About Alan Lesgold
Alan Lesgold is Renée and Richard Goldman Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Education, Psychology, and Intelligent Systems at the University of Pittsburgh. His background includes the psychology of complex skills, experience developing several artificially intelligent training systems to teach difficult jobs, research in teaching and learning, and sixteen years as dean of Pitt’s School of Education. Lesgold completed his B.A. in psychology at Michigan State University, where he helped support himself by writing multivariate statistical software in the time before the software packages like SPSS and SAS that people use today. He completed his doctorate at Stanford University in experimental psychology. For a bit over a dozen years, he then studied how people learn complex skills and especially how people become experts in reading, radiology, and technical jobs like electronics systems maintenance. That led to developing five generations of intelligent tutoring systems to teach technicians how to solve emergent and unexpected problems with complex systems such as the machines used to make computer chips. During that period, Lesgold and a colleague founded one of the first multidisciplinary doctoral programs in intelligent systems at Pitt. He also received a major award from the American Psychological Association and an honorary doctorate from the Open University of the Netherlands for the intelligent training systems work. At the end of his intelligent systems development work, Lesgold also worked with a colleague to develop a high school curriculum to be paired with apprenticeship in the machine tool industry. With another colleague, Dan Suthers, Lesgold developed a cloud-based system for constructing arguments that also featured a cloud-based coaching system to guide students in building their arguments. This was followed by sixteen years as dean of Pitt’s School of Education during which Lesgold continued to write on intelligent training systems and related topics. Lesgold has served on several boards of nonprofit organizations focused on improving education and on work force development and has chaired projects on related topics for the Governor of Pennsylvania and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.