I’m passionate about research-driven design of educational technology, improving educational equity through research, and cognitive science-informed instructional design.
My research interests include:
- translation of educational research into practice (particularly empirical research on the cognitive science of learning), such as intervention development or school change
- design of educational technology environments, including (but not limited to) educational games, data dashboards, and LMS interfaces
- rigorous, academic-y or thinktank-y research/design that investigates central questions surrounding cognition, learning, and other student outcomes
- other spaces that serve the goals of 1) scientifically and empirically asking and testing questions surrounding learning and 2) improving equity, access, and quality of education, particularly for those most vulnerable members of our society.
Some educational technology I’ve worked with include:
- iPad-based early literacy, block-based computer programming, and e-text science simulation apps
- educational games, from narrative-based adventure to improve literacy and writing, to puzzle-based physics simulation games
- learning management systems, MOOC development, and data dashboards
I hold a Ph.D in Cognitive Science in Education, and an M.S. in Learning Analytics from Columbia University. When I’m not working on research or daydreaming about educational technology, you can find me playing video games (I only discriminate against Xbox) or learning how to play my guitar. Check out my “Research” or “Consulting” page to read more about my experience and projects, or read on to hear my “origin” story!
Growing up as a first generation immigrant, an ESL student, and a general introvert, I felt empowered and motivated by the sense of competency and intellectual freedom I gained from education. As I began teaching Cantonese to kindergarteners at a local Chinese school and tutoring fellow high school students in STEM subjects, I realized my passion and intellectual curiosity for learning transferred to understanding how others understood and processed the world around them. I knew I loved education and psychology, and wanted to more deeply understand how these experiences are informed by social and contextual factors, but at 17-years-old, didn’t yet quite know how these pieces fit together.
Identity as a Scholar and a Citizen
These passions led me to Rutgers University, where I pursued a double major in Psychology and Communication, with a minor in Philosophy. There, I expanded my pursuits to include social justice and interracial relations, with student leadership positions at the Asian American Cultural Center, Rutgers Cantonese Club, and alpha Kappa Delta Phi, an international sorority for Pan-Asian women. Through these experiences, I recognized the need for increased equity, representation, and quality of leadership in both public (political, civil service, and education) and private (industry leadership, technology, and STEM) sectors. Perhaps most influentially, I took a course on modern ethical perspectives on current social and political issues, taught by the prolific and much loved Larry Temkin, who employed various moral philosophical perspectives (Kant, utilitarianism, and others) to frame modern issues such as abortion, healthcare, education, and citizenship. It was a life-changing, transformative course that deepened my resolve to positively impact equality and public good, in whatever capacity I had. I was ready to “go out into the world”, (perhaps naively ambitious) to do whatever good I could. I just hadn’t figured out what that was yet…
Learning about Learning
After graduating from Rutgers University in 2011, I did brief (but insightful) stints in financial technology and public relations before I decided to hit the reset button and left those industries to figure out what intersections between education, psychology, and equity existed.
After exploring various roles within education and psychology, I enrolled at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Fall of 2012 to pursue a masters in Cognitive Science in Education. It was a perfect program for me, situated in the crossroads of rigorous cognitive research, educational and technological applications, and child development. During this masters program, I discovered a passion for research and analytics, and entered both the Ph.D track in Cognitive Science and the newly-founded Learning Analytics program, which emphasized data mining applications for educational research. Today, I hold a Ph.D in Cognitive Science in Education and a M.S. in Learning Analytics, and look forward to applying my skills and efforts to improve equity and quality of education through cognitive science-informed instructional design, rigorous research and development, and educational technology.