Skip to main content

Tochukwu Dominic Eze (he/him)

PhD Candidate in the Department of Computer Science

Tochukwu Dominic Eze (he/him)

I firmly believe in the boundless capabilities of humanity, trusting that with enduring passion and dedication, we can achieve our goals and aspirations.”

Tochukwu Dominic Eze is a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science in the McCormick School of Engineering. His research focuses on developing artificial intelligence (AI) systems that can facilitate collaborative learning and produce better academic outcomes for students. Tochukwu also serves as the secretary of the African Graduate Student Association. 

How would you describe your research and/or work to a non-academic audience? 
My research is at the intersection of learning science and computer science. It entails the combined development of machine learning models and the creation of analytic software tools designed to monitor and predict student progress. 

Through this integrated approach, my work aims to develop AI systems that utilize the power of machine learning algorithms to develop predictive models. These models can identify complex student behaviors, cognitive processes, and interactions, highlighting both individual and group learning patterns. These insights form useful feedback that students can leverage to enhance outcomes. 

Tell us what inspired your research and/or work. 
Before transitioning to Northwestern, I served as a faculty member at a university in Nigeria. During my tenure, I frequently pondered the reasons behind variations in student performance despite identical learning conditions. This curiosity led me to delve into learning analytics, aiming to uncover insights into individual and collaborative learning processes facilitated by computers. Consequently, my research journey involved crafting novel machine learning models and harnessing existing ones to construct systems that embody learning science theories. These systems enable me to grasp the nuances of student learning dynamics and provide actionable feedback for educational enhancement. 

What do you find both rewarding and challenging about your research and/or work? 
Comprehending human cognition and behavior poses a formidable challenge. Even more daunting is the endeavor to develop and refine machine learning algorithms capable of accurately detecting and predicting these patterns with a certain level of precision. However, the gratifying aspect lies in the iterative journey of refining my models and analytic methodologies, steadily advancing toward greater accuracy and insight. 

What is the biggest potential impact or implication of your work? 
My research holds promise in developing computer-supported learning analytics capable of customizing learning experiences according to individual needs. This will offer timely intervention for struggling students, furnish precise feedback grounded in students' learning behaviors, and enable educators to provide targeted guidance for improvement. Overall, my research has the potential to significantly enhance the quality and effectiveness of education, ultimately empowering students to reach their full potential. 

Why Northwestern? 
Northwestern University stands among the top 10 universities in the United States, renowned for its excellence in various fields, including its distinguished computer science graduate program. What particularly resonates with me is Northwestern's adoption of the quarter system, which motivates me to achieve significant progress every quarter, leading to substantial advancements by the end of each academic year. 

What did you originally want to be when you grew up? 
Initially, my aspiration was to become an electrical engineer. However, toward the end of my high school education, I developed a great interest in computing. I found it fascinating that I could explore, learn, and bring about great innovations that can positively impact humanity with just my personal computer.  

What inspires you? 
I find immense inspiration in the potential for extraordinary results and accomplishments when I pursue my passions. Additionally, the achievements of esteemed figures in my research field deeply inspire me. I firmly believe in the boundless capabilities of humanity, trusting that with enduring passion and dedication, we can achieve our goals and aspirations. 

Publish Date: May 28, 2024  

If you know a graduate student, postdoctoral scholar, graduate faculty member, staff member, or a member of our TGS alumni population who would make a great candidate for our TGS Spotlight Series, please complete this brief TGS Spotlight Series Nomination Form.