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Honors and Awards

Marcelo Worsley Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

The work will support athletics-centered learning experiences that connect computer science and sports

Northwestern Engineering’s Marcelo Worsley has received the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), its most prestigious honor for junior faculty members.

The CAREER Award supports promising young faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through the combination of outstanding research and education.

Worsley will receive $532,247 over five years from the NSF’s Division of Computer and Network Systems in support of his project titled, “Designing for Learning at the Intersection of Sports, Analytics and Physical Computing.” The work will focus on connecting computer science and athletics, and on designing athletics-centered learning experiences that help student-athletes see the relevance of computing in athletics.

Worsley is an assistant professor of computer science at the McCormick School of Engineering and assistant professor of learning sciences at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. He is also the director of the Technological Innovations for Inclusive Learning and Teaching (TIILT) Lab, which aims to develop educational and technological solutions for supporting inclusive learning among underserved populations in hands-on, collaborative environments.

Through the NSF project, Worsley aims to uncover strategies that encourage student-athletes of color to participate in computer science as a meaningful component of athletics. Recognizing the importance of coaches in developing student-athletes, the research team will interview coaches and student-athletes to understand current perceptions of computer science and ways athletics programs are using technology. Worsley and his students will also teach courses on sports wearables, machine learning, and data science. Finally, the research team will use artificial intelligence to assess learning within these activities.

Worsley’s research focuses broadly on promoting equity and advancing society’s understanding of how students learn in complex learning environments by forging new opportunities for using multimodal technology.