Carnegie Learning Cognitive Scientists Win “Best Paper” at International Conference on Education Data Mining

PITTSBURGH, PA, July 15, 2009 – Carnegie Learning cognitive scientists and research assistants took top honors at EDM ’09, the Second International Conference on Education Data Mining in Cordoba, Spain, earlier this month. Based upon analysis of data gathered from the company’s Cognitive Tutor mathematics software the paper, “Reducing the Knowledge Tracing Space”, demonstrated one way to more efficiently model student learning of cognitive skills.

Carnegie Learning cognitive scientists Drs. Steven Ritter, R. Charles Murray, and Brendon Towle collaborated with Tristan Nixon, Thomas Harris, and Daniel Dickison in the gathering and analysis of data and the publication of the paper. Dr. Ritter presented “Reducing the Knowledge Tracing Space” on July 3 to researchers from 24 countries. Educational Data Mining papers were presented by experts in Computer Science, Education, Psychology, Psychometrics, and Statistics who gathered at the Universidad de Córdoba to share insights into how to analyze large data sets to improve educational outcomes.

“Our winning research showed that, if we think of all cognitive skills as varying in just four different ways, we can very efficiently search and represent the content that we present to students,” said Dr. Steven Ritter, Chief Scientist for Carnegie Learning, Inc. “This process allows us to design ways to more efficiently adapt educational systems to student characteristics.”

Educational Data Mining is a growing field, enabled by the recent increase in instrumented educational software, as well as state databases of student test scores. Organized by the International Working Group on Educational Data Mining, the EDM conferences focus on computational approaches for using those data to address important educational questions.

“Data mining is used by companies like Google,, and Netflix to customize their offerings to their users,” said Dr. Ritter. “As a field, education currently lags behind e-commerce in using data mining, but the impact of educational data mining can have profound effects on the quality of teaching and the accuracy of learning.”

Carnegie Learning develops and markets mathematics solutions that provide highly individualized, self-paced instruction to middle school and high school students as full year courses as well as Response to Intervention (RtI) and supplemental math programs. Designed to prepare students with 21st Century learning skills, Carnegie Learning® Math Solutions provide rigorous print and software instructional resources, ongoing formative assessment, and Professional Development programs for teachers and administrators.

About Carnegie Learning (
Carnegie Learning, Inc. is a leading publisher of innovative, research-based math solutions for middle school, high school, and post-secondary students. Our curricula – Bridge to Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Integrated Math programs – provide differentiated instruction to more than 500,000 students in nearly 2600 schools in the U.S., helping them to succeed in math as a gateway to graduation and preparation for the 21st century workforce. Carnegie Learning Blended Math Solutions integrate interactive software, text, and collaborative classroom activity for core, full-year math instruction. Carnegie Learning Adaptive Math Solutions feature Cognitive Tutor Software that may be customized for Response to Intervention programs. All solutions are supported by Carnegie Learning Professional Development Services. In independent studies, Carnegie Learning curricula consistently show significant effects on student learning resulting in improved math achievement. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Learning was founded by cognitive and computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University in conjunction with veteran mathematics teachers.

Mary Murrin
Carnegie Learning, Inc.
412-690-2442, ext. 176

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