UNSW Researchers working on enhancing the learning experience of students with cognitive deficits have received the Google Inclusion Research Award.

Researchers in the School of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) UNSW apply their collective expertise in AI, machine learning, data analytics, educational psychology, and Human-computer Interaction (HCI) to help students with cognitive deficits learn more effectively. The team, comprising Prof. Wenjie Zhang, Dr Gelareh Mohammadi, Dr Wafa Johal, A./Prof. Nadine Marcus, and Prof. Claude Sammut, have been working with a local company, Stronger Brains, since 2019​​ to make their program, targeting disadvantaged students, more accessible. Stronger Brains is specialized in improving cognitive functions via scientifically-grounded neurodevelopment programs. Powered by innovative data analytics and AI technologies, the project aims to enhance the cognitive and mental well-being of students with cognitive deficits and increase the accessibility of such technologies. The team also received the UNSW Goldstar Award for this project.

“We have supervised some related honours research projects and hope this grant funding can help to support future work.” Prof. Wenjie Zhang commented.

“Improving the welfare of disadvantaged students is an important area for Australia and worldwide. We hope that through this funding, we can continue supporting Stronger Brains and create more accessible technologies to help students with cognitive deficits,” Dr Gelareh Mohammadi added.

The Google Award for Inclusion Research recognizes and supports academic research in computing and technology that addresses the needs of historically marginalized groups globally. It is an ongoing effort to support innovative research and professors working to create positive societal impact.