Dr. Vanessa Vongkulluksn, Learning Sciences Search Candidate, 12/5

On behalf of the Neag School of Education Learning Sciences Search Committee, we invite you to participate in candidate visits . . .


Dr. Vanessa Vongkulluksn

Search Candidate, Learning Sciences


The Learning Sciences Search Committee is pleased to welcome Dr. Vanessa Vongkulluksn as a candidate this week on Thursday, December 5, 2019.  She is currently the School-based Research Lead and a Postdoctoral Scholar at The Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology, Department of Educational Studies’ Research Laboratory for Digital Learning.  Vanessa holds a Ph.D. degree in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California, with a concentration in Educational Psychology and Quantitative Methods. She has focused her research on examining factors that impact learning and motivation in technology-integrated contexts. Her additional research interests include the development of digital literacy skills and their influence on children’s academic motivation and achievement in technology-rich learning environments. She has over five years of experience in school-based research and statistical analyses of data related to learning, cognition, and motivation.


Dr. Vongkulluksn will give both a research presentation (10:30-11:30, Tasker 12) and co-facilitate a teaching discussion (9:00 am – 10:00 am, 340D) which are described below.  We hope that students and faculty alike can come to one or both of these events. The teaching discussion is intended to be an opportunity to reflect on a shared problem of practice that teachers in higher education wrestle with.  Please come to one or both of these events!


Research Presentation

Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century: Affordances and Demands

5 December, 10:30-11:30

Gentry 340D


The widespread permeation of digital technology has brought new possibilities for supporting students in their learning process. At the same time, it gives rise to new skills students need in order to be successful both inside and outside the classroom. In this presentation, Dr. Vongkulluksn will discuss research that stand at this critical junction. She will describe her research that examined how technology affords new avenues for learner support and the psychological factors that are central to positive student experiences in digital environments. She will also discuss research that illustrated how students develop key 21st century skills such as information literacy and self-regulation, as well as what educators can do to support these developmental processes. The two strands of her research work together to examine technology and learning from both sides: what a technologically-driven world demands and offers. They both are key to understanding how learning occurs in the modern era and how to leverage advance technology towards creating learning environments that lead to student success.


Teaching Discussion

Facilitating Inclusive Classroom Discussions:

How to Encourage Diverse Student Voices in Higher Education

5 December, 9:00-10:00

Tasker 12


One key goal in higher education is to help students express their ideas during classroom discussions and relate class content to their own personal and professional experiences. Participating in classroom discussions not only help students better understand class content, but also motivate students to find personal relevance in what is being covered in class. An important issue related to this teaching endeavor is how to help students from diverse backgrounds feel comfortable and confident about participating in classroom discussions, especially in sharing personal stories that may seem different from the typical narrative. A related issue is how to encourage typically quiet students to participate. Dr. Vongkulluksn and Dr Wilson will co lead a discussion on different approaches and strategies to tackle these issues. Creating an equitable and supportive classroom environment is essential to helping diverse students succeed in higher education.

Save the Date: IBACS Meet & Speak 2020

We are excited to announce that the date of the IBACS 2020 Meet and Speak event will be March 28th. For those of you who are not familiar with the event, affiliated faculty (from the Storrs campus and UConn Health Center) will give presentations describing, in accessible language, the research they have carried out, or propose carrying out, with seed funding previously awarded by IBACS. Graduate students affiliated with the Institute will be performing short “datablitz” style presentations about their involvement in Seed Funded or related research. The event will provide an opportunity to learn more about the diverse research that IBACS affiliates are engaged in, and will provide a forum for cross-disciplinary networking.

Please save the date! A formal invite and details will be sent out as the event gets closer. Enjoy the rest of the semester and the upcoming holidays!

Call for IBACS Graduate Fellowship Applications

The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS) is inviting applications to its Graduate Fellowship Program.

These summer fellowships are intended for graduate students working on topics with relevance (broadly construed) to the Brain and Cognitive Sciences. IBACS Graduate Fellows attend a short grant-writing workshop at the start of the summer period, and will be expected to submit an application to the NSF GRFP, NRSA (pre- or post-doctoral fellowship), or equivalent, in the Fall.

