We bring together diverse expertise from faculty, staff and students across all five schools of MIT.
Breazeal leads this project to democratize AI and foster diversity and inclusivity in an AI literate society.
Her research investigates new ways for K-12 students to learn about AI concepts, practices and ethics by designing, programming, training and interacting with robots, AI toolkits and other technologies. Her research also develops personalized learning companions for language, literacy and social-emotional development.
Sarma is the VP for Open Learning at MIT, which includes the Office of Digital Learning, the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative
and the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab. His research developed new standards for RFID and he has been very influental in the field of Internet of Things -- that are becoming increasingy intelligent and connected. His core interest areas for this project are K-12 AI education, vocational-technical AI training, and the future workforce.
Abelson is a pioneer of constructionist learning and computational thinking.
He has developed tools and programming languages to help students learn about AI and computer science. App Inventor empowers people with little programming experience to write mobile phone applications. His team is expanding App Inventor to help students learn about AI and develop AI-enabled mobile apps.
Klopfer is an expert in serious game design to promote student engagement and learning in STEM.
His work uses a design based research methodology to span the K-12 educational technology ecosystem, from design and development of new technologies to professional development and implementation to prepare the next generation of STEM educators. He is Director of the Schellar Teacher Education Program.
Kim is an expert in educational assessments and evaluation. Her research is centered on the topic of innovative assessments and how technology influences what we can measure about student
learning and how we are measuring it. She has developed many game- and simulation-based assessments. Her evaluation projects use evidence-centered design in combination with educational data mining techniques. The Playful Journey Lab focuses on developing playful, authentic, yet rigorous learning assessments.
Resnick is a world leader in constructionist approaches to creative learning. His team develops the Scratch
programming language and online community, used by over 200 million children and educators around the world. He is author of the book "Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers and Play." His focus in this project is how AI and Scratch can promote children's creative thinking.
Birnbach's research focus is at the intersection of technology innovation, entrepreneurship, and vocational education. He is a faculty mentor in several Action Learning programs including
the Global Entrepreneurship (G-Lab), Enterprise Management (EM-Lab), and the China and India Lab. He helps students put classroom theory into practice, as students work side-by-side with organizations to apply classroom lessons to high-impact business and society challenges. For this project, his key area of focus is in creating a new AI career pathway for vocational-technical education.
As an AI Software Engineer for the Bridge, Gallagher designs and constructs customized tools for machine learning to make it
accessible and intuitive to non-AI students and researchers. For this project, she is playing a key role in the Bridge's efforts to develop engaging educational applications with Jupyter notebooks that allow students to explore machine learning concepts and techniques across interesting problem domains and datasets.
John Gabrieli is a behavioral neuroscientist.
His research focus is on the neural mechanisms of memory, cognition, and emotion in the human brain and how those mechanisms are disrupted in neurological and psychiatric disorders. For this project, his interest is in early assessment and intervention to support young learners with special needs such as ASD and dyslexia.
Hae Won Park is an expert in Social Robotics and is a Principal Investigator of the Social Robot Companions Program. Her
research focuses on socio-emotive AI and machine learning applied to the personalization of social robots that support long-term interaction with people. For this project, she develops peer-like social robots that play educational games with young children to foster literacy and language skills as well as positive learning attitudes.
Westerman works at the nexus of executive leadership and
technology strategy. He has written three award-winning books and published in top journals. He is now focused on helping employers, educators, and other groups to rethink the process of workforce learning around the world. George is co-chair of the MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Awards, faculty advisor to the Board of Directors for the Technology Business Management Council.
Shin is the Head of the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Tactical Systems Division at MIT Lincoln
Laboratory. He is also the Director of Beaver Works, a joint center establihsed by MIT Lincoln Lab and the MIT School of Engineering. Beaver Works offers a project-based STEM summer program to talented high school students to learn about various technologies. AI related topics include autonomous driving, data science for health, digital assistants, and more.
Irene Lee is a research scientist in MIT's Scheller Teacher Education Program and Education Arcade.
