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portrait of Marsha Lovett

July 13, 2022

Personal Mention

Marsha Lovett has been appointed to the new position of vice provost for Teaching and Learning Innovation. Since 2012, she has served as director of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation and a teaching professor in the Department of Psychology. Prior to her most recent appointment, she was senior associate vice provost for Educational Innovation and Learning Analytics. In her research, Lovett has studied learning, memory and problem-solving in the laboratory and the classroom. She has published over 50 research articles on learning and instruction. Her book "How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching" distills the research on how students learn into a set of fundamental principles that instructors can use to guide their teaching. She has also developed several innovative, educational technologies to promote student learning and metacognition, including StatTutor and the Learning Dashboard. She holds a bachelor's degree in cognitive science from Princeton University, as well as a master's and doctorate degree in cognitive psychology from Carnegie Mellon. “Dr. Lovett’s unique experience in and deep understanding of learning innovation is a critical asset to this position and to the university,” said Provost Jim Garrett in an email to the university community. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, her leadership guided us through preparing and supporting hybrid teaching and learning at CMU.”  Find out more about Lovett. Read "Lovett Leads CMU's Unprecedented Move to Remote Education."

portrait of Daniel TkacikDaniel Tkacik has been appointed as the new executive director of the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. Tkacik succeeds Anna Siefken, as she is on leave with the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Technology Transitions. Tkacik joined the Carnegie Mellon community in 2009, earning his master's and doctoral degrees in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. His research focused on air pollution from combustion systems and helped advance the understanding of secondary organic aerosols — microscopic airborne particles that form from the oxidation of organic vapors. From 2013-14, Tkacik served as a postdoctoral researcher, traveling around the United States measuring methane emissions from the natural gas sector. In 2014, Tkacik joined CMU's College of Engineering as a communications manager, leading the development of communications strategies and materials to elevate the stature and reputation of the college. "Daniel comes to the Scott Institute with a unique and impactful combination of skills. He has a Ph.D. in an energy-related field and also has deep experience in communications and project management, along with having many existing ties here in the CMU community," said Jay Whitacre, director of the Scott Institute. "We are thrilled that he is coming to the institute to use these tools, and he will be able to have an almost immediate and profound impact." Learn more about Tkacik.

portrait of Aaditya RamdasAaditya Ramdas, an assistant professor in the School of Computer Science's Machine Learning Department and the Department of Statistics & Data Science in Dietrich College, has received a $60,000 award from Google's Research Scholar Program to study structured uncertainty quantification. Before researchers make real-world decisions based on machine learning predictions, they first need a sense of how sure the algorithm is about its predictions, but the complex nature of algorithms gives researchers little understanding of what goes on inside them once they input data. This funding will help Ramdas and his team develop new methods for measuring the prediction uncertainty for these algorithms without making distributional assumptions about the data. Learn more about Ramdas.