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CMU Faculty and Staff Present at PASA Lunch and Learn


PASA Lunch and Learn on Artificial Intelligence

On Tuesday, March 5, Ken Koedinger, Erin Gatz, and Nesra Yannier shared the exciting work they’ve been doing in the field of Artificial Intelligence in education during the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) Lunch and Learn series event titled “Unveiling AI Breakthroughs: Elevating Learner Support with Insights from Carnegie Mellon University.” This Lunch and Learn series consists of four sessions focusing on Artificial Intelligence in education and is sponsored by the PASA Innovative Teaching and Learning Committee. 

Koedinger, Hillman Professor & METALS Program Director at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, highlighted the long history of using AI in education. As the first educator to build a geometry-proof intelligent tutoring system, Koedinger is at the forefront of educational AI innovation. He is the director of LearnLab, the scientific arm of CMU’s Simon Initiative, and was the co-founder of CarnegieLearning, Inc., which brought Cognitive Tutor-based courses to millions of students since its inception in 1998. 

Attendees of the PASA Lunch and Learn series were excited to learn about, an effort created by master’s students at CMU’s METALS program, spearheaded by Koedinger, to create active learning materials to teach middle school students about AI literacy and how to use AI effectively. The website is a great resource open to all educators; if you’re interested in getting involved with this project, please fill out the “Request a Demo” form on the home page. 

Yannier, a Senior Systems Scientist in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, presented the NoRILLA system; a patented mixed-reality AI platform that bridges physical and virtual worlds to improve children's inquiry-based STEM learning. NoRILLA uses a patented method and AI computer vision technology to provide personalized interactive feedback to children as they experiment and make discoveries in their everyday physical environment. The goal of NoRILLA is to improve children's inquiry-based STEM learning by making it more enjoyable via collaboratively fostering their curiosity and 21st-century skills like critical thinking and persistence. 

Currently, the NoRILLA system is being used in many schools, after-school programs, and museums nationwide, reaching millions of children and families. It is also on display at Pittsburgh’s very own Carnegie Science Center. If you’re interested in learning more about this exciting new technology, please visit the NoRILLA website.

Gatz, Head of Partnerships for Personalized Learning Squared (PLUS), presented an introduction to the PLUS human-computer tutoring program at Carnegie Mellon University. PLUS aims to double math learning for K-12 students through an innovative tutoring approach that recruits human tutors to use AI software to support students' math practice. PLUS uses a platform called the "Learning Insights Dashboard" (LID), developed in partnership with Carnegie Learning, LID helps tutors identify the most efficient and effective support methods needed to ensure students are learning. In the PLUS program the tutor interacts with LID to help determine what areas their student needs support in; the platform also allows tutors to interact with multiple students during each session and determine in real-time how to best assist each student. 

The PLUS program is currently serving 2500+ students across the country, employing 300+ tutors, and powering 10,000 hours of tutoring per month. Many of the tutors employed within the PLUS program are also CMU students. If you would like to learn more about the PLUS program, or would like to implement it in your school please visit the PLUS website

The PASA Lunch and Learn series was an excellent opportunity for CMU faculty and staff to share the exciting work being done on CMU’s campus in the field of education and AI innovation. Sharing the work and resources that exist within CMU is an empowering step in elevating the greater landscape of K-12 education within Pennsylvania. 

If you're an educator who would like to participate in any of these exciting partnerships please reach out through the contact forms on the linked websites. Additionally, if you have any questions about K-12 outreach and engagement through the Simon Initiative contact Lindsay Forman, Simon’s K-12 Coordinator. 


by Sofia Baybekova for The Simon Initiative News


Related People
Ken Koedinger, Erin Gatz, Nesra Yannier

Research Areas
Learning Sciences and Technologies, Human-Centered AI