Chris MacLellan

Christopher MacLellan

Assistant Professor
Information Science

Christopher MacLellan

Assistant Professor
Information Science


Christopher MacLellan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Science at Drexel’s College of Computing and Informatics. His research areas include Human-Computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science. His work explores the development of computational models of how people learn and solve problems. His work explores how these models can support the development of effective learning technologies—at scale—and how data collected from these educational technologies can in turn be leveraged to drive development of better cognitive models and learning theories. His most recent work investigates how to design interactive systems that are natural and efficient for people to teach (e.g., through instruction, demonstration, feedback, etc.). The products of this work have immediate implications for supporting educational technology development (e.g., teachers can build tutors through teaching rather than programming) as well as many broader implications (e.g., personal assistant technologies—such as Alexa or Siri—that everyday users can augment through natural and efficient teaching interactions).

His research explores three synergistic thrusts areas:

  • Teachable Systems: How do we build machines that people can teach like they would another human, while still taking advantage of key non-human features of AI/ML systems?
  • Human-like AI/ML Models: How do we develop cognitive systems that can learn like humans (incrementally, with few examples, etc.) and that produce human relatable/explainable/understandable outputs?
  • Computational Models of Humans: How can we leverage human data to guide human-like AI/ML model design? How can we leverage these human-like models to better understand human decision making and learning?

Research Areas

  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Informatics & Data Science

Research Interests

Human-Computer Interaction, Cognitive Modeling, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science

Academic Distinctions

  • PhD, Human-Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon University
  • MS, Human-Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon University
  • BS, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Wyoming

  • CV