Current Lab

Post Docs

Katie James

» Postdoctoral Researcher





Raedy Ping

» Postdoctoral Researcher

– Cognitive and Neural Indicators of School Based Improvements in Spatial Problem Solving
– Neural and cognitive strengthening of conceptual knowledge and reasoning in classroom based spatial education
– Middle School Math Achievement and Spatial Skills


Graduate Students

Yanning Yu

» Sixth Year Graduate Student in Learning Science

» Yanning is studying the role of spatial thinking in calculus understanding and problem solving, and how that might differ for experts and novices. She is particularly interested in math understanding. Learn more about Yu and her publications here.

» Ongoing Research in the Lab:
– Exploring the development of spatial and mathematical thinking through the game of Go.

Jue Wu

» Third Year Graduate Student in Learning Science

» Jue is interested in underrepresentation in STEM education. Currently, she is working on two separate but related projects:

Investigating learning experiences related to students’ decision to study STEM subjects investigating identity development of women in  computer science by looking at their participation in a student organization and how that organization supports their learning.

Naomi Polinsky

» Second Year Graduate Student in Cognitive Psychology

» Naomi is interested in the way young children learn about STEM outside of the classroom, in places like museums, libraries and at-home. Currently, she is working on a collaborative project with Loyola University Chicago that takes place at the Tinkering Lab at the Chicago Children’s Museum. This current project explores how children learn to think like engineers within these spaces!
» Ongoing Research in the Lab:

Advancing Early STEM Learning Opportunities through Tinkering and Reflection

Learning Engineering and Physics Through Building and Playing with Objects

Jose Sotelo

» First Year Graduate Student in Cognitive Psychology



Camille Msall

» Lab Coordinator and Research Assistant (2017-present)

» Camille began working for Dr. David Uttal after completing her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at Cornell College in the Spring of 2017. She has worked as a research assistant previously over the summer of 2016, assisting with the STEM joiner’s project and the Tinkering Lab at the Children’s Museum. Her work with Dr. David Uttal primarily involves his project with Sheryl Sorby on middle school math achievement as well as his projects on the geospatial semester. Camille is specifically interested in cognitive developmental psychology and pleased to have the opportunity to explore psychology research in the Uttal Lab while deciding about graduate school.

Meriem Sadoun

» SILC Program Assistant & TRAEL Project Assistant

Meriem has conducted research domestically and abroad in Tunisia, England and South Africa. Her current research explores the social influences on the athletic experiences of young Muslim women on high school sports teams. Meriem is also a filmmaker and creates short films related to identity and culture. 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Monica Juarez

»Third Year Undergraduate Student

» Juarez is a junior Biological Sciences major at Northwestern. She is involved in a couple different ways on campus. She love running with the Track Club, singing at Sheil Catholic Center, and getting involved with the Medical Decoder. One of her favorite subjects is psychology, so Juarez found working at the Uttal Lab as a perfect opportunity to further explore her interests in this field.

Lucy Kim

» Third Year Undergraduate Student

» Lucy Kim is a junior at Northwestern, studying Psychology, Economics, & Flute Performance. Always passionate and hardworking, she constantly seeks for opportunities that help her grow, and hopes to go further into research in psychology or to enter the business world in the future. Originally from San Jose, California, she likes to go hiking or the beach with her friends and family in her free time.

Ryan Millman

» Second Year Undergraduate Student




Maegan Ramchal

» Fourth Year Undergraduate Student

» Maegan Ramchal is a senior at Northwestern University, double majoring in biology and psychology and is on the premed track. She began working in the Uttal lab in June of 2016. She has worked on several projects, including the STEM joiner project, and the work at the Tinkering Lab at the Children’s Museum.

Courtney Skula

Courtney Skula is a fourth year undergraduate student at Northwestern University double majoring in biology and psychology, with plans to pursue a Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology. She is the Vice President of her Panhellenic Sorority, and also mentors young girls once a week. Since starting in the Uttal Lab in 2017, she has now moved on to doing independent research with us.