Doctoral Thesis: Designing a Learner-centric Future for Skill-learning

Friday, April 26
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Seminar Room G449 (Patio/Kiva), CSAIL, Stata Center, 32 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA 02139

By: Dishita Turakhia

Supervisor: Prof. Stefanie Mueller


  • Date: Friday, April 26
  • Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Category:
  • Location: Seminar Room G449 (Patio/Kiva), CSAIL, Stata Center, 32 Vassar St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Additional Location Details:
Today, how humans learn physical skills is transforming profoundly owing to the technological advances in sensing, AR/VR, and AI. Amidst this excitement in innovation, however, it is critical not to lose sight of the multifaceted nature of human learning. Given that every learner is diverse and every learning experience is uniquely multidimensional, my vision is to use these emerging technologies for a learner-centric future for skill learning.

In this talk, I will present the steps I have taken in my Ph.D. research toward my vision through designing, building, and studying tools for skill learning that are grounded in learners’ and educators’ experiences. I’ll share three research projects focusing on adaptive motor skill learning, game-based fabrication skill learning, and reflection-based makerskill learning. These projects aim to enhance motivation, creativity, and self-reflection, thereby expanding the design space of learning tools beyond merely focusing on skill acquisition. My research also provides insights into how humans learn with technology, thus contributing to advancing our understanding of human learning of physical skills. 

Dishita Turakhia is a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) dept. at MIT with a research focus in Human-Computer Interaction and Design and a minor in Brain and Cognitive Science. Her research focuses on designing systems for learning physical skills at the intersection of HCI and learning sciences. 


Dishita is part of the EECS Rising Stars (’23 cohort), a Meta Ph.D. Research Fellowship recipient (’22-24), and holds the MIT Edwin S. Webster Graduate Fellowship (’18). She is a SERC and Grace Hopper scholar. Her research is supported by several grants, including two NSF, three MIT integrated learning initiative grants, and an MIT-JWEL grant

Before starting her Ph.D., she earned a dual master’s degree in EECS (MS) and Architecture (SMArchS computation) from MIT (’17), and a master’s (MSc) in Emergent Technology and Design (EmTech) from the AA School of Architecture (’11). Besides academic research, she has worked in the industry as a computational designer on several award-winning projects in London, Singapore, and Bern, and as a licensed architect in Mumbai, where she also co-led her design firm.

Thesis Committee:

Prof. Kayla DesPortes (NYU), Pattie Maes (MIT Media Lab), Prof. Rob Miller (MIT EECS/CSAIL)