Key Personnel

Steve Schneider, WestEd, Math Center PI, has extensive management experience as the Senior Program Director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program, PI of multiple IES mathematics curriculum development grants and efficacy studies, and PI of the Center for Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning (CAESL). Dr. Schneider directed the 2009 NAEP Science Framework and Test Item Specifications project and the 2014 NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework and Test Item Specifications project for NAGB.

Jodi Davenport, WestEd, Math Center Director. Dr. Davenport’s research interests lie in applying research in cognitive science to the creation of educational materials. Davenport is currently PI on grants from IES and NSF to research and develop educational technologies that support science and mathematics learning and assessment. For the Math Center, Davenport managed teams of senior researchers, educators, and production staff to modify the existing curriculum and carry out efficacy studies.

Kenneth Koedinger, Carnegie Mellon University, Math Center Co-PI, Professor of Human Computer Interaction and Psychology. Dr. Koedinger’s research has contributed new principles and techniques for the design of educational software and has produced basic cognitive science research results on the nature of student thinking and learning. Koedinger directs LearnLab (, which started with 10 years of National Science Foundation funding and is now the scientific arm of CMU’s Simon Initiative ( LearnLab builds on the past success of Cognitive Tutors, an approach to online personalized tutoring that is in use in thousands of schools and has been repeatedly demonstrated to increase student achievement, for example, doubling what algebra students learn in a school year. He was a founder of Carnegie Learning, Inc. that has brought Cognitive Tutor based courses to millions of students since it was formed in 1998. Dr. Koedinger has authored over 245 peer-reviewed publications and has been a project investigator on over 45 grants.

Julie Booth, Temple University, Math Center Co-PI, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. Dr. Booth’s research interests lie in examining the process of change in children’s thinking, especially in mathematics, and using that information to develop educational interventions to facilitate learning. She has previously conducted research examining the role of prior knowledge in students’ learning of mathematical skills and designed interventions to improve that underlying knowledge as part of task-specific instruction.

Susan R. Goldman, University of Illinois at Chicago, Math Center Co-PI, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Education and Co-Director of UIC’s Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI). Dr. Goldman is widely published in discourse, psychology and education journals. She has been elected to the National Academy of Education, named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and of the Society for Text and Discourse, and selected as the Inaugural Outstanding Alumnus of the Learning Research and Development Center. Goldman serves the field through a number of editorial appointments, including executive editor for Cognition & Instruction and associate editor for Journal of Educational Psychology. She sits on the editorial board of Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of the Learning Sciences and Educational Psychologist. Goldman is a board member and of the International Society of the Learning Sciences and served as its president from 2011 to 2012. She also has served as president of the Society for Text and Discourse, and vice-president for Division C of the American Educational Research Association.

James Pellegrino, University of Illinois at Chicago, Math Center Co-PI, Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Professor of Education, and co-director of UIC’s Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI). His research interests focus on children’s and adult’s thinking and learning and the implications of cognitive research and theory for assessment and instructional practice. His unique blend of expertise — which combines knowledge of cognitive science, psychometrics, educational technology, instructional practice and educational policy — has led to appointment as head of several National Academy of Science/National Research Council study committees. Throughout his career, Pellegrino has supervised several large-scale research and development projects funded by agencies such as NSF, ONR, AFOSR, NIH and private foundations. He has authored or co-authored more than 270 books, chapters and journal articles in the areas of cognition, instruction and assessment, and he has made numerous invited presentations at local, state, national and international meetings and at universities throughout the world.

Martha Alibali, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Math Center Co-PI, Professor of Psychology. Dr. Alibali’s research interests include mechanisms of knowledge change in the development of mathematical reasoning, the role of visual scaffolding in instructional communication, and the role of gesture in perceptual and spatial thinking. Alibali’s work is currently supported by IES and NSF grants. She is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and a governing board member of the Cognitive Development Society.

Mitchell J. Nathan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Math Center Co-PI, Professor of Educational Psychology, Director of the Center on Education and Work, and Director of the IES Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Mathematical Thinking, Learning and Instruction. Dr. Nathan holds faculty appointments in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Psychology Department, and the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER). Dr. Nathan’s research is rooted in cognitive, embodied and social perspectives on learning and instruction in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). His work examines the nature of learning, teaching, and representations in both their internal (intra-personal) and external (inter-personal) forms as they serve meaning making, individual and group design, reasoning and problem solving in mathematics and engineering.

Neil Heffernan, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Math Center Co-PI, Associate Professor in Computer Science. Dr. Heffernan works with teams of researchers, graduate students, and teachers to build the ASSISTment System, a web-based intelligent tutor that serves students across the country as part of their normal math class. Dr. Heffernan has over 50 peer-reviewed publications. He has led numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department or Education, the U.S. Army, the Spencer Foundation, the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, and the Office of Naval Research.

Shandy Hauk, WestEd, Math Center Mathematics Team Coordinator, Senior Research Associate. Dr. Hauk is a mathematician who specializes in responsive mixed-methods research and assessment design for K-20 mathematics teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge development. Dr. Hauk is a researcher and leader for culturally responsive assessment development and teacher professional enhancement on two NSF-funded projects. Prior to joining WestEd, Hauk was an associate professor of mathematics and mathematics education and taught middle and high school mathematics.

Kimberly Viviani, WestEd, Math Center Curriculum Production Leader, Senior Program Manager. Viviani specializes in curriculum development, including the development of educational software and associated print materials, particularly in mathematics and science.

Yvonne Kao, WestEd, Math Center Data Analysis Lead, Senior Research Associate. Dr. Kao’s research uses a range of approaches including randomized controlled and quasi-experimental studies, surveys, behavioral studies, fMRI, think-aloud studies, and computational modeling to study how elementary, middle, and high school students develop conceptual understanding in early algebra and geometry and to evaluate the effectiveness of both traditional and computer-based mathematics instruction. Dr. Kao is experienced in using statistical modeling to estimate the impacts of instructional interventions and serves as the data analysis lead for the The Math Center.

Kathleen Lepori, WestEd, Math Center Management Coordinator, former Senior Program Coordinator at WestEd. Lepori provided professional-level coordination by serving on management teams and overseeing various projects for the STEM Program Director and Project Directors.