Lab Researchers

Lab Song!

Lab Director and Professor

Martha W. Alibali

I conduct research at the interface of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and mathematics education. My primary line of research investigates mathematics learning and development, with a special focus on the role of gesture in mathematical thinking and knowledge change. I am also interested in the role of gesture in thinking and communication, particularly in educational settings.

Contact information:
Department of Psychology and Department of Educational Psychology,
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Office: (608) 262-0837


Graduate Students

Andrea Marquardt Donovan

Andrea is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology. Her research is at the intersection of Psychology and education, with a particular interest in math cognition. Her work focuses on how children use representations, specifically their bodies, as well as manipulatives with their bodies, to learn, and how they communicate their knowledge through action and gesture. She is also interested in what information children and adults glean from other people’s bodies during learning via observation of action and gesture.


Lauren Anthony 

I am a fourth-year graduate student co-advised by Martha Alibali and C. Shawn Green in the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience area. As an undergraduate at UCLA, I studied problem representation in mathematics and memory strategies. My current research investigates how individuals (both adults and children) engage with patterns in mathematical contexts and the influence of such experiences on both performance and problem-solving strategies. I’m also interested in exploring the extent to which the ability to flexibly represent number is related to conceptions of equivalence, fraction understanding, and algebraic reasoning. 


Tory Jay

I am a third-year developmental psychology PhD student advised by Martha Alibali. I am a Wisconsin native who got my B.S. in Psychology & Neurobiology here at UW-Madison, and am excited to be back after receiving my M.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois. Broadly, I am interested in connections among math concepts and how these connections can be leveraged to deepen understanding of mathematics.


Rui Meng

I am a sixth-year graduate student advised by Martha Alibali and Percival Matthews. My research focuses on cognitive development and cuts across cognitive, developmental, and educational psychology. In particular, I study how young children and adults understand and interpret covariation data, and its connections with other numerical and mathematical concepts.


Nicholas Vest

I am a fourth-year developmental psychology PhD student advised by Martha Alibali. My current research investigates mathematical and numerical cognition with a focus on how children develop an understanding of integers (positives, negatives, and zero). Prior to graduate school, I obtained a B.S. in Psychology at Indiana University where I also worked as a lab manager for two years. You can find me on Twitter @nicholas_vest.


Jennifer Murray

I am a first-year graduate student advised by Martha Alibali. I completed a bachelor’s in mathematics and a bachelor’s in psychology at the University of Montana. After graduating, I taught high school math for five years before coming to UW- Madison. My research interests are at the intersection of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and education. In particular, I am interested in conceptual understanding of mathematics, especially fractions and division.


Post-doctoral Researchers

Daniel Alcaraz Carrion

I am a post-doctoral fellow funded by the Séneca Foundation in Murcia, Spain, as well as a member of the Little Red Hen Lab and the Daedalus lab (University of Murcia, Spain). Before coming to UW-Madison, I received my PhD in Linguistics and English Language from Lancaster University, UK advised by Prof. Christopher Hart. My work focuses on how speakers communicate and understand abstract concepts, such as time, number and abstract magnitude, through both speech and other multimodal devices such as gestures or graphic representations. To do this, I analyze large quantities of textual and audiovisual data extracted from a TV news repository to detect speech-gesture patterns. During my time at UW-Madison, I will specifically focus on how certain speech and multimodal patterns may affect the comprehension of temporal concepts in instructional settings, as well as exploring the relation between temporal and numerical cognition in multimodal communication.


Undergraduate RAs

Sydney Brando

Christine Becerra

Madison Freeman

Manal Hasan

Skylar Montgomery

Pragati Maheshwary

Ariel Sanchez

Olivia Moore

Julia Sales Leite

Jonathan McLaughlin

Lauren Smith

Greta Hansen

Claire Bowman

Cassie Liu

Alyssa Shack

Other People in the CDC Lab

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Lab Alumni (Graduate Students and Post-Docs)

Graduate Students 

Anna Bartel, Research Associate, WestEd

David Menendez, Postdoctoral Research, University of Michigan

Bethany Rittle-Johnson, Professor, Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University

Nicole M. McNeil, Professor, Psychology, University of Notre Dame

Autumn Hostetter, Professor, Psychology, Kalamazoo College

Richard Prather, Associate Professor, Human Development, University of Maryland

Shanta Hattikudur, Associate Professor of Instruction, Educational Psychology, Temple University

Noelle Crooks, Assistant Professor, Broward College

Annie Riggs, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Western Washington University

