The Hillman Foundation established the professorship in 1986 to enable the university to attract world-class educators and researchers to Pittsburgh, building the region's prestige as a center of teaching and innovation.
Koedinger's research aims to understand human learning and create educational technologies that increase student achievement. He leads LearnLab, the scientific arm of CMU's Simon Initiative, and is a co-founder of Carnegie Learning Inc., which markets tutoring software, textbooks and other educational products.
His research has contributed new principles and techniques for the design of educational software and has produced basic cognitive science research results on the nature of mathematical thinking and learning.
Koedinger has created cognitive models — computer simulations of student thinking and learning that guide the design of educational materials, practices and technologies. These models provide the basis for an approach to educational technology called cognitive tutors that support learning within rich problem-solving environments. Cognitive tutors for mathematics, science and language have been created, are in use in hundreds of schools and have been repeatedly demonstrated to improve student learning.
Koedinger earned a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at CMU in 1990 and joined the HCII faculty in 1993 after a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychology.