Introduction to GRIP

Team Meeting

Where is LessonSketch produced?

For our first blog post, we’ll give you a brief peek at what our workspace might look like if you were to visit us today, and introduce you to the members of the team along the way. Future blogs will discuss team projects, programs, and developments in LessonSketch.

A tour through the GRIP lab

As you enter the GRIP lab, the first office was recently occupied by one of our research associates, Dr. Ander Erickson. This was his last month working with the team, as he secured a position at Western Oregon University. During his last weeks here, you might have found him logging his extensive knowledge about the organization of our data or doing a number of other tasks to ensure that his absence will not cause too much strain for the team. In his six years as a student and researcher at the University of Michigan, he has become a critical member of GRIP and will be sorely missed.

The next two offices are inhabited by research assistants Mollee and Umut on the right, and research investigator Dr. Amanda Milewski on the left. Mollee and Umut are the newest members of the team. Today Umut is training a junior researcher we recently hired to help analyze data from the Mathematics Science Partnership project Amanda manages —Implementing EMATHS using StoryCircles. Umut, Amanda, and the junior researcher all have dense-looking Excel sheets open. Mollee is actually writing this blog post.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 11.08.02 AM

We gave Ander the above picture from all of us as a departing gift. Pictured left to right, top to bottom: Nic, Ander, Chieu, Felice, Amanda, Mollee, Umut, Pat, and Inah.

Standing Desks

Mollee Shultz's happy office and Dr. Amanda Milewski's in the GRIP lab.

The contrast between these two offices should help demonstrate that no two workspaces are the same. Amanda’s office leads us to believe she may have been an interior designer in an alternate life. A mere comparison of standing desks can highlight this distinction.

Team Meeting

Dr. Herbst and other members of the GRIP team give feedback on proposals during their weekly GRIP team meeting

The conference room is a magical place. Aside from outside team activities like dodgeball and drinks at Dominick’s (a favorite ‘watering hole’ among members of the School of Education, due to its proximity and charm), meetings in the conference room are where we bond as a whole, cohesive group. Once a week, the whole group meets for a one-hour seminar and a three-hour research meeting. During the seminar, we discuss a reading proposed by one of the members of the group. During the research meeting, we update each other on the projects we’re all working on and receive feedback. Our fearless leader, Dr. Patricio Herbst, sits at the head of the table. Only Nic has ever been courageous enough to breach this norm.

The last three offices are occupied by Dr. Vu Minh Chieu, Nic and Inah, and Felice. Chieu, the most senior of our group aside from Pat, is our resident computer scientist. He and Dr. Herbst are the directors of one of our most recent research projects — SimTeach. When he’s not conducting studies and data analysis on those studies, he’s likely making improvements or fixing bugs on our LessonSketch site.

Inah is our expert statistician and Nic is well on his way to becoming just as skillful. They also act as mentors to the first and second-years in the group. Felice is one of only a few full-time staff on the team, who worked as a special education administrator of a mid-sized school district, prior to joining the team. She initially joined the group to help recruit participants for a study (for which she recruited over a thousand) and she is currently managing the development of our website.

Dr. Vu Minh Chieu

Dr. Vu Minh Chieu at his office in the GRIP lab.

Nic Office

Nicolas Boileau's happy office and Inah Ko's in the GRIP lab.

And where is our fearless leader located? Pat’s office is two floors above us, due to his position as Educational Studies chair for the School of Education. He juggles administration, his own research, mentoring five students, and teaching, while keeping an eye on the larger goals of the group and directions for future research such as Technology-Mediated Mathematics Teacher Development: Research on Digital Pedagogies of Practice.

Pat Office

Dr. Pat Herbst at his office.

So this is the GRIP team and our workspace. Stay tuned for blog posts, including updates on the team’s projects and programs!

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