Dr. Julie Booth is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science at Temple University. She received her PhD in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University before joining the faculty at Temple. Julie is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.
People Behind the Science Podcast Show Notes
Life Outside of Science
Julie has two daughters and they like to spend quality time together at family game nights playing games exercising their brains with problem solving and strategy games.
The Scientific Side
At work Julie is a professor, so she spends her time teaching, mentoring students, writing grants, and answering research questions. Her research focuses on how kids learn math and how the education system can be changed to help them learn better or faster.
A Dose of Motivation
Make progress every day.
What Got You Hooked on Science?
Julie has been a big fan of math all the way back to middle school, and was planning on pursuing some sort of career in math. When she took calculus II in college, she had a great teacher and really felt like she understood it well. She realized she just didn’t like it and the potential careers her professor described weren’t what she wanted. When she took her first psychology class though, she saw how she could combine her passion for math with big picture applications by studying how people learn math.
The Low Points: Failures and Challenges
Her research takes principles out of the lab to test and implement them in real life classrooms. This is recognized by funding agencies as an important field, but one of the frustrations Julie encounters is that the journals are still catching up. She has struggled with publishing their applied work because reviewers do not think it is novel because some of the work has been tested already in labs.
A Shining Success!
This past summer, Julie received tenure at Temple! This was a meaningful success for her because it is a really rigorous process that hangs over the head of every new faculty member during their first several years. It was wonderful to know she was appreciated and got the stamp of approval from all the different levels within the university.
Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation – and Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock, Checked by Jennifer Jamelli, Checked Again by Jennifer Jamelli
Most Treasured Travel
In her field, Julie has had some fantastic opportunities to go on trips where she can connect with teachers to learn from them, hear their real-life problems, and think about how her research can address them. Several of these conferences have been in Evanston, Illinois. Though she was able to spend some time outside the conference hall, the time spent in the sessions was most valuable to her.
Quirky Traditions and Funny Memories
In graduate school, Julie and a small group of fellow students all shared an office. As psychology students, they were often discussing course material and incorporating it into their lives. One day they discussed false memories in class, and from then on three of the students worked hard to implant false memories in the mind of one of their fellow office mates.
Advice For Us All
Striving for balance in all that you do is one of the most important things. Taking the time to take care of yourself and your relationships is so important.
Julie received her Ph.D. in Psychology in 2005 from Carnegie Mellon University and trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the NSF-funded Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, where she conducted research on students’ learning in real-world classrooms. Dr. Booth’s research interests lie in the development of mathematical cognition; how students come to develop conceptual understanding and procedural skills in mathematics. Her research also examines individual differences in factors that influence this learning, and in developing interventions to improve student learning in math. Dr. Booth has been PI and Co-PI on five federally funded projects, including the National Center for Cognition and Mathematics Instruction led by WestEd and the AlgebraByExample project in collaboration with the Strategic Education Research Partnership.