Managing complex finance and business operations has been my responsibility as (Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center) PSLC Managing Director for the past 11 years.  PSLC was formed by a partnership between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh as an 11 year $48M NSF funded center with over 200 researchers.  As Managing Director, I oversaw PSLC’s day to day finance and business operations as well as served on its executive committee.  I was responsible for creating and implementing the center’s policies and procedures and coordinating across departments and colleges as well as across our eight university subcontractors and numerous corporate partners.  I had financial oversight of PSLC’s annual operating budget of $10M to $12M/year including $5M to $7M in leveraged funding.  In any given year, I administered between 30 and 40 simultaneous projects as well as wrote and edited significant portions of our strategic plan and annual report.  In addition, I was instrumental in creating and am currently directing both the Masters of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS) program and the PSLC’s corporate partners program.


LearnLab (Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center)

LearnLab is a Science of Learning Center formally known as the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center. Funded by the National Science Foundation, our center leverages cognitive theory and computational modeling to identify the instructional conditions that cause robust student learning. In the LearnLab’s first seven years, more than 200 worldwide researchers have published more than 1900 publications, including 233 journal articles, 101 book chapters and 175 invited talks.  LearnLab has also created a theoretical wiki consisting of over 400 pages.

Our researchers study robust learning by conducting in vivo experiments in math, science and language courses. These technology-enhanced courses produce volumes (over 266,000 student-hours) of high-density data both on the short-term consequences of variation in learning processes and on the effects of these changes on long-term retention, transfer, and accelerated future learning (i.e., robust learning).

We also support collaborative primary and secondary analysis of learning data through our open data repository LearnLab DataShop, which provides data import and export features as well as advanced visualization, statistical, and data mining tools.

Our learning researchers create rigorous, theory-based experiments that pave the way to an understanding of robust learning that is both rigorous and realistic.  LearnLab’s results survive rigorous experimentation with laboratory-quality methods in real classroom settings.  We integrate these results into computationally-inspired, experimentally-grounded theories of how and when robust learning occurs. In addition, LearnLab educates and inspires both the current and the next generation of learning scientists.

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About METALS (Masters of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science)

METALS is a one-year, interdisciplinary masters program that trains graduate students to apply evidence-based research in learning to create effective instruction and educational technologies within formal and informal settings such as schools, workplaces, and museums. The professional program culminates with a seven-month capstone project for an external client. Guided by industry and faculty mentors in this team-based research and development project, students experience the end-to-end process of a product cycle from idea through prototyping.  The program is offered by Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science and jointly taught with the Psychology Department.

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