Hi, I'm Jacqueline.

Jacqueline Kory-Westlund standing smiling arms folded in front of trees

I am an independent scholar, writer, and artist.

I have a multidisciplinary background with expertise in cognitive science, computer science, education, psychology, ethics, and robotics. I hold a PhD and MS in Media Arts & Sciences from the MIT Media Lab, and a BA in Cognitive Science from Vassar College. I am a research scholar with the Ronin Institute. Watch my TEDx talk: Kids can't be taught, but they love to learn!

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Tech, Learning, and Design Consulting

My specialty is being able to talk and work across disciplines—I build bridges. I am available for consulting on a range of topics—such as educational technology, interaction design, data analysis, grant writing, and more. Get in touch.

Jacqueline Kory-Westlund in a red dress holding a red and blue striped robot and smiling

My Research

I completed my PhD at the MIT Media Lab in the Personal Robots Group under Dr. Cynthia Breazeal in 2019. I was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a Media Lab Learning Innovation Fellowship to support my research at the Media Lab.

My research has centered on human-robot interaction (HRI), educational technology, and young children's learning. For example, I have explored how social robots can be used to engage and support children in learning, how to create more effective robotic learning companions (e.g., with relational AI), how children understand and empathize with social robots, what long-term interactions with robots are like, and the ethics of using social robots in children's lives. I am interested in how technology is used in the "real world" to facilitate learning (as opposed to during experimental studies under the supervision of researchers), especially by different populations (e.g., by families and homeschoolers vs. in schools). I am intrigued by the connections between people's relationships and their learning, and how technology can be used to encourage human flourishing.

Motivating my work are broader questions about the nature of personal identity, how people understand and perceive others, and the importance of empathy, relationships, and social-emotional skills in learning.

Read about my research on social robots for kids, my experiences in grad school, or news about my work.

Latest posts

book cover for Grad School Life: Surviving and Thriving Beyond Coursework and Research by Jacqueline M. Kory-Westlund. It shows a piles of papers behind the title, with a small potted plant on top of one stack, and the bottom half of the page covered in blue as if underwater Exciting news: I have a book cover and pub date! Plus, details on the rest of the book production process, receiving page proofs, and figuring out book promotion.

the little blue engine that could pulling the train of toys over the mountain How is a book edited and produced? Here what's happening with my book on the slow road to publication.

a book with its pages fanned out in the air reting atop three other thick volumes that are also open I'm inching my book from idea to final product! Here's what the review and revision process was like, and my next steps as the book moves into production.