Blikstein, Paulo (pb2755)

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Paulo Blikstein
Associate Professor of Communications, Media and Learning Technology Design
Associate Professor
Mathematics, Science & Technology

Educational Background

Ph.D. (Learning Sciences), Northwestern University, 2009
M.Sc. (Media Arts & Sciences), MIT Media Lab, Future of Learning Group, 2002
M.Eng. (Electronic Engineering), University of São Paulo (Brazil), 2000
B.S. (Metallurgical Engineering), University of São Paulo (Brazil), 1998

Scholarly Interests

Technology in teaching and learning
Computer modeling in Social and Behavioral Sciences
Science and Mathematics Education
Low-cost computational technologies
Maker education
Computer science education
Tangible interfaces for learning
Constructivism; Constructionist; Critical Pedagogy

EDM - International Educational Data Mining Society
SoLAR - Society for Learning Analytics Research
AERA - American Educational Research Association
ISLS - International Society for the Learning Sciences
JPS - Jean Piaget Society
IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ASEE - American Society for Engineering Education
ACM - Association for Computer Machinery
CSS - Cognitive Science Society

Paulo Blikstein is an associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he directs the Transformative Learning Technologies Lab. Blikstein’s research focuses on how new technologies can deeply transform the learning of science, engineering, and mathematics. He creates and researches cutting-edge educational technologies, such as computer modeling, robotics, digital fabrication, and rapid prototyping, creating hands-on learning environments in which children learn science and mathematics by building sophisticated projects and devices. He also focuses on the application of data-mining and machine learning for the assessment of hands-on, project-based learning. Blikstein has spearheaded the FabLearn project, building advanced digital fabrication labs in middle and high schools in four continents. Paulo was also the Founder and Principal Investigator of the Lemann Center for Brazilian Education at Stanford, a 10-year initiative to transform public education in Brazil.

2016 - AERA Div. C Jan Hawkins Early Career Award
2015 - Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education
2011 - NSF CAREER Award: “Bifocal modeling: a new approach for the learning of advanced STEM content in high school”

2008-2018 - Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

  • Assistant Professor of Education & (by courtesy) Computer Science
  • Transformative Learning Technologies Lab (TLTL), Director
  • Lemann Center for Educational Innovation in Brazil, Founder & Director (

