Print this page

Keynote profiles

Professor Nora Newcombe

Professor Nora Newcombe is a Professor of Psychology at Temple University and Principal Investigator of the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC), headquartered at Temple University and involving Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania as primary partners. Professor Newcombe completed her degree majoring in psychology at Antioch College and received her Ph.D.at Harvard University in Psychology and Social Relations. Professor Newcombe has served as Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General and as Associate Editor of Psychological Bulletin, as well as on numerous editorial boards and grant review panels. She is currently an Associate Editor for Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. Her Academic Honors include the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the Society for Research in Child Development, the William James Fellow Award from APS, and the George Miller Award and the G. Stanley Hall Awards from APA, the Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, also from APA, and the Women in Cognitive Science Mentor Award. She is a fellow of four divisions of the American Psychological Association (General, Experimental, Developmental, and Psychology of Women), of the American Psychological Society, and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. Professor Newcombe has authored over 200 papers and book chapters.

Professor Mary Hegarty

Professor Mary Hegarty received her BA and MA from University College Dublin, Ireland. She worked as a research assistant for three years at the Irish national educational research centre before attending Carnegie Mellon, where she received her Ph.D. in Psychology. She has been on the faculty of the Department of Psychological & Brain sciences, UCSB for nearly thirty years. The author of over 100 articles and chapters on spatial cognition, diagrammatic reasoning, and individual differences, she is a fellow of the American Psychological Society, a former Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, and the former chair of the governing board of the Cognitive Science Society. She is Associate Editor of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied and TopiCS in Cognitive Science and is on the editorial board of Learning and Individual Differences and Spatial Cognition and Computation. Her current research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Professor Hegarty’s research is on spatial thinking in complex activities such as comprehension, reasoning and problem solving. In research on mechanical reasoning and interpretation of graphics, she uses eye-fixation data to trace the processes involved in understanding visual-spatial displays (diagrams, graphs and maps), and making inferences from these displays. A unique characteristic of her research is that she studies spatial thinking from the perspective of individual differences as well as employing more commonly used experimental methods. In her work on individual differences, she studies large-scale spatial abilities involved in navigation and learning the layout of environments, as well as smaller-scale spatial abilities involved in mental rotation and perspective taking. Her current research projects include understanding the roles of internal and external visualizations in reasoning about diverse topics such as mechanical systems, weather patterns and molecular structure and the use of visualization versus analytic problem solving strategies in scientific problem solving.

Associate Professor Maria Kozhevnikov

Associate Professor Maria Kozhevnikov currently holds positions as Visiting Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology and as Associate in Neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital in addition to her primary academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Psychology at the National University of Singapore, Department of Psychology and Communication and New Media Programme. She received her PhD from Technion (Israel) jointly with UC Santa Barbara. Since 2001, she held faculty positions at Rutgers and George Mason Universities. During 2005-2007, she has served as a Program Director for the Science of Learning Centers Program at the US National Science Foundation, where she managed awards for large-scale Centers that study learning across multiple disciplines. In addition, Associate Professor Kozhevnikov is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Tufts University, where she is collaborating with the Center of Science and Math Teaching on the development of science learning materials and curricula.

Associate Professor Kozhevnikov’s research focuses on examining neural mechanisms of visual imagery as well as in exploring the ways to train visualization abilities. In particular, she examines how individual differences in visualization ability affect more complex activities, such as spatial navigation, learning and problem solving in mathematics, science and art. In addition, she explores ways to train mental imagery skills and design three-dimensional immersive virtual environments that can accommodate individual differences and learning styles.

Associate Professor Kozhevnikov’s teaching career started at Harvard University in 2001, where she worked as a Lecturer at the Graduate School of Education and developed to new graduate courses: "Technology in Science Education" and "Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning". She received the McCoy Technology Award from the Harvard Graduate School of Education for the development of learning materials for these courses.  In 2002 she became an Assistant Professor in Psychology at Rutgers University (NJ), and received a Career Award from the US National Science Foundation for the use of visualization tools in learning sciences. One of the main focuses of the project (teaching component) was to develop a new undergraduate Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) curriculum with a focus on innovative 3D visualization technologies. As a part of my Career Award, she developed a new introductory course (based on virtual-reality modules) on Human-Computer Interaction.