Michelle Hoda Wilkerson

I am a learning scientist whose work explores computational literacy, with special focus on how young people learn about scientific computing tools such as computer simulation, data visualization, or statistical analysis packages. 

As part of this, I conduct research and design software that allows youth to author simulations and visualizations by building on familiar expressive activities such as storytelling or sketching. I am especially interested in giving learners experience with these tools in ways that are tightly connected to, and therefore feasible within, the existing K-12 curriculum. This means I consult with teachers, learners, and after-school professionals at every stage of design to make sure the tools we create are usable, and focus not only on the design of practical materials but also of learning theory that can inform pedagogy and research more broadly. You can learn more about me and my work at this link.

Selected Publications

Lee, V., Wilkerson, M. H., & Lanouette, K. (2021). A call for a humanistic stance toward K-12 data science education. Educational Researcher, 50(9), 664-672. doi: 10.3102/0013189X211048810

Wilkerson, M. H., Shareff, R. L., & Laina, V. (2022). Learning from “interpretations of innovation” in the codesign of digital tools. In M-C. Shanahan, B. Kim, M. A. Takeuchi, K. Koh, A. P. Preciado-Babb, & P. Sengupta (Eds.), The Learning Sciences in Conversation: Theories, Methodologies, and Boundary Spaces. Routledge.

Wilkerson, M. H., Lanouette, K., & Shareff, R. L. (2021). Exploring variability during data preparation: A way to connect data, chance, and context when working with complex public datasets. Mathematical Thinking and Learning. doi: 10.1080/10986065.2021.1922838

Wilkerson, M. H. & Polman, J. L. (2020). Situating data science: Exploring how relationships to data shape learning [Special Issue]. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 29(1), 1-10. doi: 10.1080/10508406.2019.1705664

Erickson, T., Wilkerson, M. H., Finzer, W., & Reichsman, F. (2019). Data moves. Technology Innovations in Statistics Education12(1).

Wilkerson, M. H. & Laina, V.* (2018). Middle school students’ reasoning about data and context through storytelling with repurposed local data. ZDM Mathematics Education, 50(7), 1223-1235 doi: 10.1007/s11858-018-0974-9

Wilkerson, M. H. (2017). Teachers, students, and after-school professionals as designers of digital tools for learning. In C. DiSalvo, B. DiSalvo, J. Yip, & E. Bonsignore (Eds.), Participatory Design for Learning. Taylor & Francis. pp. 127-140.

Wilkerson-Jerde, M. H., Gravel, B. E., & Macrander, C. A. (2015). Exploring shifts in middle school learners’ modeling activity while generating drawings, animations, and simulations of molecular diffusion. Journal of Science Education and Technology24(2-3), 204-251. doi: 10.1007/s10956-014-9497-5. [PDF][Springer]

Interests and Professional Affiliations

After-school Programs

Computer-Mediated Learning

Mathematics Education

Science Education

Simulation Learning Environments

Teacher Education

Technology and Schools

Classroom Learning Environments


PhD, Northwestern University, Learning Sciences

BA, University of San Diego, Mathematics

BA, University of San Diego, Diversified Liberal Arts (Education)


Office #4413

School of Education
Berkeley Way West Building (BWW)
UC Berkeley
2121 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670