Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome to Dr. Bob's Cog Blog

In grad school, we had a saying, "Science is hard." When I left academia to join the dark side (aka "industry"), I also realized that "Marketing is hard." Taken together, it would be fair to say that "Marketing science is insanely hard." Many have tried, and a few have even succeeded.

Mission and Vision

My goal for this blog is to make Cognitive Science relevant, useful, and understandable (and maybe even a little fun!). The reason why that's the goal is because I work with a bunch of really great math teachers. They are in the trenches, teaching other math teachers how to teach. It's my belief, shared by others, that teaching is improved when you add an understanding of how the mind works. 

This belief comes from a couple of sources. First, I went to grad school at this amazing place called the "Learning Research and Development Center" at the University of Pittsburgh. We lovingly referred to it as simply as "LRDC." While working and studying at LRDC, I met some of the smartest scientists and educators on the planet. They were all working toward the common goal of understanding how people learn, with an eye toward creating interventions that fed on that understanding. I also had the privilege to teach a course called "Cognitive Science for Non-majors." The goal of that class is where I draw the inspiration for this blog: I had to explain heavy-duty scientific concepts in a way that was understandable to my students.

In the posts that will follow, I will attempt to address the question: How can the theories and empirical findings from Cognitive Science help inform instruction and the design of educational technologies? The goal is to present possible answers to this question in the context of everyday examples, and (hopefully!) connect back to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. 


Okay, so what's with the name? First of all, I must give credit where credit is due. My wife, Leslie, came up with the name. It's a mashup of two popular-cultural references. The first is the beloved Dr. Bob from the Muppets. I earned my PhD in 2005, but I never really felt comfortable with the distance that "Dr. Hausmann" created. Instead, I like the more fun reference. Second, the title of this blog is an homage to Bob Loblaw's Law Blog from Arrested Development. Thus, I give to you Dr. Bob's Cog Blog.

Share and Enjoy!

Dr. Bob