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We will be meeting in room 090/070 in the 18th Avenue Library.


Date:  03/04/15 - 6:30pm


Dear Common Sense: Can we talk? I’m trying to learn science



Two interesting claims about how we reason and make decisions have percolated up from the cognitive sciences and reached the popular media: First, we can usefully model our thought processes as two systems: fast and intuitive vs. slow and reasoned. Second, our reasoning is often strongly biased by our beliefs and prior experiences. I will show examples of this in the domain of learning and understanding science. I will discuss how our natural everyday intuitions and beliefs can sometimes help us to understand science and reason scientifically, but more commonly, they interfere with learning and scientific reasoning. So far, it is not clear that there is any easy way around this issue.


About our speaker:


Andrew Heckler, Associate Professor of Physics

Andrew Heckler started his career in physics studying the cosmology and astrophysics, but then became inspired by another fascinating universe: the science of learning. Since then, he has studied basic mechanisms underlying difficulties in learning physics, the evolution and hierarchy of physics learning, how different representations affect learning and performance, reasoning, and efficient instructional methods to improve conceptual understanding and basic skills in physics.





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