Computer-Aided Education


July 15, 2013


Armando Solar-Lezama, Sumit Gulwani, and Zoran Popovic


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MSR, University of Washington


New forms of education are emerging that offer the potential to amplify the reach of a single educator to embrace thousands of simultaneous learners. Organizations like Khan Academy and Coursera are exploring the opportunities and challenges offered by massively open online courseware. In a classroom of thousands, tasks like assignment grading, problem generation, and student analytics can become intractable.

In this session of the 2013 Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, we explore approaches that seek to mitigate these challenges by applying machine learning, cloud computing, and other innovative technologies.


Armando Solar-Lezama, Sumit Gulwani, and Zoran Popovic

Sumit Gulwani is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond. His research interests are in the cross-disciplinary application areas of automating end-user programming, for a variety of systems such as spreadsheets, smartphones, and robots, and in building intelligent tutoring systems for K-14 math, programming, science, and language learning. Gulwani has expertise in automated programming—from examples, natural language, and logic—and program-analysis techniques. He obtained his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005 and has been awarded the C.V. Ramamoorthy Award, for “outstanding contributions to a new research area in computer science,” and the ACM SIGPLAN Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. Gulwani obtained his B.Tech. in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 2000 and was awarded the President’s Gold Medal.

Zoran Popovic is a Professor in computer science at University of Washington and a Director of Center of Game Science. Zoran’s research interests lie in computer graphics and interactive games research, focusing on scientific discovery through game play, learning games, high-fidelity human modeling and animation. His laboratory produced Foldit, a biochemistry games whose outcomes are now published in Nature, as well as a award-winning learning games, and real-world games. His contributions to the field of computer graphics have been recently recognized by a number of awards including the NSF CAREER Award, Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and ACM SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award.