Ken Koedinger’s background includes a BS in Mathematics, a MS in Computer Science, a PhD in Cognitive Psychology, and experience teaching in an urban high school. This multi-disciplinary preparation has been critical to his research goal of creating educational technologies that dramatically increase student achievement. Toward this goal, Ken creates “cognitive models”, computer simulations of student thinking and learning, that are used to guide the design of educational materials, practices and technologies. These cognitive models provide the basis for an approach to educational technology called “Cognitive Tutors” that creates rich problem solving environments for students to work in and provide just-in-time learning assistance much like a good human tutor does.
Ken has developed Cognitive Tutors for mathematics and science and have tested them in the laboratory and the classroom. In a whole-year classroom study with our Algebra Cognitive Tutor, Ken has shown that students in our experimental classrooms outperformed students in control classes by 50-100% on targeted real world problem solving skills and by 10-25% on standardized tests.
Ken’s research has contributed new principles and techniques for the design of educational software and has produced basic cognitive science research results on the nature of mathematical thinking and learning. Ken has authored 67 peer-reviewed publications, 6 book chapters, and 42 other papers and have been a Project Investigator on 16 major grants.
In addition to his research, Ken is a co-founder and board member of Carnegie Learning, Inc. and the CMU director of the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC), a $25 million National Science Foundation center that provides researchers with the “LearnLab,” an international resource for creating, running, and analyzing realistic and rigorous experiments on human and machine learning.
Ken is a member of the Remake Learning Council.