Ph.D. Student, Educational Psychology

LUCID Research Project: OMELET

Mathematics Education Learning & Development Lab (MELD)

MELD Research Project: Longitudinal Analysis of Mathematical Brain Development & Abilities (LAMBDA)

Research Interests: Mathematical Cognition and Learning

Research Advisor: Dr. Percival Matthews

My current master project works on the cognitive process involved in perceiving the magnitudes of varieties of quantities, especially the magnitude of relative quantities. One particular property of relative quantities is that their magnitudes are determined relationally. Previous research has shown that space and number are closed connected. One classical example is the spatial numerical association of response code effect, also named as SNARC effect. My master project aims to test whether the association exist between space and relative quantity, taking non-symbolic ratio as the example.

Besides, I am also working on a perceptual based educational intervention project which try to strengthen the links between symbolic and non-symbolic representations of fractions, and thereby improving knowledge of symbolic fraction magnitudes and symbolic fraction knowledge more generally. I also work on a longitudinal project investigating the development of fraction knowledge in children. This longitudinal project, which will follow children in second and fifth grade for four years, works to better understand how basic perceptual abilities rooted in the human brain support the learning of fractions.

I also work on a cross disciplinary project with people from psychology and computer science department. This project aims to develop optimal teaching or training problem set that can speed human learning. The project combines computational cognitive modeling method from psychology discipline with optimization techniques from machine teaching discipline. The approach is currently being tested with arithmetic problems, but can be used to boost human learning in any learning tasks or in important education domains. So, this is me, an educational psychology student who studies mathematical cognition, cognitive development, and learning optimization. If you would like to know more about me or the projects I work on, please see our OMELET project page and read this blog post on computational cognitive modeling.

**Publications**

**Meng, R.**, & Matthews, P. (2017). Does Presentation Format Modulate Adults’ Automatic Processing of Proportions? In Gunzelmann, G., Howes, A., Tenbrink, T., & Davelaar, E. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. London, UK: Cognitive Science Society.

Matthews, P.G., **Meng, R.**, Toomarian, E., & Hubbard, E.M. (2016). The Relational SNARC: Spatial Representation of Nonsymbolic Ratios? In Papafragou, A., Grodner, D., Mirman, D., & Trueswell, L.C. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Philadelphia, PA: Cognitive Science Society.

#### Presentations

2017

**Meng, R.**, Sen, A., Matthews, P.G., Alibali, M.W., & Zhu, J. Optimizing Human Learning with Machine Teaching. In Rogers, T.T, & Kalish, C.W. LUCID science: Advancing learning through human-machine cooperation. Symposium presented at the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, London, UK.

Kalish, C.W., **Meng, R.**, Sen, A., & Matthews, P.G. Optimizing Mathematic Learning: Effects of Continuous and Nominal Practice Format on Transfer of Arithmetic Skills. Poster presented at the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, London, UK.

**Meng, R.**, & Matthews, P.G. Does Presentation Format Modulate Adults’ Automatic Processing of Proportions? Poster presented at the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, London, UK.

**Meng, R.**, & Matthews, P.G. Does Presentation Format Modulate Adults’ Automatic Processing of Proportions? Poster presented at the 5th Annual Midwest Meeting on Mathematical Thinking, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2016

Matthews, P.G., **Meng, R.**, Toomarian, E.Y., & Hubbard, E.M. The Relational SNARC: Spatial Representation of Nonsymbolic Ratios? Talk presented at the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

**Meng, R.**, Matthews, P.G., Toomarian, E.Y., & Hubbard, E.M. The Relational SNARC: Spatial Representation of Nonsymbolic Ratios? Talk presented at the 4th Annual Midwest Meeting on Mathematical Thinking, Madison, Wisconsin.

**Meng, R.**, Matthews, P.G., Toomarian, E.Y., & Hubbard, E.M. The Relational SNARC: Spatial Representation of Nonsymbolic Ratios? Poster presented at the UW-Madison Education Research Poster Fair, Madison, Wisconsin.

2014

**Meng, R.**, & Gao, X.F. On the Relative Speed Account of SNARC Effect in a Perceptual Judgment Paradigm. Talk presented at the 17^{th} National Academic Congress of Psychology, Beijing, China.

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