Prajakt Pande

Prajakt Pande, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of the Learning Sciences in the Simmons Teaching & Learning Department

Prajakt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and is affiliated with SMU’s Technology-enhanced Immersive Learning Cluster (TEIL). He also holds a Research Associate position at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Prajakt earned his Ph. D. from the Learning Sciences Research Group at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

Prajakt specializes in the convergence of embodied cognition, technology-enhanced learning, and STEM education. His research focuses on two main highly interdisciplinary aspects. Firstly, he develops and evaluates innovative technology interfaces, such as immersive virtual reality (iVR), to facilitate embodied learning of scientific concepts and phenomena. Secondly, he characterizes learning processes through the lens of embodiment by examining mechanisms of cognition and action (such as bodily interaction with scientific models and representations). To pursue this two-fold research, Prajakt employs iterative design-based research models, and a combination of techniques such as qualitative interviewing, interaction analysis, and eye-tracking. His research contributes to both the theory of learning and educational practice.

Before joining SMU, Prajakt served as the Science Education Design Lead at the Molecule Maker Lab Institute, an NSF-funded AI institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to that, he led research on the design and use of iVR for science learning at Roskilde University, Denmark, as a postdoctoral researcher.

Prajakt co-chairs Embodied@ICCE, an annual International Workshop on Embodied Learning: Technology Design, Analytics, and Practices, in collaboration with colleagues from Japan, Switzerland, and India. This workshop takes place in conjunction with the International Conference on Computers in Education. He has traveled extensively across Asia, Europe, and the United States for research purposes and has been invited to speak about his research at multiple local as well as international venues in recent years.

Southern Methodist University has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.