Adam Lupu

Learning Architect

I help people build research-backed learning products and programs.

Onsite & Online

Distributing expertise across companies and continents.


The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

-Alan Kay

Get learning right.

More than anything, I care about getting learning right. I helped Udacity develop Nanodegrees. I helped Udemy re-design its UI for better engagement. And I've helped dozens of startups think through their customer-facing products. Now I'm helping develop people and products as VP of Learning at Andela

Current Projects

What if you wanted to change people's behavior for the better? I love helping product managers talk through onboarding flows and discover all the ways to support people in learning to use a product to improve their lives. Working with product owners at health, education, transportation, and energy startups, I've brainstormed and designed web, mobile, and augmented reality workflows to train customers into using complex and new devices and products to live happier, longer, more productive lives.

Combining technology and learning at...
Connecting schools across continents with...
Advising startups like...
Helping people build online courses with...

What if you wanted to re-invent professional education? Your primary resources: an online learning platform and strong ties to famous tech companies. Solution: find the top experts in Silicon Valley and capture their expertise for delivery in 6 month degree-granting opportunities. Working with Sebastian, Vish, Kathleen, Stuart, and Salwa, I designed and launched the curriculum, assessment, and community support frameworks for Nanodegrees. Now they offer thousands around the world the chance to change their lives and careers.


What if you wanted to re-think how people engage in online learning? Your primary resources: a global community of aspiring online teachers and promising learners. Solution: invent new ways for people to interact with digital video, create a UI to help millions of people from different cultures and educational backgrounds perform learning-rich tasks like: reflection, practice, and community engagement. Working with Erin, Steve, Claire, Nik, and Jess, I researched and developed several UI techniques for learners to manage their attention and learn from online videos on multiple platforms and in multiple countries.

Leadership Skills

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

-Thomas Edison

Build the best products and people.

I use research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and the learning sciences to help people develop their abilities to effectively lead teams and projects of increasing scope and complexity.

Tools of Leadership Engineering
  • Simulations
  • Coaching
  • Soft Skills Training
  • Mentorship

Technical Skills

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Upgrade your brain from boxcar to jet plane.

Technical skills are required in every career. We must design our work environments and choose our tools to embrace technology, problem solving, and strategic thinking. By developing our technical skills, we can master the jobs and tools of a modern, global workforce.

Tools of Technical Development
  • Learning Environment Design
  • Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) Design
  • Disciplined Perception
  • Curriculum Design
  • Game-Enhanced Learning (GEL)

Team Culture

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

-Margaret Mead

Empower yourself and those around you.

Enabling a great team culture is one way to achieve individual and community uplift. By understanding and refining complex human systems, identity, and behavior, we can enhance workgroups, product teams, and the people that fuel them both locally and globally.

Tools of Team Culture
  • Behavior Drivers
  • Communities Of Practice
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Cultural Capital Management
  • Collective Identity Formation

Speaking Engagements

The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.

-Ray Bradbury

Reframe your perspectives. Refine your assumptions.

I speak publicly on the Learning Sciences, Professional Training and Development, Human Cogntition, Educational Psychology, Gamification, and Social Transformation.


Isn't it astonishing that all these secrets have been preserved for so many years just so we could discover them!

-Orville Wright

Science at the speed of business.

I study live learning environments in order to design better ones. Using research methods developed by ethnographers, neuroscientists, sociologists, and psychologists, I blend qualitative and quantitative analysis to quickly identify the most influential variables and alter them. By conducting these microstudies, I can deploy improvements while continuing to research their effectiveness. This leads to research and development that is both iterative and extensible. A few examples are included below.

Pair Programming

In this paper, I propose research that aims to help computer programming instructors achieve three outcomes: to better prepare students for future employment as software developers, to diversify both the current academic population and the existing professional population of computer programmers, to improve individual student learning, performance, enrollment, confidence, and enjoyment.

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Narrative Tags

Here I describe my findings while participating as a student observer in a three month long web development training program. I found that while attempting to learn web development knowledge, skills, and practices, students and their instructors co-create common verbal references that serve to bundle learned concepts and behaviors, maintain classroom norms, and generate a sense of cooperation and community.

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Learning Network Analysis

In this paper, I propose a method for predicting the strategies novice web developers learn and adopt based on their network connections. I begin by describing the specific bounded network I propose to study: a learning organization that trains prospective web developers using instruction, mentorship, and community engagement. I suggest a method of data collection that will allow researchers to observe this network over the course of three months.

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The Nature of Knowledge

In this paper, I explore the topic of web development in an effort to characterize the nature of knowledge and expertise within the domain. I interviewed subjects with varying amounts of experience, asking them to perform two tasks designed to make their knowledge (and how they applied it) observable. I then use the concept of knowledge holons to describe the process by which web developers compress and apply knowledge in order to perform various tasks.

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Augmenting Computer Science Education

Here I examine the high failure rate in introductory higher education computer programming courses and its potential link to the challenges students encounter while transitioning from natural language to computer language. I show how two specific visualization tools (algorithm visualization technology and contextualized media computation) can be used to ease this transition, improve course pass rates, and legitimately prepare students for future employment as professional programmers.

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Development-Centered Curriculum

I argue that K-12 teachers must consider the developmental theories of Piaget and Vygotsky when designing their curricula. I draw on recent research analyzing the transition from arithmetic to algebra, and my own experience as a high school algebra teacher. I make a case for algebra teachers to shift their focus to development-centered curriculum, starting with an assessment of each student’s conceptual understanding of arithmetic and their socio-culturally defined relationship with mathematical thinking.

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About Me

Start the game you want to play with the world.

I am continuously fascinated by how people learn. How do we pick up new skills, acquire knowledge, and apply our learning to our personal and professional lives? My curiosity and expertise have taken me to classrooms, boardrooms, podiums, and online platforms with one prime directive: to decode and design environments for the transmission of thought, knowledge, and behavior. Currently, I'm serving as VP of Learning at Andela, building online courses like The Delta Program, and spearheading the development of a cross-cultural learning platform for the international non-profit Global Playground. Connect with me and let's discover how we can impact the world.

  • MA - Learning Sciences
       Northwestern University
  • Certified Leadership Coach and Consultant
       California Leadership Center
  • BA - Physics and Literature
       University of California, Santa Barbara

New York, USA
Lagos, Nigeria
Nairobi, Kenya