René F. Kizilcec
Director of Digital Learning Research, Stanford University
Assistant Research Professor, Arizona State University
Co-founder, Stanford Lytics Lab

Email: kizilcec@stanford.edu
Office: Barnum Center, Room 146, 505 Lausen Mall

René Kizilcec is the Director of Digital Learning Research in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. At Stanford, he co-founded the interdisciplinary Lytics (Learning Analytics) Lab. In July 2018, he will join the Department of Information Science at Cornell University as an Assistant Professor. He holds a PhD in Communication and MSc in Statistics from Stanford University, and a BA in Philosophy and Economics from University College London.

His research is on social and cultural psychological factors in interactive technologies, for example, how psychological barriers hinder the academic achievement of online learners, how effective self-regulation strategies vary across cultures, and how peer influence spreads in social networks. He is particularly interested in the psychological challenges to realizing the potential of digital environments for diverse and global audiences. His research has been published in leading journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Journal of Educational Psychology, Computers in Human Behavior, Computers & Education, and in the proceedings of leading human-computer interaction and education conferences such as ACM SIGCHI, Learning at Scale, and Learning Analytics & Knowledge. This research was awarded an ACM Best Paper Award, a Computational Social Science Fellowship, a Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, a Stanford Faculty Seed Grant for Innovation in Research, and the Nathan Maccoby Outstanding Dissertation Award.

René’s research has examined the consequences of social identity threat, self-regulation, trust, and cultural differences using longitudinal field experiments. Recently, he has investigated how to (1) close the online global achievement gap between members of more and less developed countries in online courses, (2) support goal pursuit across cultural contexts with self-regulation strategies, and (3) enhance the online learning experience by strategically placing social cues in videos. He leverages techniques from data mining, machine learning, and natural language processing to examine behavior and motivation, reveal heterogeneous treatment effects, and inform user-centered design. René has also worked closely with Facebook to conduct research on social influence in communication behavior on social media.

You can follow him on Twitter @whynotyet.

Selected Press

On Self-regulation and Culture: Xinhua News, The Australian, Stanford News.

On AI Transparency: SiriusXM Business Radio by The Wharton School.

On Closing Global Achievement Gaps with Psychological Interventions: PBS Rewire, Inside Higher Ed, EdSurge News, The Australian, Engadget, Science Daily, Futurity, MIT News, Stanford News.

On Learning Analytics in MOOCs: BBC, ACM Tech News, MOOC News and Reviews, Stanford News.