Press release

Carnegie Learning and The University of Memphis to Create a Learner Data Institute to Improve Educational Outcomes

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Carnegie Learning announced today its commitment to a new National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project to build a Learner Data Institute that will harness the power of data to better understand how people learn, improve adaptive instructional systems, and make the learning technology ecosystem more effective and cost-efficient. The project, led by Dr. Stephen Fancsali, Director of Advanced Analytics at Carnegie Learning, and Dr. Vasile Rus, Professor of Computer Science at The University of Memphis (Tennessee), will bring together researchers from universities, government agencies, and private companies to collaborate on improving educational outcomes everywhere.

“Harnessing the Data Revolution” is a National Science Foundation “Big Idea,” a national-scale activity through which data-driven, multi-disciplinary discovery projects are funded to ask and answer new fundamental questions at the frontiers of science and engineering.1 This “framework” grant brings together a world-class team of researchers from disciplines including computer and data science, statistics, psychology, educational research, and related areas to conceptualize key challenges and define research priorities to address real-world problems in education. Project researchers will also develop prototype solutions to address these challenges and priorities, using Carnegie Learning’s MATHia® as a target adaptive learning platform for innovative, data-driven enhancements to both student and teacher learning experiences.

“We’re active collaborators with some of the world’s leading learning scientists,” says Dr. Stephen Fancsali, Director of Advanced Analytics at Carnegie Learning and co-lead on the new LDI project. “We are excited to partner with the diverse group of collaborators at University of Memphis and LDI partner institutions. Their expertise in areas like natural language processing serves as a great complement to our statistical and machine learning approaches to using learner problem-solving data to provide actionable insights to teachers and iteratively refine the cognitive models that underlie MATHia.”

MATHia, the 1:1 artificial intelligence-driven math learning software from Carnegie Learning, plays a significant role by providing learning data from billions of student actions gathered as hundreds of thousands of students solve complex, real-world math problems in classrooms across the country. Analyses of such data provide fundamental insights into how students learn math, drive product innovation and improvement, and help MATHia developers better understand how to communicate actionable insights to teachers and other stakeholders.

“Carnegie Learning’s ability to innovate with initiatives like the Learner Data Institute is a reflection of our commitment to continuous improvement, the power of our adaptive MATHia platform, and our singular focus on driving better student outcomes,” says Barry Malkin, CEO. “Our company was built by some of the most brilliant minds at Carnegie Mellon University with research and data at its core. We are thrilled to embark on this new project with the University of Memphis and the National Science Foundation to create new solutions to some of educators’ top challenges.”

Committed to Research from the Start

Since its founding at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 1998, Carnegie Learning has collaborated with academic researchers to translate innovative, interdisciplinary research into practice. With an exceedingly diverse cast of contributing researchers from learning science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, the Learner Data Institute is part of Carnegie Learning’s continued commitment to leveraging the power of innovative research and “big data” to deliver 21st century blended learning experiences. The project aims to give teachers superpower insight into student learning while it occurs, while ensuring that learning is engaging and meaningful for all students.

For more information about Carnegie Learning’s research, visit


Carnegie Learning is a comprehensive, dynamic and progressive learning technology company. Advocating a belief in teaching and determination to help students develop as learners and thinkers, Carnegie Learning is seeking to re-define the role of technology across the K-12 landscape. It delivers research-proven mathematics curriculum and the MATHia® platform for grades 6-12, project-based digital solutions for computer science, and best-in-class K-12 professional learning services. EMC School, part of Carnegie Learning, delivers blended learning resources and services for 6-12 world languages and English language arts. Mondo Education, also part of Carnegie Learning, provides high-quality literacy resources and services for K-5 classrooms. For more information please visit: