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Worsley Named Jacobs Fellow

February 1, 2024
Marcelo Worsley attaches a wearable to a basketball player's wrist
Marcelo Worsley (left) attaches a wearable to an athlete's wrist.

Northwestern University’s Marcelo Worsley has been named a research fellow with the Jacobs Foundation to support his work helping students learn computer science through sports.

Building on the global popularity of sports and the increasing use of technology to improve professional athletics, Worsley’s goal is to show youth how using data and computer science can help them get better at doing what they love.

“Data is a creative superpower,” says Worsley, the Karr Family Associate Professor in Computer Science and Learning Sciences at Northwestern and School of Education and Social Policy faculty member. “Computer science and data science can be career paths, but I am more interested in helping youth leverage these disciplines as a form of creative expression.”

Worsley’s research interests broadly involve the design of learning environments with a particular attention to ways that artificial intelligence and data mining can support human learning in and out of school.

He directs the Technological Innovations for Inclusive Learning and Teaching (TIILT) Lab, which works with community and industry partners around the world to help design equity-focused learning tools for people and organizations.

“My work is ultimately about creating spaces where youth engage in deep and meaningful learning while participating in the activities that they already enjoy,” he says. “It is about making sure that they can bring the various aspects of their identity to the learning space and have that identity be honored and valued.”

The Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship Program offers fellowships to early- and mid-career researchers whose work is dedicated to improving the learning and development of children and youth worldwide.

The ideal fellow “has not only a great research idea but significant potential as a researcher to contribute as part of interdisciplinary teams within and beyond the network of the Jacobs Foundation,” according to the program’s website. In addition to providing fellows with independent and competitive funding, the program offers a wide range of non-financial benefits.

Before arriving at Northwestern, Worsley earned his doctorate in Learning Sciences and Technology Design at Stanford University. Read more about his work in SESP Magazine.