Our Team

Our team includes recognized leaders in higher education who maintain deep connections with the open education, learning science and evidence-based learning communities while staying abreast of trends in innovation and technology.


Norman Bier

Norman Bier has spent his career at the intersection of learning and technology, working to expand access to and improve the quality of education. He currently works as Associate Director of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon University, where he leads course development and external relationship efforts. A recognized leader in open education, OLI combines leading research in cognitive and learning science with state-of-the-art technology to create scientifically-based courses that enact instruction for independent learners and support instructors to improve effectiveness in traditional classrooms. Prior to joining OLI, he was Director of Training and Development at iCarnegie Inc., a CMU subsidiary chartered to deliver software development education through international partnering institutions. His responsibilities at iCarnegie included course, curricula and program development; faculty support and training; and business development.


Before his work at iCarnegie, he taught computer science courses as an adjunct faculty member at the Community College of Allegheny County, philosophy courses as an instructor at Carnegie Mellon University and served as a founding member of the Robert E. Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as a member of the board for Shady Lane School and the NGLC-funded Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative.

Ross Strader

Ross Strader is Director of Educational Technology at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to UT Austin, Ross was part of the founding team of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon University; during his ten years at OLI, he made deep contributions to all parts of the organization, including its research foundations, technology , courses and partnership development. His focus is on the intersection of technology and the learning sciences - specifically, looking at new ways to bring learning science research to bear on technology-based, student-centered learning environments.

Julia Kaufman

Julia Kaufman is a research and evaluation consultant who is employed by the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and RAND. Her primary areas of interest are the measurement of teacher instruction and how policies and programs can best support high-quality instruction and student learning. Her expertise includes using mixed methods research and evaluation data to understand the complex factors influencing teaching and learning.


She recently completed an IES-funded Carnegie Mellon and RAND postdoctoral traineeship in interdisciplinary education research. Her current projects include an NSF-funded study with RAND to develop innovative survey methods for gathering data from teachers about their instruction and an evaluation of the use and effectiveness of Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative online courses in community colleges. She holds a Ph.D. in International Education from New York University.