Research Interests:Our group research interests are centered around two major goals:
- Improve student learning and engagement in engineering and technology instruction through:
- developing and incorporating advances in learning sciences into authoring curriculum, assessment and learning materials
- integrating authentic and realistic computing experiences from research, models, simulations and other cyberinfrastructure technologies
- Study, design, implement, evaluate, and synthesize novel curricular approaches and learning strategies that:
- leverage scientific thinking and computational thinking in engineering and technology education
- enhance student understanding of scientific representations and apply computational concepts, methods and cyberinfrastructure technologies in scientific inquiry environments.
Current Research Agenda:Scientific computing-as-leverage to conceptual understanding of complex problems in science and engineering
- Identify what are the enduring understandings and skills that are pervasive of computational science and engineering (CS&E) 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.
- Identify what are cyberinfrastructure affordances for teaching, learning and engagement and how this technology is adopted or adapted for learning purposes.
- 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.
- Investigate the role of computational simulations as learning tools for Materials engineering, Nanoelectronics, Aerospace engineering or Earthquake engineering.
- Identify how engineering learning and scientific practices collaborate with the interactive properties of computational tools where knowledge is represented, constructed and communicated.
- Develop and validate novel curricular approaches in STEM education integrating Science Standards and AP Computer Science Principles to convey computing concepts and practices in the disciplines.
- Investigate K-12 teachers technological pedagogical content knowledge of computing and information technology.
Our research approach is guided by theoretical and methodological frameworks that allow the sudy 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.