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Uri Wilensky

Uri Wilensky

  • Lorraine Morton Professor of Learning Sciences and Computer Science
  • Affiliated Faculty member, Buffett Center for Global Studies
  • Director, Center for Connected Learning & Computer-Based Modeling
  • Executive Board Member, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)
  • Professor (by courtesy), Department of Philosophy
  • Faculty member, program in Cognitive Science, program in Technology and Social Behavior, Segal Design Center Research Council, Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology for Drug Abuse/HIV
  • Affiliated Faculty member, Center for Interdisciplinary Astrophysics

Annenberg Hall Room 337, 2120 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208
Curriculum Vitae

Academic Area

Learning Sciences

Research Interests

Mathematics and science education in the context of computation, connected learning, constructionism, computer-based modeling, agent-based modeling and complex systems and education.


Uri Wilensky is the Lorraine H. Morton professor of Learning Sciences and Computer Science at Northwestern University. He is the founding director of the Center for Connected Learning, founding co-director of the Computer Science/ Learning Sciences PhD program and co-founder of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems. Wilensky’s award-winning NetLogo is the most widely used agent-based modeling environment. His theory of restructurations describes how knowledge and learning change in the context of computation, and its implications for making sense of complexity. He was an early advocate of integrating computation into all school subjects and has authored numerous computational science curricula.


  • PhD, Media Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1993
  • MA, Mathematics, Harvard University, 1980
  • BA, Mathematics and Philosophy, Brandeis University, 1977

Awards and Honors

  • 2018 – Rosaria Conte Outstanding Contribution to Social Simulation
  • 2014 – Best paper, IDC 2014
  • 2014 – NSF Distinguished Lecture
  • 2013 – Complex Systems Gift Honoree
  • 2010 – NRC Computational Thinking Panel
  • 2009 – AAAS Computational Thinking Commission

Selected Publications

Maroulis, Spiro; Bakshy, Eytan; Gomez, Louis; Wilensky, Uri (2014). Modeling the transition to public school choice.JASSS; 17(2).

>Horn, Michael; Brady, Corey; Hjorth, Arthur; Wagh, Aditi; Wilensky, Uri (2014). Frog Pond: A code-first learning environment on evolution and natural selection. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series: 357-360.

Holbert, Nathan; Wilensky, Uri (2014). Constructible authentic representations: Designing video games that enable players to utilize knowledge developed in-game to reason about science. Technology, Knowledge and Learning (1-2): 53-79.

Stroup, Walter; Wilensky, Uri (2014). On the embedded complementarity of agent-based and aggregate reasoning in students’ developing understanding of dynamic systems. Technology, Knowledge and Learning; 19(1-2): 19-52.

Wilensky, Uri; Brady, Corey; Horn, Michael (2014). Education: Fostering computational literacy in science classrooms: An agent-based approach to integrating computing in secondary-school science courses. Communications of the ACM; 57(8): 24-28.