Her expertise is in computational thinking and integrating computer science into STEM education. Her research investigates K-12 student learning through integrated STEM and computing curricula, teachers' development as computational thinkers, and new ways for K-12 students to learn foundational AI concepts.
Glenda Stump is a Research Scientist for MIT's Open Learning program. Her work examines student beliefs, learning
strategies, calibration of self-efficacy, and on pedagogy related to active learning. She is interested in how teacher beliefs influence pedagogical choices. She has expertise in developing instruments to measure psychological constructs, and statistical analysis of the resultant data. She also runs project evaluations to assess impact from multiple perspectives.
Stephanie is a HCI designer focused on understanding data privacy perceptions and improving user rights through design and policy for youth and vulnerable populations.
She is an Advisory Member on the IEEE's Children & Youth Experiences Committee and her research focuses on translating policy to practice by collaborating across policy, industry, and advocacy to reimagine meaningful choice and control in sharing personal data. She previously led design for government agencies at U.S. Digital Service at the Obama White House.
Milo Phillips-Brown is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Ethics of Technology at MIT Philosophy,
Sam Spaulding is a PhD graduate research assistant with the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. His research
focuses on developing social robot learning companions for early-language and literacy skills. He synthesizes insights from machine learning, affective and educational sciences, and children’s media design. He develops affective personalization algorithms and is interested in how transfer learning can accelerate and improve personalization across students.
Randi Williams is a PhD graduate research assistant developing new technologies and curriculum for K-12 AI Literacy. She has developed
a number of AI education projects, including PopBots, social robot learning companions that teach AI through social interaction. Additionally, she runs studies that investigate children’s relationships with intelligent agents. To address misunderstanding and mistrust of AI, Randi is preparing the next generation to use AI to solve important problems in their communities.
Natalie Lao is a PhD graduate research assistant in EECS working on the App Inventor team.
For her MEng thesis, she created the CloudDB block set for data sharing in App Inventor. Natalie aims to create tools that will lower the barrier of entry and raise the ceiling of possibilities for technical innovation. She joined the App Inventor team in 2016 on the Hong Kong CoolThink project. She taught high school STEM courses in Barcelona, interned at Apple as an Engineering Program Manager, and interned at Google as an Associate Product Manager.
Huili Chen is a PhD graduate research assistant in the Personal Robots group at the MIT Media Lab. Her research interests
encompass affective computing, human-robot interaction, machine learning, and psychology. She designs algorithms for social robots that can adaptively support and engage children as empathetic, peer-like companions to facilitate learning outcomes. She also computationally models parent-child interaction dynamics during storytelling.
Safinah is a PhD research assistant in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab.
Safinah Ali's work focuses on leveraging child-robot interaction to enhance early childhood literacy as well as developing children's learning mindsets such as creativity, growth mindset and curiosity. Her recent work involves designing game interactions that afford children and embodied robots co-create art. Her previous work has revolved around educational game design, assistive technology and human-computer interaction.
Daniella DiPaola is a MS graduate research assistant with expertise in human factors, user-centered design,
STEM learning technologies for children. She has worked as a researcher in the consumer robotics industry, focusing on human-robot interaction paradigms in the home, long-term livability, and robots in the lives of children and older adults. Her research interests include understanding the ethical, social, and emotional implications of technology. She is currently working on AI + Ethics curriculum for K-12 students.
Jessica van Brummelen is a PhD graduate research assistant in EECS working on the App Inventor
team. Her work aims to empower young learners with technology to solve real world problems. At App Inventor, she is developing AI and Internet of Things (IoT) tools to allow anyone to create interconnected, intelligent systems. She believes that given the right tools, knowledge, and skills anyone can create significant positive change in his or her community.
Ishaan is a PhD graduate research assistant with the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. His research
interests lie in Machine Learning and its applications in the field of human-robot interaction and early-literacy education. His recent work focused on building graphical models using word semantics for predicting children's vocabulary from partial information about their existing vocabulary. Prior to this, he worked on algorithms to enable reinforcement learning agents to learn from human feedback. In industry, he has interned at Apple, Palantir and Microsoft where he worked on applications ranging from natural language understanding to anomaly detection.