Deadline for receipt of applications is December 13, 2019.

Graduate students who are not US citizens are eligible to apply, and are expected to work with their advisor to develop an external research proposal if they are not eligible for graduate fellowships. Students who were fellows in 2019 may apply if they submitted the external grant proposal they developed last year and it was not funded, with the expectation that they will revise their previous grant or develop a new one.

Please refer to the full details here.

Science of Intelligence Jobs – Early notice


Science of Intelligence (SCIoI)
Cluster of Excellence   

*Early notice*
6 PhD and 5 Postdoc positions
Full call expected in November 2019.
Stay tuned for more information on application deadline and application procedure!
Cross-disciplinary research in artificial intelligence, machine learning, control, robotics, computer vision, behavioral biology, cognitive science, psychology, educational science, neuroscience, and philosophy.
Starting dates: Summer / Fall 2020
Duration: 3 years
Salary level: TV-L 13, 100%

What are the principles of intelligence, shared by all forms of intelligence, no matter whether artificial or biological, whether robot, computer program, human, or animal? And how can we apply these principles to create intelligent technology? Answering these questions – in an ethically responsible way – is the central scientific objective of the new Cluster of Excellence Science of Intelligence.

Researchers from a multitude of analytic and synthetic disciplines – artificial intelligence, machine learning, control, robotics, computer vision, behavioral biology, cognitive science, psychology, educational science, neuroscience, and philosophy – join forces to create a multi-disciplinary research program across universities and research institutes in Berlin.
Our approach is driven by the insight, that any method, concept, and theory must demonstrate its merits by contributing to the intelligent behavior of a synthetic artifact, such as a robot or a computer program. These artifacts represent the shared “language” across disciplines, enabling the validation, combination, transfer, and extension of research results. Thus we expect to attain cohesion among disciplines, which currently produce their own theories and empirical findings about aspects of intelligence.

Interdisciplinary research projects have been defined which combine analytic and synthetic research and which address key aspects of individual, social, and collective intelligence.
In addition, the Science of Intelligence graduate program promotes the cross-disciplinary education of young scientists on a Master, PhD, and postdoctoral level. All PhD students associated with the cluster are expected to join the Science of Intelligence doctoral program.    
Zarifa Mohamad
Graduate Program
Science of Intelligence (SCIoI)
Technische Universitaet Berlin
Marchstraße 23
10587 Berlin, Germany
tel.: +49 30 314-22673
email: zarifa.mohamad@scioi.org

Expression, Language, and Music (ELM) Conference, May 13-15, 2020

Dear All,

We’re very pleased to announce a Call for Papers for ECOM’s new biennial conference Expression, Language, and Music (ELM) Conference, May 13-15, 2020 (to be held at the Lyceum Center, HartfordCT). The abstract submission deadline is December 9, 2019.


The conference will bring together researchers from linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science, music theory, dance theory, anthropology, and neurobiology with the aim of integrating recent findings and insights from diverse perspectives concerning the significance of expression in music, dance, and language, the importance of systematic structure in these domains, and the interrelations between expressive, musical, and communicative capacities and their relevance for understanding the emergence of language (in ontogeny and phylogeny). 

Our invited speakers are:

·         TecumsehFitch (Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna)

·         KathleenHiggins (Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin)

·         RayJackendoff (Linguistics, Tufts University)

·         JerroldLevinson (Philosophy, University of Maryland)

·         ElizabethMargulis (Music Cognition, Princeton University) 

·         IsabellePeretz (Psychology, University of Montreal)

·         David Poeppel (Neuroscience, NYU)

·         Ljiljana Progovac (Linguistics, Wayne State University)


Both the Poster and Call for Papers/Posters are attached. Please pass on/post as appropriate. And please save the dates! 

The conference website: https://elm.clas.uconn.edu

The conference email: elm@uconn.edu



Dorit Bar-On, ECOM Director 

Aliyar Ozercan, ECOM Coordinator


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Congratulations to Jon Sprouse!

