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Photo courtesy of Dr. Michelene Chi.

Kurt VanLehn was presented with an honorary doctorate from Utrecht University at the 379th Dies Natalis of the university on Thursday, March 25, 2015. The honorary promoter is Faculty of Science Professor Johan Jeuring.

VanLehn is the Diane and Gary Tooker Chair for Effective Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering. His research focuses on technology for learning and education and principles for learning reinforcement.

VanLehn received the honorary doctorate for his contributions to a number of aspects of his field, including testing, utilizing impasses and the use of dialogues to help support students. He has also realized a number of important breakthroughs; such as an innovative intelligent tutoring system to support physics lesson materials and assignments. In doing so, he showed that providing too much support can occasionally be counter-productive.

Kurt VanLehn - Photo courtesy of Robert Oosterbroek.

Photo courtesy of Robert Oosterbroek.

VanLehn has also found ways to make student models — representations of the student’s knowledge — more realistic and useful. His overview articles and meta-analyses have also provided an important contribution to the transfer of knowledge from his field. His recent work includes intelligent tutoring of dynamic modeling, a very important new subject in the field of math and physics education.

For more information on Professor VanLehn, read this recent post on Full Circle.

A video of the ceremony can be viewed here.

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