Thursday, November 1, 2018

By Sara Nelson Photo by Mei-Ling Shaw Williams

Matthew Lira, new clinical assistant professor in Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences, wants to design innovative learning environments for students.

Prior to joining the UI College of Education in January 2018, Lira received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ball State University, his Master of Arts in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, and his doctorate from University of Illinois at Chicago. 

“I am excited to get to know the students, not just teaching the content. I have a lot of empathy for what students are going through as they navigate the demands of our curriculum, and I really want to be supportive,” says Lira. 

Lira’s research currently focuses on developing experiments to identify the cognitive functions of learning with equations to improve learning environments for science students. 

He hopes to create learning environments that provide students with new ways to express and connect mathematical and biological knowledge. Lira also wants to provide undergraduate students experience with computer programming environments. 

“I want students to be able to start grappling with computational technologies in a user-friendly and meaningful way, rather than these technologies acting as a barrier that prevents students from engaging in higher-level learning,” says Lira.