Research Interests:

Our group research interests are centered around three major goals:

Computation for problem solving and design in disciplinary undergraduate education.

  • Identify what are the enduring understandings and skills that are pervasive in disciplinary computation such as analytic, statistical, and probabilistic methods and related mathematical models and determine how individuals with different levels of expertise learn and make sense of them.
  • Describe how individuals utilize scientific computing as leverage to learning and conceptual understanding of complex problems in science and engineering.
  • Investigate the role of computational simulations as learning tools for Materials Engineering, Nanoelectronics, Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Earthquake engineering, among others.
  • Identify how engineering learning and scientific practices collaborate with the interactive properties of computational tools where knowledge is represented, constructed, and communicated.

Cyberinfrastructure and cyber-physical systems affordances for learning and engagement in STEM fields.

  • Identify what are cyberinfrastructure and cyber-physical systems affordances for teaching, learning, and engagement and how this technology is adopted or adapted for learning purposes.
  • Develop and validate novel curricular approaches and technology-enhanced learning environments in STEM education integrating engineering thinking, scientific thinking, and computational thinking concepts and practices in the disciplines.

Computer-based curriculum, assessment, and learning strategies to appropriately support STEM learning processes.

  • Investigate how to incorporate advances from the learning sciences into authoring curriculum, assessment, and learning materials to appropriately support learning processes.
  • Design and implement an assessment technological framework for understanding assessment and behavioral data for research purposes and educational feedback.

Research Approach:

Our research approach is guided by theoretical and methodological frameworks that allow the study of collective knowledge and cultural dynamics within educational settings. Therefore in our investigations, we employ constructivists and constructionist discourses that allow the study of phenomena in naturalistic learning environments. Examples of those discourses include phenomenographic standpoints, activity theoretic perspectives, and situated learning. Findings from our studies usually have then informed the design of instructional interventions that have been implemented and investigated through design-based research and design experiment methodologies.