Elisabeth Ploran (PhD, 2010, Cognitive Neuroscience) Associate Professor, Hoftstra University, has been awarded tenure. Elisabeth participated in a PhD + Parenthood panel at LRDC on November 30, 2018. LRDC alumni Daniel Belenky, (PhD, 2013) Director of Leaning Science Research at Pearson; Soniya Gadgil (PhD, 2014), Data Science Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon University; J. Elizabeth Richey (PhD, 2015), Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, and Jessica Nelson Taylor (PhD, 2010), Product Manager at Google, also participated in the panel.
Stephen Fiore (PhD, 2000, Cognitive Psychology) Professor, Cognitive Sciences, Department of Philosophy; and Director, Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, University of Central Florida was selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to join a team of 30 scientists and engineers tasked with this role. Established by DARPA in 1987, the Information Sciences and Technology (ISAT) Study Group examines important emerging areas of technological development to provide independent assessment of the state of advanced information science and technology for the U.S. government.
LRDC's Lindsay Page and Pitt's School of Education Tanner Wallace are two of 12 new researchers to join the Mindset Scholars Network. The network is a community of researchers dedicated to advancing our understanding of students’ psychological experience of learning and school from an interdisciplinary perspective. Article here.
Envisioning the Future at Pitt Without an LRDC Building
Hard to imagine visiting LRDC and not entering the “escalator-like” building on O’Hara Street. But “Envisioning the Future,” the campus master plan created by University of Pittsburgh's Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, has forced us to do just that. Released in October 2018 by Chancellor Gallagher and the architectural firm Ayers Saint Gross “Envisioning the Future,” is a five-step, five-point plan to improve the campus, organized around, 1. Enriching Student Experience; 2. A Place of Academic Excellence and Innovation; 3. A Distinctive, Welcoming, and Attractive Urban Campus; 4. A Connected Outward-looking Engaged University; and 5. A Place that Seeks Synergy and Efficiency. Details of the plan are here.
Part 1, Enriching the Student Experience, focuses on new housing, a new athletic facility, a new student recreation center, and improvements to the streetscape. The student recreation center (below left) will be built where LRDC and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) garage are today (the WPIC garage is visible below right).
The proposed plan replicates a feature of the architects' rendering for the building (never built), an outdoor escalator bridging O'Hara Street and Upper Campus dormitories. That escalator can be seen in the 1969 image of the building (below left), and its proposed implementation in the current plan (below right).
In Pittsburgh A New Portrait (1989), author Franklin Toker states “The architectural prima donna on O’Hara Street today is not one of the old buildings but an escalator-like structure that houses the Learning Research and Development Center . . . The 1970s buildings is shaped like a giant staircase against the hillside because it was meant to act like one: the bare patch still visible on the right side of the lobby was designed to carry a huge escalator to hoist students up to the proposed dormitory complex above” (pg. 337).
In 1964, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the precursor to the U.S. Department of Education, funded LRDC at the University of Pittsburgh as national center for the study of learning, making the Center one of the world’s first institutions dedicated to the study of learning and instruction. At that time, the Center was distributed over a number of buildings. In 1974, with funding from the Office of Education and the University of Pittsburgh, LRDC moved into a new $8 million building. The new building had offices, labs, space for computers, a library, and, for a number of years, an in-house laboratory school on the third floor of LRDC in Room 314. To celebrate the completion of the building, an all-day Open House was held on November 20, 1974, and invited guests “To poke around, ask questions, and generally see what goes on in that strange building with the slanted façade.”
The nine-story structure was designed by Harrison & Abramovitz, an architectural firm well known for a range of famous buildings, such as Avery Fisher Hall (1962) and the Metropolitan Opera House (1966) at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Assembly Hall, and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois, and in Pittsburgh, William Penn Plan (1951), the Regional Enterprise Tower (1953, originally the Alcoa Building, the U.S. Steel Tower (1970, originally the USX Tower) the Westinghouse Tower (1970) and LRDC (1974).
LRDC's new location has not been determined, nor has the timing of the move. Meanwhile, we have been meeting with the architects who will design the new space and the university facilities team who will have to find it. We expect two moves, one to rental space to precede a later move to a University building. It will be sad to leave this iconic building. But we will make our new space into the kind of environment that will nurture the spirit of collaborative inquiry that fuels LRDC’s mission of “understanding learning and improving education.”
Selected Recent Publications
Braham, E., Elliot, L., & Libertus, M. E. (2018). Using hierarchical linear models to examine approximate number system acuity: The role of trial-level and participant-level characteristics. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1-14. Article here
Bruett, H., Fang, X., Kamaraj, D. C., Haley, E., and Coutanche, M. N. (2018). Expertise moderates incidentally learned associations between words and images. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. Article here. (This is a correction: Last week's announcement of this publication did not highlight the name of Heather Bruett, who is Marc Coutache's graduate student.)
Kucan. L., & Cho, B-Y. (2018). Were there any black people in Johnstown?: An investigation of culturally relevant pedagogy in service of supporting disciplinary literacy learning in history. Urban Education, 1-28. DOI: 10.1177/0042085918804011. Article here.
Kucan, L., Rainey, E., & Cho, B-Y. (2018). Engaging middle school students in disciplinary literacy through culturally relevant historical inquiry. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 1-13. doi: 10.1002/jaal.940. Article here.
Coutanche, M. N., & Thompson-Schill, S. L. (2018). Neural activity in human visual cortex is transformed by learning real world size. NeuroImage, 186, 570-576. Article here.
Coutanche, M. N. & Paulus, J. P. (2018). An empirical analysis of popular press claims regarding linguistic change in President Donald J. Trump. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. Article here.
Lugini, L. & Litman, D. (2018). Argument component classification for classroom discussions. Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Argument Mining, (pp. 57–67). Brussels, Belgium. Article here.
Marshman, E. M., Kalender, Z. Y., Nokes-Malach, T., Schunn, C. & Singh, C. (2018). Female students with A’s have similar physics self-efficacy as male students with C’s in introductory courses: A cause for alarm? Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14(2). Article here.
Lawson, B., Pil, F. K., & Holweg, M. (2018). Multi-modal order fulfillment: Concept and application. Production and Operations Management, 27(2), 269-284. Article here.
Aviña, G. E., Schunn, C. D., Silva, A. R., Baur, T. L., Crabtree, G. W., Johnson, C. M., Odumosu, T., Picraux, S. T., Sawyer, R. K., Schneider, R. P., Sun, R., Feist, G. J., Narayanamurti, V., & Tsao, J. Y. (2018). The art of research: A divergent/convergent thinking framework and opportunities for science-based approaches. In E. Subrahmanian, T. Odumosu, & J. Y. Tsao (Eds). Engineering A Better Future (pp. 167-186). Switzerland, Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Article here.
Hosseini, R., Akhuseyinoglu, K., Petersen, A., Schunn, C. D., & Brusilovsky, P. (2018). PCEX: Interactive program construction examples for learning programming. In 18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research (Koli Calling ’18), November 22–25, 2018, Koli, Finland. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 9 pages. Article here.
Vincent-Ruz, P. & Schunn, C. D. (2018). The nature of science identity and its role as the driver of student choices. International Journal of STEM Education, 5(48), 1-12. Article here.