Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Brian Rivera

Educational Innovation

Class of 2018


Originally from California, Brian Rivera graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a degree in scientific and philosophical studies of the mind. While attending the Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science his senior year, he became interested in the cognitive nature of mathematics. He also developed an interest in information theory and its relevance for understanding the brain. After working for two years recruiting students to attend Franklin & Marshall, he moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, where he worked as a research assistant in the Psychological and Brain Sciences department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In August 2016, he joined the educational neuroscience PhD concentration at the University of Alabama’s Education Psychology department. Brian’s research interests include numerical cognition, STEM learning, embodied cognition and fraction learning.

Computational Essay

The Neuroscience of Math »

Project: Web Deploying Numerical Cognition Experiments


We aimed at deploying cognitive experiment trials online. We hoped to used the Wolfram Language’s flexible design to both run a dynamic experiment online and to collect/analyze behavioral data.

Main Results in Detail

The Wolfram Language has full functionality to deploy a notebook-programed cognitive experiment to the web and to collect behavioral data. We were able to web deploy a fraction magnitude estimation task and to collect reaction time data through Wolfram Data Drop capabilities. This data was subsequently accessed and analyzed within a Wolfram Notebook. Behavioral sciences, education and many more cognitive and psychological experiments can be administrated through web deployment to a large number of participants, including international populations. Additionally, these cognitive/psychological assessments can also serve educators who wish to dynamically assess the skills of their students.

Future Work

Future experiments will adapt this paradigm to study additional numerical cognition processes such as problem solving and graph interpretation. There are many additional cognitive tasks that can be studied using the Wolfram Language’s cloud deploy capabilities such as reading/language processing and visual/audio recognition tasks. Additionally, the showcased web deploy capabilities can be used by educators for live assessment.