Prior to the lab, Brian Jordan worked in CS education and video game development,
Nisha Devasia is an undergraduate research assistant with experience in game design and game adjacent backend engineering.
Blakeley H. Payne is a MS graduate research assistant who studies the ethics of artificial intelligence.
She develops educational materials to teach children to be both conscientious consumers and designers of AI systems. Before joining MIT, she completed her undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina, where she earned a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics. Blakeley has completed several AI internships at institutions such as Adobe, Inc. and U.C. Berkeley.
Jenna Hong is a Master’s of Engineering student in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab.
She completed her B.S. at MIT with a double degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Computer Science and Engineering, through which she found a passion for the science of intelligence. She is fascinated by perception and intuition, and explores questions around the uniqueness of human intelligence and its capacity for abstractions such as story understanding, emotion and memory, and Theory of Mind. Particularly, she loves how much we can learn about the mind from the way it develops, and also cares deeply about designing ethical, responsible AI systems for social good. Currently, Jenna is working on a multidisciplinary AI curriculum that focuses on human and machine perception.
Stephen P. Kaputsos is a graduate research assistant exploring augmentation of human-robot collaboration.
Stephen leverages his multidisciplinary background in psychophysiology, cognitive systems engineering, and virtual production to engineer neuromorphic technologies that enhance both human and machine perception. His current research utilizes extended reality (XR) technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), to enhance human-robot task performance, communication, and teaming.
Xiajie Zhang has worked on various projects in child-robot interaction with a focus on literacy education and has experiences in affective analysis,
educational game development, interaction design, and computational HRI. His interest is the intersection of cognitive science and robotics. He is especially interested in studying social cognition and developing human-robot interactions that could provide unique and uplifting experiences for people.
Jeff has been at MIT for over 11 years working to develop and nurture research ties between industry and academia and developing technical online courses.
Previously, he’s been in engineering, product management and business development roles in industry in both the U.S. and in Israel. Jeff holds a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and a M.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He also holds a M.Sc. in management from Boston University.
Peter Kirschmann works on curriculum design for the High Meadows Graduate School of Teaching & Learning and playful assessment for maker-centered classrooms.
He is interested in creating opportunities for learners to tinker, design, and create personally and socially meaningful projects. He has designed and facilitated creative learning experiences at museums, libraries, and other informal learning spaces. He holds an EdM in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Selim is a former K-12 mathematics teacher who has taught overseas and in the US for 22 years, exploring intersections of technology and playful constructionist pedagogies in the classroom.
At MIT App inventor he leads an NSF funded collaboration with YR Media (former Youth Radio) on the Youth Mobile Power series and the Outsmarting Artificial Intelligence project as well as coordinating international contests such as the App of the Month, Coronavirus App Challenge and the annual virtual Hackathon.
Karen spent several years as a software engineer, and then decided education was her true calling.
She spent most of her career teaching Computer Science, in several international schools and around New England. She has also served on board of directors for the Computer Science Teachers Association and is passionate about Computer Science education and exposing students to the boundless opportunities CS presents.
Louisa is a designer and researcher of educational technologies.
She leads the design and development of educational games and playful technologies for learning, contributing to research on how technology can support creative learning experiences for students and teachers. She also brings the playfulness of games into her assessment design work, creating digital and non-digital tools to help both learners and educators assess open-ended work and human skills.
As an assessment scientist, Grace Lin is particularly interested in measurement and playful assessments for and of learning.
Her research centers around different areas of cognition and how games can be implemented to not just help people learn, but also measure elusive constructs. She received her PhD in Education from University of California, Irvine, an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in Psychology from New York University. At UC Irvine, she was trained as a Pedagogical Fellow and conducted teaching assistant and course design PD workshops for both first year graduate students and postdocs across various disciplines. Prior to joining MIT, Grace was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oregon, working with nonprofit organizations and on an early childhood measures repository.
Nada Hussein is an M.Eng student with the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, focusing on real-time music analysis and accompaniment.
Chessa Hoekstra is an MEng student in the Personal Robots Group developing new tools and curricula for AI Literacy.