About LRDC

Through our programs we aim to contribute to the science of learning and help create a just and equitable society, one where everyone can develop the knowledge, skills, and agency to fully participate and thrive in society. We aspire to train the next generation of learning and educational scientists, to contribute to the well-being of our region, to advance the mission of the University of Pittsburgh and to have a broad and global reach of our impact on learning and education.

Our Director

Charles Perfetti LRDC Director Charles Perfetti, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, is a reading scientist whose research spans the full range of questions that center on the human ability to obtain meaning from written language. In comparisons of reading across languages and writing systems, he has sought to identify universal and language-specific aspects of reading through ongoing international collaborations. In addition to some 270 journal articles and chapters, he is author of two books and co-editor of six others. He has received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Awards of both the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading and the Society for Text and Discourse. His vision for LRDC is that it is one of the world's leading centers for research on learning and education: A home for researchers who thrive in working on complex problems of learning and education by building knowledge about the cognitive, developmental, and social foundations of learning and working for educational improvement, guided by multi-disciplinary research, technology, partnerships with educational agents, and a commitment to equity.

Our Mission

interconnectivity icon The Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) advances the science of learning by bringing together researchers from the cognitive, developmental, social, educational, and computational sciences. We take a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to studying a wide range of types of learning across varied settings. Our research on learning aims to contribute both to a just and equitable society and to building a future where everyone can develop the knowledge, skills, and agency they need to fully participate in society and thrive. See our Mission Statement.

Our Center within the University of Pittsburgh

Cathedral of Learning An important factor in LRDC's success is the joint appointments of its faculty members in other units of the University and our strong connection to the School of Education. Today, faculty members hold joint primary appointments in departments and schools across campus. These connections throughout the University have allowed faculty and students to work on cross disciplinary learning and education projects while supporting graduate training programs. The Center's commitment to cognitive research was important in establishing a PhD program in cognitive psychology within the Department of Psychology. Similarly, Center faculty members working on intelligent tutoring systems played important roles in establishing the cross-disciplinary Intelligent Systems Program. Read more about LRDC Connections across Campus.

Board of Visitors

the former LRDC building In 1963, when Robert Glaser and J. Steele Gow wrote the proposal that would eventually lead to the establishment of LRDC, they envisioned a Board of Visitors:

"... the role of the Board of Visitors is to assess periodically the effectiveness with which the Center's organizational structure and operational procedures are serving the over-all objective of expediting fruitful interaction between research in the behavioral sciences and instructional practice in the schools."

From the start, LRDC's Board of Visitors has been drawn from distinguished scholars and educators who attend to the most important questions confronting the practical, empirical, and theoretical worlds of learning.

Information on the LRDC Board of Visitors

LRDC was housed in the iconic building pictured here from 1974-2020.

LRDC News & Media

LRDC tshirt graphic The LRDC Communications Department leads and coordinates strategic communications for the Center. We tell the Center's stories and successes to the university and the region. We work to raise the Center's global profile and promote its reputation as one of the worlds' leading cognitive research centers. We promote the Pitt Brand and provide website, design, video production, photography, media relations, social media, and executive communications support.

Visit LRDC Communications, News & Media


LRDC researchers posing on balcony of LRDC building decades ago Since its establishment in 1963, the Learning Research and Development Center has been a leading interdisciplinary center for research on learning and education. The Center's interconnected programs of research and development have reflected its mission of stimulating interaction between research and practice across a broad spectrum of problems: from the neural basis of learning through the development of intelligent tutors to educational policy. Among research institutions in learning and education, this interconnected breadth is unique.

Read more about LRDC's history

Pittsburgh - The City of Bridges

Photo of The Point in Pittsburgh Pittsburgh's industrial past has given way to an enterprising and vibrant present. Today, Pittsburgh has all the charms of a larger city but lacks many of the usual disadvantages. Crime is low, as is the cost of living, and it's easy to find a neighborhood that perfectly fits your needs. Friendly and diverse, the city is the University of Pittsburgh's campus - a great place to live, work, and play.

To learn more about Pittsburgh, visit www.coolpgh.pitt.edu.

Contact Us

rendition of the Murdoch building

University of Pittsburgh

Learning Research and Development Center

Office 725A

3420 Forbes Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA 15260


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