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Keynote profiles

Professor Nora Newcombe

Professor Nora Newcombe is the Laura H. Carnell 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, 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

Mary Hegarty is Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Associate Dean of the Graduate Division at University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her B.A. and M.A in Psychology at University College Dublin and her Ph.D. in Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in 1988. Herresearch is on spatial cognition.  Current research topics include individual differences in navigation, the role of spatial abilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) achievement, and how people interpret visualizations of uncertainty.

Mary Hegarty served on the governing board of the Cognitive Science society from 2006-2012 and as chair of the board from 2010 – 2011. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Society, a former Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, and the recipient of an Australian Research Council International Collaboration Awardand the Nickerson award for the best paper in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied in 2016. She is Associate Editor of TopiCS in Cognitive Science, former Associate Editor of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied and is on the editorial boards of Learning and Individual Differences and Spatial Cognition and Computation. Her current research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Professor David Uttal

David Uttal is Professor of Psychology and Education at Northwestern University. He is Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Education Sciences.

His research interests are in spatial and mathematical thinking and their development. He has studied the development of children’s understanding of spatial and mathematical symbols, and the influence of acquiring this knowledge on development. For example, he studies the early development of mapreading skills and the cognitive consequences of using maps on spatial thinking. He is also interested in the role of spatial thinking in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering. His metaanalysis of spatial training programs showed that spatial ability is quite malleable. In collaboration with Catherine Haden of Loyola University, he is studying how children’s early experiences with simple engineering problems in the Chicago Children’s Museum affects their learning.

Professor Rob Fitzgerald

As a member of the Executive team Rob provides leadership around flexible learning in the Faculty with a particular focus on educational technology and the design of new learning environments. He leads the learning design research cluster and is Director of the INSPIRE Centre.

Rob has been a leader and innovator in the field of Information and Communication Technology Education (ICTE) for over 20 years working across the schools and university sector. He is internationally recognized for his research and development work on computer-based learning, social media and mobile learning.

He currently leads the ICT component of a large development project in Pakistan and is a co-investigator on two national research projects on augmented reality in higher education and the development of location-based education services in cultural institutions.

Rob is a qualified primary and secondary teacher who has taught Mathematics, Science and Information Systems to senior levels. He currently sits on the board of the Australian Mathematics Trust and is an Associate Editor for the Australian Journal of Educational Technology.