James Foster
ASSETT Data Scientist

Meet James Foster, Education Technology Research Assistant. James joined the ASSETT team as a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Cognitive Science at CU Boulder. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Florida, and his doctoral research focuses on building machine learning models to better understand human language and concept learning. Previously, James has worked on numerous projects relating to educational technology at CU Boulder. As a part of the computational language and education (CLEAR) lab, he led an expert annotation study to collect machine learning training data for automatically identifying core educational concepts. This effort was part of a larger project that uses machine learning to analyze student-written essays to automatically identify misconceptions and recommend relevant digital learning resources. He also contributed to a customized curriculum service that enables teachers to discover, share, and modify digital resources for use in the classroom.

In the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, James has designed, implemented, and analyzed laboratory and classroom experiments for assessing concept learning, including assessing the impact of clickers in the classroom. As a data collection and analysis consultant, he has helped graduate students, post-docs, and faculty members use technology to better conduct psychological research. As a graduate teaching assistant, James has focused on improving his own teaching practices as well as helping others become better teachers. He was the lead graduate teacher for the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience for two years, and engaged in supplementary teacher training workshops, consulted with graduate students to improve their teaching practices, and led workshops on teaching statistics and research methods.

James enjoys bringing his passion for educational technology, learning, data science, and teaching to the ASSETT team. He works with ASSETT’s Education Technology Researcher and Student Fellows to collect, analyze, and visualize classroom observation and survey data to advance key campus initiatives related to improving teaching and learning. When he’s not working, James enjoys biking, archery, and playing guitar (but not all at once), and you can catch him performing improv comedy Friday nights on campus with his troupe Left Right Tim.