The Simon Initiative - Carnegie Mellon University

Harnessing a Learning-Engineering Ecosystem


Carnegie Mellon’s RoboTutor Advances to Global Learning XPRIZE Semifinals

XPRIZE is attempting to address the acute shortage of teachers in developing countries by funding an international competition to create open-source Android tablet apps that enable children ages 7-10 to learn basic reading, writing and math skills without requiring adult assistance. Apps were created in both English and Swahili.

Nearly 200 teams from 40 different countries entered the competition. Following an evaluation and pilot test, RoboTutor, led by CMU’s Jack Mostow, is one of 11 remaining teams competing for five $1 million finalist prizes.

Lauren Herckis

An Anthropologist in the 21st Century Classroom

Educational tools can make all the difference to the learner, but despite the availability of excellent new options, many of the best technology enhanced learning (TEL) resources are being left on the shelf. Supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, CMU researchers have been working to understand this quandary.


Can There Be a Microscope of the Mind?

Michael Feldstein goes beyond analogies and looks at the actual state of some cutting-edge cognitive science because lot of educators are skeptical or even cynical regarding the potential relevance of this work to the ways that they think about teaching. By exploring the science in some detail, he attempts to show that having a basic understanding of even foundational research that has no direct classroom applications can stimulate the thinking of classroom educators in useful ways.

Why Simon?

Named for the late Nobel and Turing Award laureate Herbert Simon, this initiative harnesses a cross-disciplinary, learning-engineering ecosystem that has developed over several decades at CMU with the goal of measurably improving student learning outcomes. Learn more.