Learning Sciences & Human Development

Zachary A. Pardos

Dr. Pardos is an Associate Professor of Education at UC Berkeley studying adaptive learning and AI. His current research focuses on knowledge representation and recommender systems approaches to increasing upward mobility in postsecondary education using behavioral and semantic data.

He earned his PhD in Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a dissertation on computational models of cognitive mastery. Funded by a National Science Foundation Fellowship (GK-12), he spent extensive time with K-12 educators and students working to integrate educational technology into...

Tesha Sengupta-Irving (She/Hers)

Associate Professor, Learning Sciences & STEM Education Affiliate Associate Professor, UCB Center for Race & Gender


Dr. Sengupta-Irving’s research explores the sociocultural, disciplinary, and political dimensions of children’s mathematics learning. Broadly, her work asks a deceptively simple question: What, in addition to mathematics, do children learn when they learn mathematics? Dr. Sengupta-Irving works closely with teachers to understand and design pedagogical approaches that promote...

Michelle Hoda Wilkerson

I am a learning scientist whose work explores computational literacy, with special focus on how young people learn about scientific computing tools such as computer simulation, data visualization, or statistical analysis packages. Tools like these have transformed how science and mathematics are done, and there are growing calls to incorporate them into K-12 education. However, while there is growing commitment among educators to teach science and mathematics “as practice,” scientific computing is still often presented simplistically in curriculum as a conceptual aid or accurate...

Zoe Silverman

Zoe Silverman is a doctoral student in the Learning Science and Human Development cluster. She is interested in object-based teaching and learning; sensory studies; material culture; museum historiography; embodied cognition; and decolonizing methodologies. Her current project addresses a lacuna in program evaluation and education research by placing the focus of inquiry on university student tour guides as learners and emerging informal arts educators.

Using ethnographic methods, the project seeks to surface the epistemic ideology of a student gallery educator program and...

Yi Zhou

Yi (Joe) Zhou is an international student from China. He is a PhD student in the Learning Sciences and Human Development cluster at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education, advised by Professor Elliot Turiel. Yi is hugely interested in the broad topic of morality, and enjoys reading ethical theories and moral psychology. His own research is in the field of moral development.

He is currently looking at individuals' judgments about the desirability of doing the morally right thing and their practical decisions in social situations involving conflict between morality and self-...

Weiying Li

Weiying is a first-year doctoral student in Learning Sciences and Human Development cluster in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. She is interested in pedagogy, learning, and educational technologies in different cultural settings and in rural areas.

Specializations and Interests

Equity and Education; Educational Technologies

Yared Portillo

Yared is a PhD student in the Learning Sciences and Human Development cluster at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education with a focus on Language, Literacy, and Culture. Before graduate school, Yared was a community organizer and educator in South Philadelphia where she worked with the Latinx immigrant community. She has also been working as a community-based music educator for nearly 10 years, currently facilitating son jarocho workshops in Sacramento, Calif.

Yared’s research focuses on studying the processes of collective meaning making that takes place in learning and teaching...

Sandra Zuñiga-Ruiz

Sandra Zuñiga-Ruiz is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to her education at Berkeley, she obtained a BS in Mathematics from CSU Monterey Bay and an MA in Mathematics from San Francisco State University. As a mathematics graduate student, she had the opportunity to teach developmental math courses and later had the privilege of teaching at her hometown community college, Hartnell College. At Berkeley, she has had the opportunity to work in the TRU-LS project and as a GSI for Cal Teach. Her research lies at the...

Renee Starowicz

Renee Starowicz is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Program in Special Education at the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University (SFSU). She completed her BA in Psychology at Le Moyne College and her MS in Cultural Foundations of Education with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Disability Studies from Syracuse University.

Her dissertation work has been supported through a number of competitive, merit-based scholarships at UC Berkeley and SFSU. Her work is focused at the nexus of interactional communication and Disability Studies in Education (DSE)....

Mónica Zegers Larrain

Mónica Zegers is a PhD candidate in the Human Development and Education program at the GSE. She was born and raised in Chile, where she earned a BA in Psychology and a professional degree in Clinical Psychology, both at Pontificia Universidad Católica of Chile. She later worked for two years as a therapist for children with developmental and learning disabilities while completing a graduate diploma in Pediatric Neuropsychology. From 2014 to 2020, Monica worked as a researcher at the Institute of Human Development at UC Berkeley.

Her work focused on the evaluation of parenting...