I’m a third-year cognitive science (with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience) PhD student at UC Irvine where I study metacognition and learning with Dr. Megan Peters.
Check out my UPenn LPS profile here and an alumni update post from the UChicago Neuro club here
Summary of my research for the CNLM Weinberger Award:
Throughout my academic career, I have sought answers to questions such as “how do humans create a subjective experience of the world” and “what are the mechanisms underlying our ability to think about our own thoughts”. I explore these questions through my own research as well as through science communication and outreach. As an undergraduate, I explored these ideas by majoring in neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy and gaining an interdisciplinary understanding of the mind and brain. Outside of the classroom, I conducted rigorous cellular and electrophysiological neuroscience research in rodents, through which I contributed to a publication in PLOS Biology, wrote a senior neuroscience thesis, and presented my work at various conferences. Though these experiences were invaluable, I felt unsatisfied with the level at which rodent research explores cognition and decided to pivot to studying humans. I worked as a research associate at UPenn where I studied how children learn numerical concepts like number order and number approximation. I became certified to run MRI experiments and gained experience with behavioral testing of both adults and children.
After dipping my toes in human research, I was inspired to conduct projects of my own, so I started a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCI with Dr. Megan Peters and Dr. Barbara Sarnecka. I investigate how humans evaluate their own thoughts, perceptions, and performance, otherwise known as metacognition. Specifically, my research focuses on how metacognition interacts with learning and whether metacognition can be improved through training. Using secondary data, I investigate the accuracy of undergraduate students’ metacognitive judgements and how it interacts with learning over time. I adapt statistical tools inspired by the psychophysics literature to disentangle students’ metacognition from their performance in a way that has not yet been done in education research. In the fall, I presented this work at the Neuromatch conference and I plan to present related work at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness this summer.
I also worked as a graduate student researcher for the Digital Learning Lab run by Dr. Mark Warshauer in the School of Education. Through this position, I contributed to work (1) exploring the effects of transparency in technology design on users’ perceptions and (2) reviewing child-focused technology designed to prompt reflection.