Carnegie Mellon University

Lauren Herckis

Lauren Herckis

Adjunct Instructor
Simon Initiative Research Scientist

  • Baker Hall A55-A
  • 412-268-4496


Lauren Herckis is an anthropologist at Carnegie Mellon University with appointments in the Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. She is also affiliated with Carnegie Mellon’s Center for the Future of Work and Simon Initiative. She specializes in organizational and contextual barriers and affordances to the adoption of innovative tools and practices in higher education. Herckis applies anthropological methods and theory to analyze human engagement with the material world in my field research, and is interested in learning science, factionalism, the pedagogical training of future faculty, the politics of praxis in fieldwork, identity maintenance, and political economy in urban growth. Her research in Latin America interrogates assumptions about cultural heterogeneity in the context of long-term urban growth, and highlights the ways that social networks dynamically impact technical choices and the development of informal economies. Her current projects explore the intersection of campus culture, technological change, and effective teaching at the college level. Her research informs policymaking, shapes the development of learning technologies, and illuminates aspects of organizational culture and policy which affect teaching practice.

Dr. Herckis has spent her career working in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research design and execution, in public, private, and non-profit contexts, and across a variety of disciplinary domains. A former Fulbright fellow, Dr. Herckis worked with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education before joining Carnegie Mellon's Simon Initiative.


Ph.D. in Anthropology: University of Pittsburgh, 2015

Courses Taught

  • Archaeology: Understanding the Ancient World
  • The Mummy’s Curse: Uses and Abuses of Archaeology
  • Archaeology of Death
  • PaleoKitchen: Food and Cooking in the Ancient World
  • Introduction to Archaeological Methods: The Social Life of Things

Department Member Since: 2015