Irene A. Lee

Irene A, Lee, Research Scientist


Irene A. (Anne) Lee is research scientist at MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program / Education Arcade. She is the founder and program director of Project GUTS: Growing Up Thinking Scientifically and Teachers with GUTS. The programs she develops enables participants to create computer models then use them to gain a scientific understanding of the world around them. Lee’s research focuses on students’ and teachers’ understanding of complex adaptive systems and their development of computational thinking skills. She is the Chair of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Computational Thinking Task Force and serves as a lead writer of the K-12 Computer Science Frameworks and the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards. Lee is past president of the Supercomputing Challenge and the Swarm Development Group, and past director of the Learning Lab at Santa Fe Institute.

I have had a lifelong fascination with natural forms - their use of space and patterns of growth. As a child I drew trees based on branching rules and loved to generate ripple patterns with interference. In the early days of computer graphics I saw the potential of computers as tools to understand and mimic the natural world through animation and simulation and thus began a long quest... to understand patterns in nature through simulation!

Sample of Current Work:

StarLogo Nova
Programming Tools
A visual programming tool for making 3D games and simulations
Curricula, Programming Tools
A biology curriculum exploring complex systems