The LSA is delighted to announce that Jon Sprouse (University of Connecticut) has been selected to receive the LSA’s inaugural C.L. Baker Award.  Established in 2019 through an endowment by the family of the late eponymous LSA member, the C.L Baker Award honors excellence for scholarship in syntax. It is to be awarded at least every other year to a mid-career linguist, with preference given to those who are 10-20 years post-PhD.  Read more about C.L. Baker and the endowment here.

The citation to accompany the award reads as follows:  “Jon Sprouse is an experimental syntactician whose work is characterized by imagination, innovation, care, and respect for the facts. He has made methodological contributions of central importance, enabling syntacticians to base their theoretical work on a much more secure empirical foundation. He has also made contributions of central importance to some of the core issues in syntax and linguistic theory more broadly – concerning the nature of island-hood and (in collaboration with Lisa Pearl) the theory of learnability.”

The award will be given during a ceremony on Saturday, January 4, 2020 during the LSA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.


Dr. Radenka Maric Graduate Fellowship

Graduate Student Call for Applications:

Dr. Radenka Maric Graduate Fellowship

The Graduate School is sponsoring a new set of fellowships this year. Dr. Radenka Maric Fellowships seek to develop a cohort of students who are looking for connections beyond what they can find in their own department. Ten fellowships will be awarded across the university, with one fellow selected from among the Departments and Programs of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In addition to a $3,000 stipend, fellowship recipients will be invited to meet together for social, roundtable, and professional development meetings.

 To be eligible for a Maric Fellowship, you must

  1. Be a masters or doctoral student enrolled in The Graduate School
  2. Demonstrate financial need or be meritorious

 In selecting a student for a Maric Fellowship, priority will be given to students who:

  1. Have overcome obstacles such as socioeconomic or educational disadvantage; or,
  2. Are members of groups that are underrepresented at the University of Connecticut; or,
  3. Have experience living or working in diverse environments.

 This is a non-endowed fellowship. It may be renewed annually pending availability of funds and provided that the Fellow continues to meet the criteria above and that the Fellow has participated in activities that The Graduate School organizes for Fellows. 

 Graduate Students interested in applying for the fellowship should provide the following information:

1. A brief summary of financial need and/or accomplishments as a UConn graduate student

 2. A short essay addressing the extent to which you satisfy one or more of the three priority criteria listed above. In the essay, also address how you would benefit from being a part of a supportive cohort.

 3. A letter of support from your graduate advisor or a professor who can speak to your graduate performance at UConn.

 Please submit your application to CLAS@uconn.edu no later than 4pm, October 21.

Postdoctoral Position in Neuroscience of Bilingualism

Postdoctoral Position in Neuroscience of Bilingualism Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

Applications are invited for a full-time post-doctoral position in the Psychology of Language and Bilingualism Lab at the Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. The position is funded by the Polish National Science Centre grant Mechanisms of language control underlying bilingual speech production: fMRI investigation (PI: Dr. Zofia Wodniecka; the Co-Investigators are:  Dr. Marcin Szwed(UJ) and Dr. Jakub Szewczyk (University of Illinois) and Dr. Michele Diaz (Penn State University, USA).
The project investigates neural bases of language production in bilinguals and its primary methodology is fMRI. The focus will be on Polish-English bilinguals; some knowledge of Polish will be an asset, but is not essential. Most importantly, we are looking for an innovative postdoctoral candidate with a strong background in cognitive neuroscience, computer science or related fields. The length of the appointment will depend on the start date of employment, but at least 2 year commitment is required.  

 Requirements: Candidates must have a Ph.D in Psychology, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Computer Science or a related field, or they must have completed the Ph.D by the time of appointment. Other requirements include: prior experience in fMRI and sMRI data acquisition and analyses, strong scientific record (including high quality dissertation, publications in peer-reviewed journals), research interests in neurobiology of cognitive functions,  advanced statistical knowledge, extensive experience in planning and conducting experiments in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, fluency in English, and a documented ability to work well both independently and in a team. Prior experience in fMRI technique is strongly preferred. Strong statistical and programming skills (including knowledge of Unix commands) is a plus.

