IUPUI Mathematician Launches Tech Start-up

INDIANAPOLIS -

An IUPUI mathematician has launched Crossroads Education LLC, an education and logistics technology company. Kevin Michael Berkopes says the company creates collaborative learning spaces and the technology that drives and supports them. 

Berkopes is the executive director of the IUPUI Mathematics Assistance Center and the Statistics Assistance Center, both of which were redesigned using his Learning Commons model. He says the LC model constructs education around multiple access points: "First access," which is the work between the teacher and students in the classroom, and "second access," which is peer-to-peer informal collaboration.

"Students and teachers no longer have to rely on only what happens in lectures to gain or provide access to content," he said. "We help our clients build learning centers that provide a campus or school with vetted second access to content that supports the work done in the formal first-access setting. We believe that these spaces must include educational technology, as well as learning spaces like whiteboard-painted walls to heighten content-based social interactions. The system works together to improve social and academic interactions, content distribution, and remediation. We also provide professional development, especially for mathematics teachers, to support the work they do in the more formal lecture setting."

Berkopes says his goal is to implement the LC model in three target sectors by the end of the year: K-12, higher education, and community center. He says the company already has clients in the higher education and community center sectors, as well as three prospects in the K-12 sector.

Berkopes was able to develop his research and the LC model with funding from the National Science Foundation and internal grants from Indiana University. He says he is currently negotiating with the IU Research and Technology Corp. and IUPUI to determine how to use some of the revenue generated by his company to provide full-ride scholarships to IUPUI students interested in STEM education.