John Binzak

330 North Orchard Street, Room 3245
Madison WI 53715
Preferred pronouns: he/him/his
Joined WID: 2013

Cognitive and emotional effects of educational multimedia design for math and science learning


John is a Wisconsinite born and raised. After working around the US in Boston, North Carolina, and Chicago, he's back at UW completing his PhD in Educational psychology. When he's not glued to his research work, John enjoys baking, making music and watching movies with his wife and son.


BS, Neurobiology & BS Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison 
MEd, Mind, Brain & Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education 
MS, Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Research Description

John studies the development of cognitive skills relevant to mathematics, with a specific focus in understanding the emerging role of digital educational experiences (e.g. video games and cognitive tutors) in STEM education. This research follows two strands of inquiry. 1) How do interactions with visual and physical representations of educational concepts ground and understanding of abstract concepts? 2) How can neuroscience approaches offer specific insight into the mechanisms of numerical cognition and, more broadly, the development of math knowledge?


  • International Mind, Brain, & Education Society 
  • Mathematical Cognition & Learning Society 


  • Mind, Brain, & Education Exceptional Trainee Award 
  • NEA (National Education Association) Foundation’s Challenge to Innovate (C2i) Gaming Award