Bob Williams

Picture of Bob Williams in academic regalia
Campus Address
Briggs Hall
Room 123
Professor of Education

I'm a cognitive scientist who studies how people construct meaning in interaction, with a focus on how we use our hands to express thoughts and guide the thinking of others. 

In my research I've studied how individuals use their hands in problem solving, how group members use gestures in collaborative reasoning, and how teachers gesture in the air and over objects as they seek to shape their learners' understanding. 

In the Mielke Family Department of Education, I teach courses on the psychology of learning, academic and disciplinary literacy, and differentiating instruction for a variety of learners, and I supervise student teachers in K-12 schools. 

In the Cognitive Science program, I teach courses on cognitive linguistics, gesture studies, and distributed cognition, three fields that inform my research. 

Outside of Lawrence, I can be found singing with NEWVoices or on a nature walk with my family.

Management Development Program, Harvard Institutes of Higher Education, 2017
Ph.D. in Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, 2004
M.S. in Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, 2000
M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction (English & German), University of Colorado at Denver, 1992
B.A. with German major, Purdue University, 1985
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1985
Years at Lawrence