 Applications should include: 1) a CV (with min. 3 reference contacts and a publication record); 2) a cover letter with a statement of research experience, interests and the motivation to contribute to the project; 3) a copy of the diploma or statement about the dissertation progress and a planned date of its completion (signed by the Ph.D. supervisor); 4) pdfs of two most important publications.  

 All applications should be sent by October 7th, 2019 to Dr. Zofia Wodniecka at zofia.wodniecka@uj.edu.pl.

The start date: AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Interviews with selected candidates will be held either at the Institute of Psychology or via Skype. For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Zofia Wodniecka.
IMPORTANT: An official call for this post can be found under the link. Please note that apart from the documents mentioned above, the candidate will be required to fill in Polish application forms (see the university HR website for details; download and sign the documents that have “Plik doc PL/EN” in the title). 

Call for papers: ECOM’s Inaugural Graduate Conference on 11/15-11/16

Kinds of Knowledge
Call for papers: University of Connecticut: ECOM’s Inaugural Graduate Conference, Nov 15-16, 2019
Deadline: Oct 5, 2019
Keynote Speakers: Fri Nov 15: Prof. Alex Byrne (MIT); Sat Nov 16: Prof. Kristin Andrews (York University)
In several places, the epistemologist Ernie Sosa has distinguished two varieties of knowledge: animal knowledge and reflective knowledge, where “animal knowledge that p does not require that the knower have an epistemic perspective … from which [one] endorses the source of that belief” whereas reflective knowledge “by contrast require such a perspective”. Sosa’s characterization makes it clear that he is concerned to distinguish two varieties of human propositional knowledge (what psychologists label ‘descriptive’ or ‘declarative’ knowledge), as opposed to nonpropositional (‘procedural’) knowledge, sometimes described as ‘knowledge how’. But Sosa’s discussion gives rise to questions that take us beyond human knowledge.
The aim of “Kinds of Knowledge” is to generate interdisciplinary discussion on varieties or types knowledge that are of interest to philosophers, psychologists, linguists, and anthropologists (among others). We encourage contributions that discuss specific types of knowledge that appear to defy traditional epistemological analyses, as well as ones that revisit traditional distinctions pertaining to different ways of knowing in light of new research and insights. Below are examples of potential topics (in no particular order):
  • ‘animal’ vs. ‘reflective’ human knowledge
  • theoretical knowledge that vs. practical knowledge how
  • knowledge who, what, where …
  • knowledge of other minds (incl. ‘theory’-theory vs. simulation theory vs. …)
  • self-knowledge
  • ‘minimal’ knowledge (as merely true belief)
  • the acquisition and development of epistemic notions and competence
  • observational vs. inferential; perceptual knowledge
  • ethical, mathematical, religious, … knowledge – knowledge by description vs. knowledge by acquaintance
  • knowing vs. ‘cognizing’* (*Chomsky’s term for speakers’ cognitive relation to the rules of their language)
  • empirical vs. conceptual knowledge, a posteriori vs. a priori knowledge
  • animal knowledge of ‘affordances’
  • ‘immediate’ vs. inferential vs. testimonial knowledge
  • metacognition

Submission guidelines:

We invite abstracts – 500-1,000 words, excluding references – of short papers, suitable for a 30-35-min presentation, by graduate students and postdocs. The papers should be relatively accessible to an interdisciplinary audience and avoid overly technical discussion of ‘in-house’ issues in epistemology.

Abstracts should be ready for blind review and include the title of the paper; they should make clear both the topic and the main arguments of the paper. Please send a separate cover sheet with the title of the paper, author’s name, affiliation (if any), and contact information.1

Abstracts+cover sheets should be sent to Aliyar Ozercan aliyar.ozercan@uconn.edu by October 5 (midnight). Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than October 10. Authors of accepted papers will be asked to send a draft of their full paper by November 5th.


1 Note: We will be trying to obtain funds to provide modest support for those who need it. Please indicate on the cover sheet whether you have no available funding source to support your travel. Meals while at the conference will be provided. In addition, UConn graduate students will attempt to help contributors find suitable accommodations.