Contact the LVL

Dr. Matthew H. Schneps, Director

Photos by Randy H. Goodman (2009), all rights reserved. Dr. Matthew H. Schneps is a founding member of the Science Education Department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). The Science Education Department is one of the first, and among one of the largest research groups dedicated to science education in the US, that has carried out close to $100M in funded education programs since its inception. Schneps received his PhD in Physics from MIT in 1979, and joined CfA first as an astrophysicist, but evolved his interests to questions of science learning, his major preoccupation since 1983. In these past three decades he has focused on questions of how different people approach learning scientific ideas, regardless of ages or level of expertise. Recently, he has focused on how differences in individual neurology affect science learning, examining questions related to learning disabilities, among other areas.

Laboratory for Visual Learning (LVL)

Schneps founded the Laboratory for Visual Learning to carry out research in cognitive psychology to investigate how individual differences in neurology, including those associated with dyslexia, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders, affect how people learn science. An outgrowth of this work is the development of an innovative technique for reading for people with dyslexia using mobile devices, research carried out through funding from the National Science Foundation in the US, and other sources. Schneps was awarded the George E. Burch Fellowship in Theoretic Medicine and Affiliated Sciences in 2010-2012.

Link to LVL website (released February, 2013):

Sample Peer-Reviewed publications from the LVL:
  • Schneps, MH, Brockmole, JR, Sonnert, G, & Pomplun, M (2012) History of Reading Struggles Linked to Enhanced Learning in Low Spatial Frequency Scenes. PLoS ONE, 7(4): e35724. dpi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035724
  • Schneps, MH, O'Keeffe, JK, Heffner-Wong, A, and Sonnert, G. (2010). Using Technology to Support STEM Reading. Journal of Special Education Technology, 25(3): 21-33.
  • Schneps, MH, Griswold, A, Finkelstein, N, McLeod, M, and Schrag, DP. (2010). Using Video to Build Learning Contexts Online. Science, 328(5982): 1119-1120.

Science Media Group (SMG)

Schneps founded the Science Media Group in the late 1980s to investigate new ways to use television and computer-based media to communicate science to the public at large. The SMG has a staff and full production capabilities to produce video and web media in house. He is well known for his work in educational television media that includes the award-winning programs "A Private Universe", and "Minds of Our Own" broadcast worldwide (known for scenes of Harvard and MIT graduates struggling with concepts about the seasons). Through work funded by the Annenberg foundation, his group created "Habitable Planet," an online educational resource that won the SPORE award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010.

Links to sample SMG Programs:

Laboratory for Visual Learning
Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
60 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

LVL Website:

Dr. Matthew H. Schneps
LVL Director

Confidential Email for LVL:


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