The Mission

The Science of Learning Institute seeks to understand and optimize the most essential part of our human capital: the ability to learn. The Institute supports interdisciplinary research, training, and outreach programs that will generate scientific discoveries and build meaningful connections between research, practice, and policy.

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Generating New Ideas

Facilitating dialog and interaction across the divisions and schools of Johns Hopkins University is critical for generating new, interdisciplinary research in the science of learning and instilling a culture of collaboration. SLI's method for doing this is the Belgian Beer Event (BBE):  Several times during each year, faculty, research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from across the university are invited to present their research and mingle in a casual, conversational atmosphere.  The locations of these community-building events vary across Johns Hopkins campuses in order to promote greater diversity in participation. 

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News Highlight

With a 1.4 million federal grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, SLI researchers will test a novel approach to teaching 3rd-grade science.

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Training the next generation of scientists

There is growing recognition that the next generation of scientists must think broadly about how we learn, be able to synthesize knowledge from multiple scientific perspectives, generate innovative, interdisciplinary research, and use these to bridge research, practice, and policy. Our training programs provide young scientists with opportunities to expand their knowledge of the science of learning and its applications to address real world issues.

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News Highlight

After seeing students' enthusiasm for his line of work during a visit to Patterson High School, Distinguished Science of Learning Fellow Corbin Cunningham designed a daylong program on Hopkins' campus that exposed them to the fun — and accessibility — of college-level science.

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Conducting Cutting-Edge Science of Learning Research.

Our grant programs generate new scientific discoveries about lifelong learning through interdisciplinary collaborations spanning basic and applied sciences.  

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Training Future Leaders in the Science of Learning.

We train scientists how to think broadly about learning, generate innovative perspectives and research on how we learn, and how to build meaningful connections between research, practice, and policy. 

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Connecting Science to Practice.

We collaborate with educators, practitioners, and policymakers to advance the understanding of science of learning research and translate research into meaningful, evidence-based practices, programs, and policies.

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Funded Research

How ‘rational’ is the learning process?

This project combines behavioral experiments with a philosophical analysis of learning models to determine whether we integrate new information in a way that obeys the principles of rational inference.

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Do novice and experienced teen drivers show neurophysiological...

We will use behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging techniques to explore neurophysiological markers of hazard detection in experienced versus inexperienced teenage drivers.

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Can technology enable effective and efficient learning of...

This work will bring together scientific principles from peer learning in adults, machine learning, and surgical skill assessment to deliver a scalable methodology to augment technology to support humans learning complex skills.

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Upcoming Events

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Recent News

Flamingos, elephants, and sharks: How do blind adults learn about...

Study finds that people born blind develop rich and accurate ideas about appearance based on cultural inference

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SLI-funded scientists ask what animal brains have in common with...

In an effort to improve robotic swarming algorithms, an interdisciplinary team of scientists will study how the brain allows an animal to navigate and change its route while moving.

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Barbara Landau, elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Barbara Landau elected to the National Academy of Sciences

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Our Experts

Dr. J Tilak Ratnanather

Associate Research Professor, Center for Imaging Science and Institute for Computational...

Dr. David Andrews

Dean, School of Education

Dr. Donald Geman

Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Center for Imaging Science

Dr. Vikram Chib

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Anand Malpani

Assistant Research Scientist

Dr. Jin Kang

Jacob Suter Jammer Professor & Chair, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Dr. Lisa Feigenson

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Sridevi Sarma

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. David Foster

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Christina Harnett

Associate Professor

Dr. Bonnie Nozari

Assistant Professor, Departments of Neurology and Cognitive Science

Dr. Bethany Sacks

Assistant Professor of Surgery; Assistant Program Director, Department of Surgery

Dr. Kyle Rawlins

Assistant Professor and Interim Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Cognitive Science

Dr. Kelly Fisher

Senior Executive Strategic Advisor

Dr. Paul Worley

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Jay Baraban

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Randal Burns

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Dana Boatman

Professor, Departments of Neurology and Otolaryngology