Research

I'm interested in learning, especially the dynamic interaction of solving problems and making new ones. Where do ideas come from? Where do problems come from? How do we evaluate and choose among ideas, problems, goals, and plans? How do we make these judgments with so little evidence (in fact, sometimes none at all)? I conjecture that our ability to represent, generate and evaluate problems provides a useful high-level constraint on thinking and learning. I use behavioral experiments with children and adults to characterize these intuitions. 

My current work focuses on exploratory play as a way to understand how humans' flexible goal-setting and planning abilities enable learning and innovation. 

Before graduate school, I worked on language and concept acquisition (with David Barner at UCSD) and math learning (with Bethany Rittle-Johnson at Vanderbilt).

For a list of publications, see Google Scholar or my CV.