Stacy Shaw, Principal Investigator

Dr. Stacy Shaw is an Assistant Professor in Learning Science and Technology and Psychological Science at WPI. Her research focuses on understanding creative thinking in mathematics, how anxiety and other threat experiences affect mathematical cognition and reasoning, as well as how classroom experiences can affect performance and learning in STEM.

Graduate Students

Alena Egorova

Alena is a first-year PhD student in the Learning Sciences & Technologies program. She got her Psychology Diploma from Moscow State University, where she investigated how emotional burnout develops in teachers. After graduation, Alena studied how people interact with digital tools, working as a User Experience Researcher and Designer in several internet projects for over 7 years. She came to WPI to learn the ways new technologies and data could be used to improve education. Her current research interests include affect dynamics in learning and digital interventions targeting cognitive and metacognitive skills.

Andrew McReynolds

Andrew McReynolds is a first-year MS-PhD student in the Learning Sciences & Technologies program at WPI. He was an undergraduate researcher in the psychology department at the University of San Francisco (USF) while completing his bachelor’s degree in psychology (December 2020). During his time at USF, Andrew was a teaching assistant for courses such as abnormal psychology, child maltreatment, and advanced research topics, all while examining the impact of COVID-19 on his peers educational experience. He joined WPI in 2021 to pursue his graduate education in a multi-disciplinary program where he could combine his interests in educational interventions and psychology while expanding his knowledge on the use of computer science in the future of education. His research interests include equity in education, teacher-student interaction, and improving accessibility to educational materials in developing countries.

Personal Website -

Vy Ngo

Vy is a first-year Master's student studying how teachers' perceptions affect students' math performance and attitudes towards math, and how instructional technologies affect these relationships. For example, she is working on a correlational study to investigate the associations between teachers' implicit gender-science biases and students' performance in math. Her goal is to promote equity and reducing gender gaps in education and work environments.

Personal Website -

Kirk Vanacore

Kirk Vanacore is a Ph.D. student in Learning Sciences and Technologies at WPI. He earned his Masters at Tuft University from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study Human and Development. At Tufts, he worked as a graduate research assistant at the Center for Reading and Language Research studying and implementing effective pedagogy for dyslexic students. Currently, Kirk works as a Senior Analyst at Lexia Learning, where he uses data science to inform the development and improvement of educational technologies. Kirk's research interests include learning analytics, education data mining, causal inference in big data analysis, and effective pedagogies for neurodiverse populations.

Research Assistants

Chayanne Sandoval-Williams, Lab Manager

Chayanne is a junior Computer Science major working with the CEDAR Lab. In addition to her interests in the lab regarding incubation and insight, she is also interested in school psychology, human-computer interaction, user experience, and how those fields can all align! Currently, Chayanne is working as the lab manager for the CEDAR Lab.


Danny Rahal, M.A.

Danny Rahal is a sixth-year doctoral student in developmental psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on how social marginalization, with respect to low objective and subjective status and being treated as low status, can compromise health and well-being among adolescents from racial and ethnic minority and low-income backgrounds. He investigates how everyday discrimination and status relate to different aspects of health including daily stress processes, emotional well-being, mental health, substance use, and physiological systems including immune, autonomic, and hormonal processes.