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Featured Presenters

2018 Science of Learning Symposium

Sian Leah Beilock

Sian Leah Beilock is the 8th President of Barnard College. Before beginning her tenure at Barnard in July, 2017, Beilock spent twelve years at the University of Chicago. There, she served on the faculty as the Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology and a member of the Committee on Education. Additionally, she was a member of the senior leadership, serving as the Executive Vice Provost and an Officer of the University. Her work as a cognitive scientist has revolved around performance anxiety, with a focus on success in math and science for women and girls. She has explored the brain and body factors that influence learning and performance, including how simple psychological strategies can be used to ensure success in everything from public speaking to athletics. In 2010, she wrote the critically acclaimed book Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal about Getting It Right When You Have To, and in 2015, How the Body Knows Its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel. For her groundbreaking work on human performance, she won the 2017 Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences.

Elizabeth Ligon Bjork

Elizabeth Ligon Bjork (PhD, Psychology, Michigan; BA, Mathematics, Florida) is Professor and Past Senior Vice Chair in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she has also chaired UCLA’s Academic Senate, received UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and held leadership positions in efforts to enhance undergraduate education, including the training of Teaching Assistants. Main themes of her research have been the role of inhibitory processes in creating an adaptive memory system and how principles of learning discovered in the laboratory can be applied to enhance instructional practices and self-directed learning. She is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and has served on the editorial boards of several journals and on review panels for NIMH and NSF. Most recently, she is a joint recipient (with Robert A. Bjork) of the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award, which recognizes individuals for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to psychological research addressing a critical problem in society at large.

Robert A. Bjork

Robert A. Bjork (PhD, Psychology, Stanford; BA, Mathematics, Minnesota) is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on human learning and memory and on the implications of the science of learning for instruction and training. He has served as Editor of Memory & Cognition and Psychological Review, Co-editor of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance, and Chair of the UCLA Department of Psychology. He is a past president or chair of the Association for Psychological Science (APS); the Western Psychological Association; the Psychonomic Society; the Society of Experimental Psychologists; the Council of Editors of the American Psychological Association (APA); and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology. He is a recipient of UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award; the AmericanPsychological Association’s Distinguished Scientist Lecturer Award, the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Service to Psychological Science Award; the American Physiological Society’s Claude Bernard Distinguished Lectureship Award; the Society of Experimental Psychologists’ Norman Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award; and, together with Elizabeth Bjork, the James McKeen Cattell Award (“for outstanding contributions to applied psychological research”) from the Association for Psychological Science. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was selected to give the 120th Faculty Research Lecture at the University of California, Los Angeles, during 2016.

Janet Metcalfe

Janet Metcalfe is a Professor of Psychology and of Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University. Her research focuses on understanding the consequences of metacognition for attention, memory, learning, and neural processing. She uses methods ranging from laboratory experimental and online studies, mathematical models and neural imaging including fMRI and ERP, to in-the-wild classroom implementations with grade school children who are preparing to take high stakes tests. She is committed to using rigorous theoretical and laboratory results to enhance the learning of children and adults in real world situations.She has been honored to have served as the experimental psychologist on the many committees that eventuated in the formation of the new Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University and in this inaugural event. Among other honors, she is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and has served on the Governing Board of the Psychonomics Society where she was the founding Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Dylan Wiliam

Dylan Wiliam is Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at University College London.After a first degree in mathematics and physics, and one year teaching in a private school, he taught in urban schools for seven years, during which time he earned further degrees in mathematics and mathematics education. In 1984 he joined Chelsea College, University of London, which later became part of King’s College London. During this time he worked on developing innovative assessment schemes in mathematics before taking over the leadership of the mathematics teacher education program at King’s.Between 1989 and 1991 he was the Academic Coordinator of the Consortium for Assessment and Testing in Schools, which developed a variety of statutory and non-statutory assessments for the national curriculum of England and Wales.After his return to King’s, he completed his PhD, addressing some of thetechnical issues thrown up by the adoption of a system of age-independent criterion-referenced levels of attainment in the national curriculum of England and Wales.From 1996 to 2001 he was the Dean and Head of the School of Education at King’s College London, and from 2001 to 2003, he served as Assistant Principal of the College. In 2003 he moved to the USA, as Senior Research Director at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. In 2006 he returned to the UK as Deputy Director of the Institute of Education, University of London. In 2010 he stood down as Deputy Director to spend more time on research and teaching.His recent work has focused on the use of assessment to support learning (sometimes called formative assessment). He was the co-author, with Paul Black of a major review of the research evidence on formative assessment published and since then has worked with groups of teachers all over the world on developing formative assessment practices.