News-The Simon Initiative - Carnegie Mellon University

Simon News, 2016

July 22, 2016

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

Education Week

"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.

July 21, 2016

Math Brain
Watching the Brain Do Math

Carnegie Mellon University

A new neuroimaging study reveals the mental stages people go through as they are solving challenging math problems. Insights from this new work may eventually be applied to the design of more effective classroom instruction – particularly in the form of improving cognitive tutors by creating models that match the brain activation and thinking patterns used to solve these problems.

July 11, 2016

Digital Learning’s Pioneers Are Cautiously Optimistic


Complete digital courses offer a way to give students who might fall off track in large lecture classes more personal attention. CMU’s Norman Bier weighs in on the promises and pitfalls.

June 15, 2016

Herbert Simon
Herb Simon’s 100th Birthday

School of Computer Science

Herbert Simon would have turned 100 years old on June 15, 2016. Winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics, the A.M. Turing Award, the National Medal of Science and many other awards, Herb Simon joined the CMU faculty in 1949. And for the next 50 years, his work, and his vision, helped to turn Carnegie Mellon into a major international research university. The Simon Initiative is named in his honor.

June 13, 2016

Eberly Center
Call for Proposals: CMU’s Inaugural Teaching & Learning Summit

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation

CMU faculty and graduate students are invited to submit proposals to showcase their work in effective and/or innovative teaching strategies, TEL strategies, data from classroom research on student learning and data from learning science research. The deadline is June 30, 2016.

May 18, 2016

Simon ProSEED Grants Awarded to Nine Learning Science Projects

Carnegie Mellon University

The new technology-enhanced learning (TEL) projects are designed to improve education for CMU students while advancing our understanding of how humans learn.

“These grants represent a unique investment in education at CMU that pays dual dividends down the road — first in improving outcomes for our learners and then in providing a foundation for future funding,” said Norman Bier, executive director of the Simon Initiative.

May 6, 2016

Tech Crunch
At Carnegie Mellon, Using Tech To Make Teachers More Engaging

Tech Crunch

Amy Ogan, an educational technologist at Carnegie Mellon University, calls herself a “CMU lifer” and for good reason. She nabbed both her undergraduate degree and Ph.D from the school. For the last couple of years, she has also worked at the university as an assistant professor, where she’s primarily focused on making classrooms, both online and offline, far more engaging.

April 22, 2016

Teach English
Want To Teach Kids “Proper” English? Speak Their Language

Huffington Post

In a lab in Pittsburgh filled with sleek computers, doll houses and an assortment of colorful toys, two scientists are trying to find better ways to teach students who speak in non-mainstream dialects how to excel in school—and in life—by learning to communicate in mainstream English.

April 21, 2016

It Takes Two: The Practical Benefits of K-12 Public Education and Higher Ed Partnerships


In the Greater Pittsburgh Region, a strategic partnership has been created to introduce new and emerging educational technologies into the classroom, supplementing teaching methodology with guided practice for students and detailed progress reports for teachers.

April 21, 2016

Intelligent Tutors
Virtual Cartoon Children Look Like a Great Way to Teach Kids

Tech Insider

Can robots teach better than real teachers? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University may have programmed ones that can. In an ongoing six-year program, researchers have built and tested animated children that talk with and teach elementary and middle school students.

April 13, 2016

GLC Logo
Global Learning Council Unveils First Set of Recommendations

Carnegie Mellon University

The recommendations will help universities maximize the potential of technology-enhanced learning design and practices through informed research. “This report is a first step, not the end point, in the GLC's objective of utilizing technology to improve education outcomes,” said CMU President Subra Suresh.

March 29, 2016

Huffington Post
Visit a Children’s Museum!

Huffington Post

CMU’s David Klahr defines children’s curiosity in terms of uncertainty and ambiguity. So, situations that go beyond a child’s typical experience can aid in the learning process.

March 17, 2016

Teacher Leader
From Teacher to Leader: One Alumna is Leading CS Efforts in NYC

Carnegie Mellon University

A CMU alumna is leading efforts to teach computer science to all New York City public school students, and her experience with the Program in Interdisciplinary Education Research (PIER) helped prepare her. PIER implements a scientifically based and rigorous Ph.D. curriculum across several departments, including Psychology, Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction (HCII), Philosophy and Statistics, and is an affiliated project of the Simon Initiative.

March 4, 2016

Harvey Fineberg
Simon Lecturer: Keep Patients First as Tech Changes Medicine

Carnegie Mellon University

The medical industry has a patient care problem, and Harvey Fineberg, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and former president of the National Academy of Medicine, understands its struggles. Fineberg recently delivered a Simon Distinguished Lecture on "Technology, Information and Learning: Medical Education for the Sake of Patients.”

February 19, 2016

CDE Logo
Breaking Down the Silos in Student-Learning Research

Center for Digital Education

As universities investigate how students learn, they're working through some challenges with the current system that conducts research in disciplinary silos including psychology, neuroscience and economics. CMU’s David Klahr talks about how Carnegie Mellon is paving the way.

February 18, 2016

Vital Ties
New EdTech Fund Forges Vital Ties Between Developers and Teachers

Remake Learning

Nesra Yannier is a fifth-year PhD candidate in human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University whose background includes computer science, design, art, and education. She drew on these skills in creating NoRILLA, a classroom technology that teaches kids the basic physics of balance.

February 16, 2016

NSF Logo
LearnLab Experts Present Education Research Accomplishments at NSF Meeting

Carnegie Mellon University

The NSF recently held a conference to celebrate the achievements of its six Science of Learning Centers. Key members from each center, including CMU and Pitt’s LearnLab, presented their educational research accomplishments to underscore the importance of establishing a sustainable science of learning community to produce breakthroughs that impact education.

February 8, 2016

Harvey Fineberg
Harvey Fineberg To Discuss Technology, Information and Learning

Carnegie Mellon University

CMU's Simon Initiative Distinguished Lecture Series will present a talk by renowned public health and education expert Harvey V. Fineberg at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 25 in the Gates Hillman Center’s Rashid Auditorium.

February 2, 2016

10 of today's really cool network & IT research projects


A team of CMU researchers is taking aim at the $10 million grand prize of the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE competition, the goal of which is to empower children to take control of their own learning via tablet computers, software and the like.

January 29, 2016

How UC Davis Reaps Personalized Learning's Simple Benefits


CMU’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI) was used in the re-design of the discussion sections for the UC Davis’ courses.

January 21, 2016

John R. Anderson
National Academy of Sciences To Honor John R. Anderson For Revolutionizing How We Learn

Carnegie Mellon University

If the field of cognitive science is to truly understand how the mind works, researchers need to integrate the many theories about memory, language, problem-solving and other mental functions. Carnegie Mellon University’s John R. Anderson has spent decades doing this — developing a unified theory of cognition and using it to create successful cognitive-based tutors that have revolutionized education.

January 20, 2016

AW Mellon Logo
Five Andrew W. Mellon Fellows in the Humanities Selected

Dietrich College

With a well-established legacy of pioneering technology-enhanced learning (TEL) and through the Simon Initiative, a university-wide effort that aims to measurably improve student-learning outcomes by harnessing a learning engineering ecosystem that has developed over several decades at CMU, Carnegie Mellon is uniquely positioned to advance digital scholarship and TEL in the humanities.

January 15, 2016

Change the World
A Teenage Girl’s Journey to Change the World with Code


CMU’s Alice software is a freely available, innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web.

January 11, 2016

Educational Engagement
Educational Engagement

Carnegie Mellon University

The next phase of technology-enhanced learning is taking place via virtual textbooks and interactive experiences.