Peer-reviewed journal publication

  • Schneider, B.* & Blikstein, P. (accepted). Tangible User Interface and Contrasting Cases As A Preparation For Future Learning.  Journal of Science Education and Technology.
  • Hossain, Z.*, Bumbacher, E.*, Brauneis, A*., Diaz, M.*, Saltarelli, A.*,  Blikstein, P. & Riedel-Kruse, I. (in press).  Design Guidelines and Empirical Case Study for Scaling Authentic Inquiry-based Science Learning via Open Online Courses and Interactive Biology Cloud Labs. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. doi: 10.1007/s40593-017-0150-3.
  • Bumbacher, E.*, Salehi, S.*, Wieman, C., & Blikstein, P. (2017). Tools for science inquiry learning: Tool affordances, experimentation strategies, and conceptual understanding.  Journal of Science Education and Technology, pp. 1-21. doi:10.1007/s10956-017-9719-8
  • Worsley, M.* & Blikstein, P. (2017). A Multimodal Analysis of Making. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, pp. 1-35. doi: 10.1007/s40593-017-0160-1.
  • Worsley, M.* & Blikstein, P. (2017). On the origins of students’ ideas: Identifying reasoning strategies in the context of engineering design with everyday materials. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research.
  • Zancul, E.S., Durão, L.F.C.S., Lopes, R.D., Nakano, D.N., Blikstein, P., Majzoub, G.G. & Leite, D.D.* (2017). Engineering Design Education: Comparing a Traditional Design Process to a Design Thinking Approach. International Journal of Engineering Education.
  • Blikstein, P., Kabayadondo, Z.*, Martin, A.*, & Fields, D. (2017). The Exploration and Fabrication Technology Index (EFTi): Assessment of unexplored technology and engineering literacies in makerspaces and educational FabLabs. Journal of Engineering Education, 106 (1), pp. 149-175.
  • Hossain, Z.*, Chung, A.*, Bumbacher, E.*, Lee, S.*, Kim, H.*, Walter, A.*, Litton, C.*, Pradhan, S.*, Jona, K., Blikstein, P. & Riedel-Kruse, I. (2016). A Real-Time Interactive, Scalable Biology Cloud Experimentation Platform. Nature Biotechnology, 34, pp. 1293–1298.
  • Iversen, O., Smith, R.,  Blikstein, P., Katterfeldt, E. S. & Read, J. (2016). Digital fabrication in education: Expanding the research towards design and reflective practices. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, pp. 1-2.
  • Blikstein, P., Fuhrmann, T.*, & Salehi, S.* (2016). Using the Bifocal Modeling Framework to Resolve “Discrepant Events” Between Physical Experiments and Virtual Models in Biology. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25 (4), pp. 513-526.
  • Christensen, K., Hjorth, M., Iversen, O., & Blikstein, P. (2016) Towards a formal assessment of design literacy: Analyzing K-12 students' stance towards inquiry, Design Studies, 46, pp. 125-151.
  • Blikstein, P., Gomes, J.*, Akiba, H. T. & Schneider, B.* (2016). The Effect of Highly Scaffolded Versus General Instruction on Students' Exploratory Behavior and Arousal. Technology, Knowledge, and Learning, pp. 1-24
  • Blikstein, P. & Worsley, M.* (2016). Multimodal Learning Analytics and Education Data Mining: using computational technologies to measure complex learning tasks. Journal of Learning Analytics,  3 (2), pp 220-238.
  • Schneider, B.* & Blikstein (2016). Using exploratory tangible user interfaces for supporting collaborative learning of probability. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies,  9(1), 5-17.
  • Merceron, A., Blikstein, P., & Siemens, G. (2016). Learning analytics: From big data to meaningful data. Journal of Learning Analytics, 2 (3), pp. 4-8.
  • Sadler, J.*, Aquino Shluzas, L., & Blikstein, P. (2016). Building blocks in creative computing: Modularity increases the probability of creative prototyping success. International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, pp. 1-17.
  • Blikstein, P. (2016). Freire and Papert: Agency, Emancipation, and Technology. (original title in Portuguese: Freire and Papert : a tecnologia como um agente de emancipação). Education and Research,  42 (3), pp.837-856.
  • Blikstein, P. (2015) Computationally enhanced toolkits for children: historical review and a framework for future design. Foundations and Trends in Human-Computer Interaction, 1 (9), pp. 1-68.
  • Schneider, B.* & Blikstein, P. (2015). Unraveling students’ interaction around a tangible interface using multimodal learning analytics. jEDM-Journal of Educational Data Mining, 7(3), 89-116.
  • Hossain, Z.*, Jin, X.*, Bumbacher, E.*, Chung, A.*, Koo, S.*, Shapiro, J.*, Truong, C.*, Choi, S.*, Orloff, N.*, Blikstein, P., & Riedel-Kruse, I. (2015). Interactive cloud experimentation for biology: An online education case study. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, Seoul, South Korea, pp. 3681-3690 [Honorable mention award, top 5% of submissions].
  • Lee, S. A.*, Bumbacher, E.*, Chung, A.*, Cira, N.*, Walker, B.*, Park, J.*, Starr, B.*, Blikstein, P., & Riedel-Kruse, I. (2015). Trap it! : A playful human-biology interaction for a museum installation. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, Seoul, South Korea, pp. 2593-2602.
  • Worsley, M.* & Blikstein, P. (2014). Analyzing engineering design through the lens of learning analytics. Journal of Learning Analytics, 1 (2), pp. 151-186.
  • Blikstein, P.**, Worsley, M.*, Piech, C.*, Sahami, M., Cooper, S., & Koller, D. (2014). Programming pluralism: Using learning analytics to detect patterns in novices' learning of computer programming. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23 (4), pp. 561-599. [45 citation on Google Scholar]
  • Berland, M., Baker, R., & Blikstein, P. (2014) Learning analytics in constructivist, inquiry-based learning environments. Technology, Knowledge, and Learning, 19 (1-2), pp. 205-220. [60 citation on Google Scholar]
  • Schneider, B.*, Wallace, J.*, Blikstein, P.**, & Pea, R. (2013). Preparing for future learning with a tangible user interface: the case of neuroscience. IEEE Transaction on Learning Technologies, 6 (2), pp. 117-129. ISSN 1939-1382
  • Blikstein, P. & Wilensky, U. (2009). An atom is known by the company it keeps: Constructing multi-agent models in engineering education.  International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning, 14 (2), pp. 81-119, Netherlands: Springer. [62 citation on Google Scholar]
  • Blikstein, P. & Tschiptschin, A. (1999). Monte Carlo simulation of grain growth. Materials Research, 2 (3), pp.133-137.

