Jessica Hammer and Amy Ogan, faculty members in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), received the inaugural Thomas and Lydia Moran Career Development Professorships in Learning Science during a Feb. 19 ceremony.
The Morans, who both have ties to Carnegie Mellon, recently endowed the professorships to support junior faculty members dedicated to the study and improvement of learning.
Hammer, an assistant professor who has a joint appointment with the CMU Entertainment Technology Center, studies the psychology of games and how specific game design decisions affect how players think and feel. She designs games intended to change lives for the better. Her Oh!Lab works at the intersection of culture, learning, play and design to create new interactions and experiences.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science at Harvard University, a master’s degree in interactive telecommunications at New York University and a Ph.D. in cognitive studies in education at Columbia University.
Ogan studies how to make learning experiences more engaging, efficacious and enjoyable. Her research contributes to learning theory and informs the design of next-generation educational technologies, supporting both social and cognitive aspects of learning.
She earned both her bachelor’s degree in computer science and her Ph.D. in human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon. She was a post-doctoral fellow in HCII before joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 2014.
Thomas Moran earned his Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon in 1974 and is the first graduate student to receive a degree in human-computer interaction. A pioneer in HCI and founder of the journal Human-Computer Interaction, he managed user-interface and collaborative-systems research at Xerox, and later was a distinguished engineer at IBM Almaden Research Center.
Lydia De Benedetti Moran is a graduate of Oberlin College and a long-time volunteer and supporter of educational charities. Her late father, Sergio De Benedetti, was a CMU physics professor, and her brother, sister and an uncle are CMU alumni.