Leilah conducts research at the intersection of human-computer interaction and the learning sciences, partnering with domain specialists and informal educators to innovatively apply human-computer interaction techniques to introduce learners to STEM topics. She is both an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago in the Learning Sciences Research Institute as well as the Director of Digital Learning Research at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI).
She is the PI of the NSF INSPIRE grant “Studying and Promoting Quantitative and Spatial Reasoning with Complex Visual Data Across School, Museum, and Web-Media Contexts,” to develop a museum exhibit at the New York Hall of Science that employs full-body motion to allow visitors to collaboratively manipulate visualizations of census data.
Dr. Lyons has studied how embodied control can impact the learning of users in other projects as well, including a climate change education exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo and a green infrastructure simulation used in urban planning meetings. Dr. Lyons earned her Computer Science Ph.D. and Museum Studies Certificate from the University of Michigan.