Core Faculty

Bodong Chen
Bodong Chen, co-director

Bodong Chen, Bonnie Westby Huebner Chair and associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is co-director of the Learning Informatics Lab. His work involves design of digital learning environments and computational research of complex learning processes.

Panayiota Kendeou
Panayiota (Pani) Kendeou, co-director

Panayiota (Pani) Kendeou, Guy Bond Chair in Reading and professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, develops and examines the efficacy of educational technologies to facilitate learning and assessment of processes and outcomes at scale. She is also exploring new approaches to reducing the impact of misinformation in digital environments. 

David DeLiema
David DeLiema, core faculty

David DeLiema, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, studies how productive failure, play-based activities, embodied cognition, and epistemic cognition shape learning. DeLiema’s research examines cognitive and psychological processes within the context of social interaction, and often takes place within technology-rich settings.

Keisha Varma, core faculty

Keisha Varma, associate vice provost in the University’s Office of Equity and Diversity and associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, explores ways to leverage technology to create connected learning experiences for middle school students. Varma also investigates innovative ways to support students’ scientific reasoning and critical thinking.  She works at the intersection of educational psychology, cognitive development, and the learning sciences.

Affiliate Faculty

Jeffrey Bye, affiliate faculty

Jeffrey K. Bye, lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology, blends cognitive and learning science approaches to understanding how people learn and think about math, data, and programming. He is particularly interested in student learning of algebra and helping students to connect their intuitive thinking to abstract concepts.

Joseph A. Konstan
Joseph Konstan, affiliate faculty

Joseph A. Konstan is Distinguished McKnight Professor and Distinguished University Teaching Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering as well as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Science and Engineering. His research addresses a variety of human-computer interaction issues, including personalization (particularly through recommender systems), on-line community information systems, computer systems to improve health, and ethics of online research.  He is involved in learning informatics as it relates to personalizing the learning experience. 

Cassandra Scharber
Cassandra Scharber, affiliate faculty

Cassandra Scharber is an associate professor of learning technologies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She is committed to community-engaged projects and scholarship with local school districts, and serves as a lead for CSforAll-MN, Minnesota’s chapter of the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) alliance that supports K12 computer science education. Her research spans the areas of technology integration, digital literacies, and computational thinking.

Sashank Varma
Sashank Varma, affiliate faculty

Sashank Varma is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing as well as the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech. He is a co-founder and affiliate faculty member of the Learning Informatics Lab. His research ranges from scientific studies of mathematical and computational thinking to investigations of student learning at scale.

Postdoctoral Associate

Zixi Chen, postdoctoral associate

Zixi Chen is a postdoctoral associate at the Learning Informatics Lab. She is interested in studying individuals’ learning and social-emotional behaviors in virtual space within the local community and macro-level policy contexts. Her research interest is linked with methodological studies of hierarchical linear modeling, social network analysis, sensitivity analysis, and text analysis


Ali Fulsher, lab coordinator

Ali Fulsher is a first year graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology. She is interested in the cognitive processes of comprehension in print and digital environments, with an emphasis on knowledge revision, and how to develop and teach information literacy skills for navigating a ‘post-truth’ learning environment.