The Institute for the Learning Sciences (ILS) was founded in 1989 as an interdisciplinary research and development center dedicated to applying principles of cognitive science, computer science, artificial intelligence, and educational theory to improving the way people learn. Our mission is to extend the understanding of human learning, to develop computer-based learning environments based on that understanding, and to train the educational-software developers of tomorrow in both the theory and practice of creating the next generation of learning environments.

The work of the Institute is carried on in two closely aligned departments at Northwestern - the Department of Computer Science in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Learning Sciences program of the School of Education and Social Policy.

For further information about degree programs in educational technology and software development at Northwestern, visit:

MA program in Learning Sciences

PhD program in Learning Sciences

PhD program in Computer Science


Roger Schank, Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of ILS, is currently Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Cognitive Arts Corporation, and may be reached at or by calling 847-425-8500.

For a list of ILS technical reports, see Publications.

Visit Roger Schank's occasional column Educational Outrage