I’m actively seeking undergraduate and graduate students to work with me on research. However, not every student is a good fit. The advice on this page will give you a sense what I’m looking for, so please read this before asking about a position.

Skills I Look For

The research I do involves a variety of technical and non-technical skills, and the needs of particular projects vary. If you’re a graduate student you should already be comfortable with a variety of these skills. Undergraduates should be adept with one or more and have a willingness to learn quickly about others.

  • Education My research primarily centers on technologies whose purpose is to help people learn about something. Are you interested in teaching/learning? Have you taught before (tutored, summer camp, courses, TA’d)? Have you taken any courses in education?

  • Software Development Current projects primarily use web-based technologies (though this may change). Experience with HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, or SQL are most relevant.

  • Interviewing My research involves talking to people about how they’re learning. Experience conducting interviews or focus groups is helpful.

  • Technical Writing Do you have experience with and enjoy writing about technical topics? Great!

Interest in Research Required

We build all kinds of cool tools in my lab, but tool development is only part of the larger scope of our work, which is studying how people learn and how new technologies can enable learning. Accordingly, the students who most successfully work with me are those who aren’t just looking to do software development. Instead, they’re intently interested in understanding how the software they’re part of building shapes users’ learning experiences.

Take a Class With Me

One of the best ways for me to judge whether you’d be a good fit for the lab is for you to take a class with me first. That will give you a sense for how I work with students and, depending on the course, the kinds of research I do. It also gives me an opportunity to see you and your skills in action. So, if possible, enroll in a class with me before seeking a position in the lab.

Current CU Students

If you think you are a good fit after reading this, please send me an email to set up a meeting to chat further. In your message be sure to include answers to the following:

  • Why Me? There are many great faculty at CU. Be sure to look at some of my recent publications and project descriptions first, and then tell me why you are specifically interested in working with me.

  • Why Research? Tell me why you’re interested in getting involved in research in general, and specifically in the kind of research that I could help you with.

  • Your Skills Tell me about your experience with the skills above and show me some evidence. If you’re a great programmer, send me a link to one of your recent projects. If you’ve conducted interviews, send me a transcript of one. If you’re a great writer, send me a sample. If you have some other talent that I haven’t listed, show me!

Prospective Graduate Students

Think you’d like to get a Masters degree or PhD? Apply to study in ATLAS, Computer Science, or Education. I am faculty in and can advise students from all three programs. I strongly encourage you to get in touch with me in advance so that I can help you to determine which program is a better fit for you.


Special thanks to Brian Dorn at the University of Nebraska Omaha for his very helpful example of how to structure this page. With his permission, I have cribbed liberally from his example.