science to inform design of intelligent interaction techniques. His interests in human-computer interaction stem from the desire to better understand how users interact with artefacts to accomplish different tasks. He is interested in how features of intelligent interfaces guide human interaction and impact performance at both the individual and social levels. His interests in artificial intelligence have been primarily in machine learning and other computational techniques that generate human-level intelligence.

Jina Kang

Jina Kang

is a postdoctoral research associate in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Educational Technologies from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a M.S. and a Bachelor’s in Astronomy and Space Science. Prior to joining UIUC, her scholarly contributions focused upon learning analytics in diverse learning environments for P-16 contexts coupled with extensive experience developing a game-based learning and a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) environment. Her current research interest is to understand captured data in innovative learning environments, develop an analytical model by discovering hidden primary factors that indicate students’ diverse behaviors in cognitive processes, and ultimately facilitate personalized learning and teaching.

Mike Junokas

Mike Junokas

is a PhD student in Arts and Cultural Informatics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign studying with Professor Guy E Garnett in the Illinois Informatics Institute. His research explores generative artistic performance systems, developing open, multi-modal platforms that exploit machine learning to create human-computer collaborations. As part of ELASTIC3S, he is developing gesture recognition and analysis software that promotes intuitive embodiment of fundamental educational concepts, creating a corporeal relationship that will potentially allow transfer across domains.

Jason Morphew

Jason Morphew

is a PhD Student in Educational Psychology and a graduate research assistant on multiple projects in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Psychology, Physics, and Engineering.  He holds a M.A. in Educational Psychology from Wichita State University and a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, with 11 years experience teaching math and science at the middle school, high school, and community college levels. On the ELASTIC3S project, Jason is investigating the ways that embodied experience affect the learning of STEM concepts.

James Planey

James Planey

is a PhD student with the DELTA program in Curriculum and Instruction. He has a Masters of Science Teaching from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University. Before returning to research James taught AP and introductory Biology at Urbana High School and also served as its technology coordinator for five years. He also as experience in informal education, having worked as an outreach nature educator in Northern Illinois. James is passionate about exploring the use of immersive and engaging virtual environments for science education, as well as the dynamics of their implementation in instruction.

Stephanie Sroczynski

Stephanie Sroczynski

is an undergraduate student in the DELTA concentration and is also pursuing minors in German and Creative Writing at the University of Illinois. In addition to her coursework and research position, she is president of Women of Pride, a LGBTQ Registered Student Organization. Her interests include writing, travelling, mathematics and advocating for LGBTQ and minority issues on campus.

Sahil Kumar

Sahil Kumar

is an undergraduate student in Math and DELTA at UIUC. His current interests are STEM curriculum design, MOOC’s, video games, and software engineering. He hopes to pursue graduate school in the future to continue researching different learning spaces and building tools for a more natural educational experience.

Sahar Alameh

Sahar Alameh

is a doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois. She is currently an editorial associate in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST). Her background is in both practice and research. She was a high-school physics teacher for seven years and part of several research projects at the American University of Beirut.   As a member of the ELASTIC3S team she researches science-related topics for the design of our embodied simulations in the project and the impact of gestures on students’ understanding of these topics, in addition to collecting and analying data for empirical studies.

Ciera Nickerson

Claire Follis

Bethany Yao

Bethany Yao

Diana Zhang

Diana Zhang

Tom Roush

Tom Roush

Guy Garnett

Guy Garnett

Nitsaha Mathayas

Nitasha Mathayas

Ben Lane

Ben Lane

Nicholas Linares

Nicholas Linares

Ross J. Toedte

Ross J. Toedte