Hi! My name is David Joyner. I’m the Product Lead for the Georgia Tech OMSCS program at Udacity and a lecturer at Georgia Tech exclusively teaching online classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level. For more on me specifically, you can visit my web site.
More importantly for this page, I’m the founder of LucyLabs. Below, you’ll find some brief history behind the lab’s formation, name, and logo.
About the Lab
LucyLabs was founded in 2016 in response to two demands: the academic community’s demand for research on the enormous amount of data produced by new efforts in online education, and online students’ demand for opportunities to engage in academic research. Thus, LucyLabs was founded with two goals:
- To research new initiatives in affordable, accessible education, especially within online education.
- To provide the opportunity for online students to participate in academic research.
LucyLabs is comprised of a faculty member, myself, and several students, primarily from the Georgia Tech OMSCS program. We typically collaborate with other faculty members and research scientists as well. Our current projects focus on: data-based methods for predicting student success in online courses; technology-based initiatives to scale high-quality low-cost assessment and feedback; development of student communities in online education; and efforts to scale the administration of large online classes. Our research focuses especially, but not exclusively, on Georgia Tech’s online programs, including the OMSCS, the OMSA, and CS1301.
About the Name
LucyLabs was named after my daughter. After entertaining a number of arcane acronyms attempting to unify the parallel themes of affordable education, quality education, online education, and online research opportunities, I, through conversations with colleagues and early lab members, took a step back to look at the ultimate motivation behind providing affordable, excellent higher education. For me, it’s about the next generation. Many of my friends, and more generally many from the Millennial generation, are saddled with enormous amounts of student loan debt. They are forced to put off families, home ownership, and adulthood while paying back their expensive college education. The goal of LucyLabs is to provide a better educational climate for the next — for Lucy’s — generation.
Georgia Tech has long been at the forefront of the push for affordability in higher education. From the HOPE scholarship to the $6,600 Master’s in Computer Science program, it gives a fantastic foundation for exploring efforts to increase college affordability while preserving rigor and excellence for the next generation.
About the Logo
The logo of LucyLabs is a lighthouse, for three reasons:
- ‘Lucy’ is derived from the Latin word for ‘light’.
- I completed my Ph.D. in Ashok Goel’s Design & Intelligence Lab (DILab), for which the logo is a lightbulb.
- Among other things, DILab researched education, including our early efforts at developing an online Knowledge-Based Artificial Intelligence class. Just as a lighthouse spreads a bulb’s light to a larger audience, so also a goal of LucyLabs is to apply the educational research of DILab to a larger student body.
The gold is inspired by Georgia Tech’s own commitment to affordability. The lighthouse itself is based on the design of a lighthouse icon by Cezary Lopacinski.