Dr. Pratim Sengupta

Pratim is a Professor of Learning Sciences and STEM Education at the University of Calgary's Werklund School of Education. Until Oct 2019, he also held the Research Chair of STEM education. He co-directs the Mind, Matter & Media Lab along with Dr. Marie Claire Shanahan.

Research Outline and Brief Bio

My research sits at the intersection of modelling complex systems, multi-agent programming languages, art and social justice. This work involves building immersive, interactive and public computational systems for modelling complex phenomena, drawing upon from, and contributing to literatures on complex systems, computer science, critical theories, learning sciences, science education, and social justice. Across the different projects, we are developing critical phenomenological approaches for integrating computing in public education, in justice-oriented ways. Updated list of publications can be found on Google Scholar.

I began my research career in education focusing on conceptual change and integration of computational modelling in K-12 science classrooms. Over the next decade, along with m3lab alums Dr. Amy Farris, Dr. Amanda Dickes and Dr. Kara Krinks, this body of work focused on refining theories of conceptual change in science education using computational modelling, developing theoretical frameworks and pedagogical approaches for integrating computational modelling in science and STEM classrooms, grounded in the "science as practice" perspective. This work culminated in proposing a Bakhtianian model for coding in K-12 STEM, and also laid the foundation of a critical phenomenology of coding in K-12 STEM, to be published soon by MIT Press in the form of an open access book: Voicing Code in STEM - A Dialogical Approach.

Current research projects are largely collaborative with Dr. Marie-Claire Shanahan and graduate student members of the Mind, Matter & Media Lab. A big focus of this work is Public Computing. Computing environments that we have developed have been installed at the Museum of Modern Art - New York (Cullman Research Center), and Telus SPARK (Calgary), Studio Bell - Canada's National Music Center (Calgary), and the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity (Banff).

I also work closely with colleagues at the Maryland PERG, Dr. Thomas Philip (UC Berkeley), Dr. Jonathan Gilligan (Vanderbilt) and Dr. Miwa Takeuchi (UCalgary).

I serve as an Executive Editor of Cognition and Instruction and a Senior Editor (STEM Education) for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education.

I completed my PhD in Learning Sciences and a Masters degree in Physics from Northwestern University, USA. My undergraduate degrees are from Presidency University, Kolkata and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. Prior to coming to the University of Calgary, I was a tenure-track professor at Vanderbilt University, USA, where I also led the establishment of the Learning Sciences PhD program in 2011. I moved to the University of Calgary as a dual career hire with my partner, sociologist Dr. Pallavi Banerjee.

Notable Awards / Recognitions

  • NSF CAREER Award (2012) from the US National Science Foundation
  • Paul D. Fleck Award / Fellowship from the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity (Canada) (2019)
  • Research Chair of STEM Education, University of Calgary (until Oct 2019)
  • Visiting Professorship (Honorary) at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research - Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education, India (2020 - 2023)
  • Fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE.org)
  • Several "best paper" awards and nominations at various international conferences.