The Queen of the Sciences Lab investigates mathematical thinking, learning, and development using a variety of methods including correlational studies of individual differences, experimental studies of math interventions, computational cognitive modeling, and textbook analysis. The aim of this research is to improve our understanding of cognitive processes involved in learning and doing math in order to identify better ways of teaching math.
Creating a Theory of Decimal Arithmetic Learning. This project, funded by National Science Foundation Award #1844140, aims to create a theory of children’s learning and performance in a challenging area of math: decimal arithmetic. The project includes empirical studies of children’s strategies, analyses of curricular materials such as textbooks, and computational simulation of learning and problem-solving processes.
Varying Aspects of Explicit Instruction with Fractions. The goal of this project is to develop and test an intervention to improve children’s knowledge of fraction arithmetic. The project tests for interactions between two instructional factors: explaining procedures and interleaving practice. This project is in collaboration with Garret Hall in the College of Education.
Role of Executive Function in Math Problem Solving. This project uses individual difference paradigms to investigate the roles of different executive functions—working memory, inhibition, and shifting—in math problem solving. The project is led by Qiushan Liu.
Assessing Mathematical Reasoning. The goal of this project is to develop and test an assessment of mathematical reasoning using a geometry proof completion task. Once developed, the assessment will be used to measure relations between individual differences in math reasoning and other aspects of math ability. The project is led by Lauren Sprague.