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How to Harness Data Science to support K-12 Education

24 Jan
Thursday, 01/24/2019 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Computer Science Building, Room 150/151
Speaker: Ivon Arroyo

Abstract: In this talk, I will explore how Data Science and Artificial Intelligence can be used to create productive digital learning environments for mathematics education. As an example, a software system called MathSpring.org, created as a collaboration between UMass Amherst and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has helped thousands of students and hundreds of teachers  in grade 6-10 public schools to learn and teach mathematics.  

This talk will focus on the interplay between humans and machines: how students, teachers  and software are part of an  information flow that, when understood and mobilized through data science and AI, can help students learn better and teachers teach better. Evidence will be shown that such learning technologies, and the techniques themselves, can make a difference in educational outcomes.

Also presented will be forthcoming work on expanding this model to other learning technologies based on mobile wearable devices, also for math education at the K-12 level.

Bio: A true inter-disciplinarian, Professor Arroyo's research bridges Learning Sciences, Computer Science, Data Science, and Educational/Cognitive Psychology. Her expertise is in the design and implementation of novel technologies for learning and assessment for mathematics and Computational Thinking, for students throughout the K-12 level.

She and her team create digital interactive learning environments that automatically assess students' math skills, affective states and metacognitive states, respond to students in real time, and report strengths and weaknesses (in real time) to the teacher, as students are working on computers or mobile devices.

Her group also works on Wearable Learning, the use of mobile electronic devices to enable multi-player educational  math games/activities that can be implemented in classrooms or Afterschool programs, indoors or outdoors, involving embodied, hands-on and physical learning --integrating math concepts such as measurement/geometry, gestures, and physical movement.

Professor Arroyo enjoys teaching at the graduate and undergraduate level because of the opportunity to impart knowledge and skills to students, as well as mentor a new generation of Learning Scientists that have dual strengths in computation and core learning sciences, allowing for an invaluable combination of technological innovation with theoretical knowledge of how people learn.

A reception for attendees will be held at 3:30 p.m. in CS 150.

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