PSLC GradStudents

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Revision as of 13:20, 22 September 2010 by Presson (Talk | contribs) (Who are the PSLC grads?)

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The purpose of this page is to serve as a repository of information relevant for grad students. We hope to maintain this page as a repository of current and relevant information for graduate students currently affiliated with the PSLC, as well as grad students who hope to be in the PSLC.


1) PSLC grads are now responsible for keeping the List of PSLC Grads up to date.

  • If you know of someone who should be added (or deleted) from this list please e-mail the webmaster at Alternatively, feel free to go in and update the list yourself!

2) Please e-mail Mary Lou Vercellotti ASAP if you are interested in attending the iSLC conference in Washington, D.C. on October 13-15. Up to three graduate students may attend.

3) Ultimate Block Party in Central Park, NY.

  • Description: This is an outreach event for PSLC research. Faculty and graduate students are invited to attend to serve as "experts" as families visit the workshops in the park. (You will receive a brightly colored lab coat if you decide to help out.)
  • How to sign up: E-mail Michael Bett at if you are interested.

4) PSLC Graduate Student Meetings are scheduled for the following days and will begin at noon.

  • Monday, September 20 in 408 LRDC - topic: grad student wiki pages
  • Monday, October 18 at CMU (location tba) - topic what is the PSLC and why should you care
  • Monday, November 15 in 408 LRDC - topic ?
  • Monday, December 6 at CMU topic ?

Meeting Notes


1. What does it take to be a PSLC grad student?

Well, there are basically three ways you can be considered a PSLC grad student.

a. You work on a project that receives funding from the PSLC.

b. Your advisor or collaborator receives funding from the PSLC and asks you to be involved.

c. You want to be a PSLC grad student.

2. What types of opportunities does the PSLC have for a grad student like me?

There are a variety of different levels of involvement and types of activities that the PSLC offers.

For the casual grad student, the PSLC organizes a speaker series with talks that may be of interest to students interested in the learning sciences. These are open to whomever wishes to go. There are also monthly lunch meetings where people associated with the PSLC can give a talk on their work.

The grad student community also hopes to organize events catered toward grad students, with topics like applying for grants, finding jobs, collaboration with people at other universities, etc. These are also open to the public.

For those who wish to get more involved, the grad student community also has monthly meetings to discuss center-wide issues, read and discuss articles we believe are relevant, plan future events, etc. Again, these are open to the public.

Finally, each thrust has regular or semi-regular meetings to discuss the thrust's theoretical framework, set the research agenda, and discuss the progress of projects within that thrust. While these are open to anyone, they're probably of limited interest unless you currently have or have had a project affiliated with the thrust.

3. What is expected of me as a PSLC grad student?

If you receive funding from the PSLC, you are expected, to the extent it is possible, to attend the thrust meetings for your relevant thrust, and attend the monthly PSLC lunches. The grad student community also encourages you to come to the grad student monthly meetings, of course.

If you don't receive funding from the PSLC, but still wish to be a part of the grad student community, your level of involvement is up to you.

How do I find out about upcoming talks/meetings/events?

One option is to check the Announcements section of this page. A possibly better option would be to get on our mailing list. To do that, e-mail Jo Bodnar at jobodnar AT and ask to be put on the PSLC general mailing list and grad student mailing list.

There is also a regularly updated calendar at our main webpage that is updated regularly and gives a fairly complete account of most PSLC events.

4. I already consider myself a PSLC grad, and want to be included on this page! What do I have to do?

Well the great thing about the wiki page is that anybody can update it whenever they want! So, if you have an account here, and you know how to edit tables, you can just log in and add yourself!

The table formatting is a bit weird and hard to follow, so if you want to add yourself, the easiest thing to do is just copy this text:

| Name  || University || Advisor || e-mail address || Bio  || Personal Webpage || Link to PSLC project page  [Project page URL Project page title]

and paste it into the appropriate place on the table. With your own information, of course.

If you don't have an account already, you can easily request one (NOTE: I forget how to do it- I'll need to add that). Once you have an account, you can just click "Edit" above the table, and you can add yourself.

5. But that's such a pain! Isn't there an easier way?!

There sure is! If you don't want to make all that effort just to have your name and e-mail address on a page, just send your info (you could even put it in the format given above!) to our Wikimaster (yep, we made that word up!), Ben Friedline, at bef25 AT, and he'll put it on here.

Who are the PSLC grads?

Grad Student Name University/Department Advisor E-mail Bio Personal Webpage PSLC Projects
Colleen Davy Carnegie Mellon/Psychology Brian MacWhinney I am interested in how adult second language learners develop fluent speaking skills in their second language. N/A Spanish Sentence Production
Benjamin Friedline University of Pittsburgh Alan Juffs I am interested in how adult second language learners acquire morphology in a second language. N/A Feature Focus in Word Learning
Ruth Wylie Carnegie Mellon, HCII Ken Koedinger & Teruko Mitamura I'm interested in second language learning and self-explanation. Self-Explanation and ESL
Mary Lou Vercellotti University of Pittsburgh Dr. Nel de Jong My research looks at complexity, accuracy, and fluency in the oral production of English as a second language. N/A Refinement and Fluency
Turadg Aleahmad Carnegie Mellon, HCII Ken Koedinger & John Zimmerman My research is in design methods for theory-driven educational technology. [1]
Nora Presson Carnegie Mellon, Psychology Brian MacWhinney I am studying how practice conditions can improve learning of second language grammar, especially testing the effects of explicit instruction. Second Language Grammar Instruction

Science of Learning Relevant Courses

The PIER program offers three courses -- see the PIER Web page

See also the courses taught be any of the PSLC faculty.

(Please add the names of relevant courses and web pointers if possible!)

05832 / 05432 Cognitive Modeling & Intelligent Tutoring Systems
3:00pm-4:20pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Fall 2010
Room 3002, Newell-Simon Hall, Carnegie Mellon University
9 units
Dr. Vincent Aleven,

Students in this course will learn about the Cognitive Tutor technology that has been demonstrated to dramatically enhance student learning in domains like math, science, and computer programming. This type of tutoring software is currently in use in 2,700 schools around the country and is used extensively as platform for learning sciences research. The technology is grounded in artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and cognitive task analysis. Students will learn data-driven and theoretical methods for analyzing human problem solving and will learn to use such data to inform the design of intelligent tutoring systems. Course projects will focus on the development of an intelligent tutor using CTAT, the Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools (see Some assignments will focus on creating cognitive models in the Jess production rule modeling language.

Students should either have programming skills, or experience in the cognitive psychology of human problem solving, or HCI / design skills, or permission from the instructor.