Computer Science + Learning Sciences Doctoral Program Welcomes New Cohort

Computer Science + Learning Sciences Doctoral Program Welcomes New Cohort

Three newest cs-ls doctoral studentsMaddie Brucker, Ayse Hunt, and Michael Smith are studying computer science and learning sciences. Maddie Brucker, Ayse Hunt, and Michael Smith have joined the School of Education and Social Policy’s Joint PhD program in Computer Science and Learning Sciences at Northwestern University.

The program, the first of its kind in the nation, is designed for students with a passion for both computer sciences and learning sciences and would otherwise be forced to choose fields.

Building on the enduring and growing connections between research on learning and computation, the program draws from the diverse expertise of affiliated faculty from the School of Education and Social Policy and the McCormick School of Engineering.

Areas of interest include educational data mining; computational modeling as a means to understandcomplex scientific phenomena; adaptive technology for learning; equity issues in computing; intelligent tutoring systems; and interaction design to support learning.

Learn more about our newest doctoral students:

Maddie Brucker is interested in studying student learning, motivation, and identity in STEM education. Outside of academics, Maddie enjoys practicing graphic design, printmaking, and cooking and baking with friends. Maddie recently finished a bachelor's in engineering with computing from Olin College in Needham, Mass,

Ayse Hunt, a Seattle native, is interested in computer science education, constructivism, and learning in museums. Most recently, Hunt helped develop exhibits as a curatorial intern at Living Computers: Museum + Labs. In her free time, she enjoys trying out new recipes and listening to music.

Michael Smith was most recently a master’s student in the computer science program at Northwestern. He is primarily interested in researching the ways designing STEM educational environments and technology can better support K-12 students of color. He also wants to explore the nature of computing culture and research how it can better fits people's needs. When he's not writing code or reading papers, he can most likely be found at the gym, cooking, making/listening to music, or playing video games. Originally from Cincinnati, he has lived in Chicago since 2014.

The program now includes 12 students including: Connor Bain, Jamie Gorson, Garrett Hedman, John Chen, Maryam Hedayati, Jacob Kelter, Stephanie Jones, Nick LaGrassa, and Natalie Melo.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 2/17/23