The Simon Initiative - Carnegie Mellon University

Harnessing a Learning-Engineering Ecosystem

What Your Brain Looks Like When It Solves a Math Problem
What Your Brain Looks Like When It Solves a Math Problem

Solving a hairy math problem might send a shudder of exultation along your spinal cord. But scientists have historically struggled to deconstruct the exact mental alchemy that occurs when the brain successfully leaps the gap from “Say what?” to “Aha!” Now, using an innovative combination of brain-imaging analyses, researchers have captured four fleeting stages of creative thinking in math.

LearnLab Summer School
Summer School Helps Students Build Tech Tools To Improve Learning

Ashish Aggarwal wants to help students taking online classes by creating a digital teaching assistant to answer questions. To help turn his idea into reality, Aggarwal needed to learn about data and software. So, he enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University’s Simon Initiative LearnLab Summer School, which teaches participants about the leading tools that merge education, data and technology — all of which are developed by CMU researchers.

Education Week
Researchers Target Brain-Scanning Technology to Improve Ed. Software

"What if we could read students' brains and see what they're thinking?" That was the question posed to a group of education reporters last week by John Anderson, a professor of psychology and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, where a cross-disciplinary team of researchers is seeking to push the boundaries of adaptive educational software.

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.