Carnegie Mellon University

Alina von Davier

November 17, 2022

Duolingo’s Alina von Davier joins the Department of Modern Languages

By KellyAnn Tsai

The Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University is excited to welcome Alina von Davier, Chief of Assessment at Duolingo and CEO and Founder of EdAstra Tech, as a Senior Research Fellow in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). 

Von Davier is a researcher, innovator, and an executive leader with over 20 years of experience in EdTech and in the assessment industry. An expert in computational psychometrics, von Davier’s research interests include developing psychometric methodologies for digital-first assessments using techniques such as machine learning and data mining. At Duolingo, von Davier plays a key role in ensuring that the Duolingo English Test continues to be accurate, reliable, and valid, and in leading innovation initiatives for Duolingo assessments. 

Von Davier’s appointment as Senior Research Fellow signifies another milestone in the collaboration between Duolingo and CMU’s Department of Modern Languages. She has been instrumental in facilitating collaborations between the two institutions, most recently spearheading the development of Duolingo research fellowships for PhD student Xiaomeng Li and Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition, Dr. Uju Anya. As a Senior Research Fellow, von Davier will continue to work closely with SLA faculty and graduate students in the Department of Modern Languages to advance research in second language assessment. 

“Alina has been a fantastic partner in exploring new possibilities for research partnerships between Duolingo English Test and our SLA program,” said Anne Lambright, Head of the Department of Modern Languages. “Her wealth of experience and expertise in the field of assessment will contribute significantly to our students and faculty, and will help shape the future of SLA research. We’re excited to have her affiliated with the department as a Senior Research Fellow.”

“I am looking forward to collaborating with the SLA program on foundational and applied research on language learning and testing, technology, psychometrics, and fairness and access for learners,” said von Davier. “This partnership is a great opportunity for fertile research conversations and for explorations of new topics. I am delighted to work together with Professors Lambright, Koda, and Anya, as well as with their students in our current and upcoming projects.”