Full papers in indexed, archival peer-reviewed CS/HCI proceedings

  • Davis, R.*, Martinez, O.*, Schneider, O.*, MacLean, K., Okamura, A., & Blikstein, P. (2017). The Haptic Bridge: Towards a Theory of Haptic-Supported Learning. In Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children. ACM, Stanford, CA. [one of the top 10 IDC downloaded papers in 2017 from the ACM digital library]
  • Martinez, M.*, Morimoto, T.*, Taylor, A.*, Barron, A.*, Pultorak, J.*, Wang, J.*, Calasanz-Kaiser, A.*, Davis, R.*, Blikstein, P., Okamura, A. (2016). 3-D printed haptic devices for educational applications. In World Haptics Conference (WHC), 2016 IEEE, pp. 126-133.
  • Worsley, M.* Scherer, S., Morency, L.P., & Blikstein, P. (2015). Exploring behavior representation for learning analytics. In Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI). ACM, New York, pp. 251-258.
  • Worsley, M.* & Blikstein, P. (2015). Leveraging multimodal learning analytics to differentiate student learning strategies. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, Poughkeepsie, New York, pp. 360-367.
  • Sadler, J.*, Durfee, K., Aquino Shluzas, L., & Blikstein, P. (2015). Bloctopus: A novice modular sensor system for playful prototyping. In Proceedings of  the 9th Annual Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI). ACM, Stanford, CA, pp. 347-354.
  • Bumbacher, E. Salehi, S., Wierzchula, M., & Blikstein, P. (2015). Learning environments and inquiry behaviors in science inquiry learning: How their interplay affects the development of conceptual understanding in physics. In Proceedings of  the 8th International Conference on Educational Data Mining. Madrid, Spain,
    pp. 61-68
  • Worsley, M.* & Blikstein, P. (2014). Deciphering the practices and affordances of different reasoning strategies through multimodal learning analytics. In Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Workshop on Multimodal Learning Analytics Workshop and Grand Challenge. ACM, New York, NY, USA. pp. 21-27
  • Blikstein, P. (2013). Gears of our childhood: constructionist toolkits, robotics, and physical computing, past and future. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children. ACM, New York, NY, pp. 173-182. [61 citations on Google Scholar]
  • Worsley, M.* & Blikstein, P. (2013). Towards the development of multimodal action based assessment. In D. Suthers & K. Verbert (Eds.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp. 94-101. [46 citations on Google Scholar]
  • Blikstein, P. (2012). Using Agent-Based Computer Modeling to Simulate the Use of Multiple Epistemological Resources in the Classroom. In Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Sapporo, Japan, pp. 132-137.
  • Blikstein, P. (2012). Bifocal modeling: a study on the learning outcomes of comparing physical and computational models linked in real time. In Proceedings of the 14th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI), pp. 257-264.
  • Piech, C.*, Sahami, M., Koller, D., Cooper, S., & Blikstein, P. (2012). Modeling how students learn to program. Proceedings of the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, pp. 153-160. [107 citation on Google Scholar]
  • Blikstein, P.  (2011). Using learning analytics to assess students’ behavior in open-ended programming tasks. Proceedings of the I Learning Analytics Knowledge Conference (LAK 2011), Banff, Canada, pp. 110-116. [159 citation on Google Scholar]
  • Tseng, T.*, Bryant, C.*, & Blikstein, P. (2011). Collaboration Through Documentation: Automated Capturing of Tangible Constructions to Support Engineering Design. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference for Interaction Design and Children (IDC), Ann Arbor, Michigan, pp. 118-126.

Peer reviewed book chapters published or accepted

  • Blikstein, P. (2017). The History and Prospects of the Maker Movement in Education. In M. Vries (ed.),Springer International Handbooks of Education.
  • Sadler, J., Shluzas, L., Blikstein, P., and Srivastava, S. (2016). Can Anyone Make a Smart Device? Evaluating the Usability of a Prototyping Toolkit for Creative Computing. In H. Plattner, C. Meinel, & L. Leifer (Eds.), Design Thinking Research (vol. 8), Berlin, Germany: Springer International Publishing.
  • Roschelle, J., Noss, R., Blikstein, P., & Jackiw, N. (2017). Technology for mathematical reasoning. In NCTM Research Handbook on Mathematics Education.
  • Blikstein, P. & Worsley, M. (2016). Children are not Hackers: Building a culture of powerful ideas, deep learning, and equity in the Maker Movement. In K. Peppler, E. Halverson, and Y. Kafai (Eds.), Makeology: Makerspaces as Learning Environments (Volume 1) (pp. 64-79), New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Blikstein, P. (2014). Bifocal Modeling: Comparing physical and computational models linked in real time. In Nijholt, A. (Ed.), Playful learning interfaces (pp. 317-350),  Netherlands: Springer.
  • Blikstein, P. (2013). Digital fabrication and ’making’ in education: The democratization of invention. In J. Walter-Herrmann & C. Büching (Eds.), FabLabs: Of machines, makers and inventors (pp. 203-221). Bielefeld: Transcript Publishers. [281 citations on Google Scholar]
  • Blikstein, P. & Wilensky, U. (2010). MaterialSim: An agent-based learning environment for advanced scientific content. In Jacobson, M. J., (Ed.), Designs for learning environments of the future (pp. 17-60), Netherlands: Springer.
  • Blikstein, P. (2008). Travels in Troy with Freire: Technology as an agent for emancipation in Noguera, P. & Torres, C. A. (Eds.), Social Justice Education for Teachers: Paulo Freire and the possible dream (pp. 205-244). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense. [44 citations on Google Scholar]
  • Blikstein, P. (2006). Assessment and its discontents (“Mal-estar na avaliação”). In Silva, Marco (Ed.), Assessment in Online Learning (pp. 123-144). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Ed. Loyola.
  • Blikstein, P. & Zuffo, M. K. (2004). The mermaids of electronic teaching (“As sereias do ensino eletrônico”). In Silva, Marco (Ed.), Educação Online: teoria, prática, legislação e treinamento corporativo. (“Online Education: theory, practice, legislation and corporate training.”) (pp. 10-37). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Ed. Loyola. [Chosen by the Brazilian Literary Academic as one of the 10 best books in education in 2005.] [108 citations on Google Scholar]


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