I'm Nirmal, and I do learning science and education technology research at Playpower Labs. I'm also the Co-Founder & CEO of LearnSense, an upcoming AI in education startup.

I build innovative technologies to solve challenging problems in modern education. I have fifteen years of hands-on experience spanning across software engineering, data science, AI, and learning science. I have published award-winning research around educational data, and I actively work with the education community to materialize grand visions.

LinkedIn | Google Scholar | Twitter | Instagram


LearnSense (Co-Founder & CEO)

I am starting LearnSense along with my long-time research collaborator Derek Lomas. We are building AI for education!

Playpower Labs (Chief Data Scientist)

I created grant-winning technologies that led to the beginning of Playpower Labs.


Fairness & Equity in India's National Tests

I directly work with India's Ministry of Education on test data forensics and learning analytics.

Technology for Learning Science


Winner, The 2022 EM:IP Cover Graphic/Data Visualization Competition

Best Paper, 2022 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Trends and Pattern Recognition

Winner, 2019 NAEP Data Mining Challenge

Best Short Paper, 2018 Intelligent Tutoring Systems Conference

Honorable Mention, 2017 ACM CHI

Winning Team, 2011 National STEM Video Game Challenge


Nirmal Patel, Mithilesh Thakkar, Bansri Rabadiya, Darshan Patel, Shrey Malvi, Aditya Sharma, and Derek Lomas "Equitable Access to Intelligent Tutoring Systems Through Paper-Digital Integration" In International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Springer, Cham, 2022. (in press)

Shrey Malvi, Nirmal Patel, Pratik Prajapati. "Variable Length Digit Recognition for the Gujarati Language." IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Trends and Pattern Recognition (ICAITPR), 2022. (in press)

Nirmal Patel, Aditya Sharma, Tirth Shah, and Derek Lomas. "Modeling NAEP Test-Taking Behavior Using Educational Process Analysis." Journal of Educational Data Mining 13, no. 2 (2021): 16-54.

Steve Ritter, April Murphy, Stephen E. Fancsali, Vivek Fitkariwala, Nirmal Patel, and J. Derek Lomas. "UpGrade: An open source tool to support A/B testing in educational software." In Proceedings of the First Workshop on Educational A/B Testing at Scale (at Learning@ Scale 2020). 2020.

Tirth Shah, Lukas Olson, Aditya Sharma, and Nirmal Patel. "Explainable Knowledge Tracing Models for Big Data: Is Ensembling an Answer?." arXiv preprint arXiv:2011.05285 (2020).

Nirmal Patel, Aditya Sharma, Collin Sellman, and Derek Lomas. "Curriculum pacing: A new approach to discover instructional practices in classrooms." In International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, pp. 345-351. Springer, Cham, 2018.

Derek Lomas, Kenneth Koedinger, Nirmal Patel, Sharan Shodhan, Nikhil Poonwala, and Jodi L. Forlizzi. "Is difficulty overrated? The effects of choice, novelty and suspense on intrinsic motivation in educational games." In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems, pp. 1028-1039. 2017.

Nirmal Patel, Collin Sellman, and Derek Lomas. "Mining frequent learning pathways from a large educational dataset." arXiv preprint arXiv:1705.11125 (2017).

Derek Lomas, Jodi Forlizzi, Nikhil Poonwala, Nirmal Patel, Sharan Shodhan, Kishan Patel, Ken Koedinger, and Emma Brunskill. "Interface design optimization as a multi-armed bandit problem." In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems, pp. 4142-4153. 2016.

Academic Workshops

A Workshop on Process Analysis Methods For Educational Data, In Educational Data Mining Conference, Paris, France. 2021.

A Workshop on Educational Data Visualization, In Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference, Arizona, United States. 2019.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!