Jie Gao

PhD student

Directory details

Institution : EPFL
Discipline : Learning Sciences; Philosophy
Supervisor : Roland Tormey (Pedagogical Support Center, EPFL); Nadia Mazouz (Professorship for Practical Philosophy, ETH Zurich)
Thesis topic : Developing emotional capability


Jie Gao graduated both in philosophy of Science, Knowledge, and Mind (Sorbonne University & Institut Jean Nicod, ENS) and in social sciences (Sorbonne Nouvelle). She wrote her philosophy masters thesis under the supervision of Anouk Barberousse and Frédérique de Vignemont. Her philosophical training is complemented by interdisciplinary training in neuroscience (Neuromatch & HBP) and in empirical phenomenology and qualitative methods (Claire Petitmengin’s lab & Movement, Culture and Society unit, SDU).

In parallel to her research, she worked on capacity building in the educational systems at several levels. Before coming to Switzerland, she interned in a French national project on teaching critical thinking in compulsory education, and worked on various projects at Institut Mines-Télécoms between 2019 to 2022. She conducted an action research project within an ASD-friendly education program, and led an exploratory study on the structure of effortfulness experienced by neurotypical & neurodiverse adult learners.

She joined the ETH joint doctoral program in the learning sciences in May 2022. Her thesis project revolves around Youth emotional capability development in the digital age. Based on philosophical investigations, she is conducting design-based research with the aim to provide opportunities for experiential learning of transformative qualities. She also assists SHS teaching at EPFL.


Poster presentations

  • Gao, J. (2023, Aug). Enacting Perspective-Taking for Emotional Capability Development: The Dynamics of Understanding Others in Dialogic inquiry. Poster presented at the Mind & Life European Summer Research Institute, Pisa, Italy.
  • Gao, J. (2019, Sep). Updated “trust and glue”: a reply to the internet‐extended cognitive bloat argument. Poster presented at the Summer School on Situated Cognition, Bochum, Germany.
  • Gao, J. (2018, Dec). Mind, Brain, Education: pitfalls and potential, connecting Cognitive Science and Neuroscience with Education. Poster presented at the 3rd HBP Student Conference on Interdisciplinary Brain Research, Ghent, Brussels.