Andrew G. Young, Assistant Professor, Northeastern Illinois University

Pooja G. Sidney, Assistant Professor, Psychology, University of Kentucky

Sarah Brown, Postdoctoral Researcher, Boston University

Amelia Yeo, Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Education

Postdoctoral Researchers 

Matthew Wolfgram, Senior Researcher, Wisconsin Center for Educational Research

Rebecca Boncoddo, Associate Professor, Psychological Sciences, Centeral Connecticut State University

Virginia Clinton, Assistant Professor, Education, Health, and Behavior, University of North Dakota

Jennifer Cooper, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Stonehill College

Emily Fyfe, Assistant Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University Bloomington

Christopher Osterhaus, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Munich Center of the Learning Sciences

Jose Gutierrez, Assistant Professor, Education, Culture, & Society, University of Utah

Andreas Obersteiner, Professor, Mathematics Education, Freiberg University of Education

Emily Szkudlarek, Data Scientist

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Lab Alumni (Project Managers)

Project Managers

Elena Silla, Graduate Student, University of Delaware

Olympia Mathiaparanam, Graduate Student, University of Rochester

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Lab Alumni (Undergraduates RAs)

Undergraduate Researchers

Holden Manhart

Tyler Tommasi

Nour Sabbagh (Spring 2021-Fall 2021)

Kai Sylte

Hannah Alpert

Xinyi Liu (Spring 2020-Spring 2021)

Shivali Zala

Zach Bueler

Kylie Robinson (Fall 2019-Spring 2021)

Grace Sutton

Sonja Lin Vaintrub (Spring 2019-Spring 2021)

Makayla Petersdorff (Fall 2020-Spring 2021)

Lauren Kresser (Fall 2020-Spring 2021)

Jaclyn Psenka (Fall 2019-Fall 2020)

Benjamin Barmore (Spring 2018-Spring 2020; Senior Thesis)

Vanesa Meneses (Fall 2017-Spring 2020)

Gill-Helene Schomaker (Spring 2018-Spring 2020)

Sarah Desch (Fall 2019-Spring 2020)

Ruby Paisner (Spring 2018-Fall 2018; Fall 2019)

Nicole Koshevatskiy (Fall 2019)

Devin Deegan (Fall 2017-Spring 2019)

Erin Condon (Spring 2017-Spring 2019)

Shaolong Xue (Spring 2019-Spring 2019)

Nadine Jessup (Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019)

Vaughn Collins (Spring 2017-Spring 2019; Senior Thesis)

Vijay Marapudi (Fall 2017-Spring 2019; Senior Thesis)

Adele Posner (Fall 2017-Spring 2019; Senior Thesis)

Helen Huang (Fall 2018-Spring 2019)

Kathryn Anderson (Fall 2016-Spring 2019)

Erika Stauss (Spring 2017-Spring 2019)

Delaney McCabe (Spring 2018-Spring 2019)

Carmen Krug (Fall 2017-Fall 2018)

Hannah Kubicki (Spring 2018-Fall 2018)

Elizabeth Moellers (Fall 2018)

Delaney Twing (Fall 2017-Fall 2018)

Morgan Gald (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)

Maggie Kotecki (Spring 2017-Spring 2018)

Nel Siemsen (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)

Jaspreet Singh (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)

Ruohan (Crystal) Xia (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)

Sarah Her (Fal 2017-Spring 2018)

Xiaoning Zhang (Spring 2017-Spring 2018)

Colleen Bruckner (Spring 2017-Spring 2018)

Hallie Martens (Spring 2017-Spring 2018)

Nidhi Deepu Rajan (Spring 2017-Spring 2018; Senior Thesis)

Alexis Hosch (Fall 2016-Spring 2018)

Haley Beers (Fall 2016-Spring 2018)

Morgan Pagenkoph (Fall 2017)

Li Cai (Spring 2017-Fall 2017)

Yanchi Gu (Fall 2015-Spring 2016, Fall 2017)

Megan Schmitt (Spring 2017)

Eartha Zhang (Spring 2017)

Sydney Bibicoff (Fall 2016-Spring 2017)

Kayla Knowles (Spring 2016-Spring 2017)

Bobbi Aubrey (Fall 2016-Spring 2017)

Yang Liu (Spring 2016-Spring 2017)

David Singer (Spring 2016-Spring 2017)

Feier Yang (Spring 2016-Spring 2017)

Cher Yang (Spring 2016-Spring 2017)

Min A Kim (Spring 2016-Spring 2017)

Aleska Kresovic (Fall 2016-Spring 2017)

Mariah Ferri (Fall 2015-Spring 2017)

Victoria Jay (Fall 2014-Spring 2017; Senior Thesis)