I love helping people solve problems. I specialize in optimizing the process of complex problem-solving, and in fostering and assessing the thinking skills involved in that process, with focus on creative thinking, systems thinking, and metacognition. To this end, I apply my own and others' methods and tools from model-based systems engineering, education research, management science, and cognitive psychology.

I instruct professionals, teachers, and students from various disciplines on complex problem-solving. I have worked with/for Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, edX, Henrietta Szold Institute, Whirlpool Corp., Airbus SAS, and diagnostics.ai.

You can contact me via LinkedIn, ResearchGate, or email.

Rea Lavi, PhD | Researcher, Developer, Educator

Structured methods and innovative tools for complex problem-solving

Professional Experience

Lecturer and Curriculum Designer MIT, Cambridge, MA

11/2019 - Present

- New Engineering Education Transformation: Interdisciplinary project-centric undergraduate STEM program

- Leading the integration of 21st century skills/thinking skills into the program
- Teaching a first-year class on applying thinking skills to interdisciplinary challenges - SP.248
- A record 61 students enrolled in SP.248 Fall '20
- Conducting programmatic evaluation with MIT Open Learning Center
- Developing learning content with MIT Schools of Architecture and of Humanities, and MIT Libraries

Instructional Designer Technion, Israel

10/2017 - 10/2019

- Professional Certificate program (two MOOCs) on edX.org (MIT & Harvard)

- Institute nominee for the International edX Prize 2020

- Launched on March 2019, sponsored by Whirlpool Corporation

- Five cohorts as of January 2021; 7,863 enrolled; 1,188 paid for certification
- Designed syllabus and authored 60 screenplays

- Designed learning assessment and developed hundreds of exercises
- Collaborated with instructors, production team, and software developers

Instructor | Teaching Assistant Technion

3/2016 - 7/2019

- Designed and instructed academic courses and professional development workshops

- Topics covered: complex problem-solving; creative thinking; entrepreneurship; systems thinking; conceptual modelling of systems

- Taught hundreds of undergraduate and graduate STEM students, STEM high school teachers, and engineers (including Airbus SAS & Whirlpool Corporation)

Research Coordinator The Henrietta Szold Institute, Israel


- The National Institute for Research in the Behavioral Sciences

- Developed a test for assessing the creative thinking of candidates for a young inventors program
- Managed marketing and brought in a record 373 candidates for testing

Research Manager diagnostics.ai, UK & Israel

11/2009 - 12/2014

- ML-driven automated data analysis for pathogen testing (pcr.ai)
- Instrumental in founding and initial funding rounds of biotech startup
- Managed and conducted research for marketing and patent applications

Operations Manager All the Shades of Grey Ltd., UK

6/2008 - 10/2009

- Eventually spun off into diagnostics.ai

- Managed custom software development projects

- Authored a marketing plan that contributed to an increase of 50% in sales from 2008-2009

Information Specialist, First Sgt. IDF Military Intelligence Directorate

12/2000 - 12/2003


PhD, 95.7% Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, Technion

2015 - 2019

- Thesis advisor: Prof. Yehudit Judy Dori

- Thesis title: ''Investigating 21st Century Skills in STEM Higher Education''

- Collaborative research with the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management

- Student Union Representative of graduate students in the Faculty of Education in Science and Techology

MEd, Cum Laude School of Education, Bar Ilan University, Israel

2010 - 2013

- Curriculum Planning and Management track

- Thesis advisor: Prof. Baruch Offir

- Thesis title: ''Assessing the Judgement of Secondary School Science Teachers Regarding the Scientific Creativity Level of their Students''

Biology BSc and Psychology BSc Tel Aviv University, Israel

2004 - 2009

Brain sciences track

Grants, Fellowships, and Awards

- 2018-9 - Technion Graduate School and Gordon Center for Systems Engineering Research Fellowship

P. I. Prof. Y. J. Dori, Grant number 2026787, $19,745

- 2016-7 - The Miriam and Aaron Gutwirth Fellowship for Excelling PhD students

$21,600 equivalent in ILS
- 2016-7 - Technion Graduate School and Gordon Center for Systems Engineering Research Fellowship

P. I. Prof. Y. J. Dori, Grant number 2023427, $10,000

- 2016 - The Kaplan Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Education Research

$1,100 equivalent in ILS
- 2015-16 - Zeff Fellowship for Excelling First-year PhD Students

$20,600 equivalent in ILS

- 2015-6 - Technion Graduate School and Gordon Center for Systems Engineering Research Fellowship

P. I. Prof. Y. J. Dori, Grant number 2021756, $8,574

Membership in Organizations

Select Publications

Lavi, R., Tal, M., & Dori, Y. J. Perceptions of STEM alumni and students on developing 21st century skills through methods of teaching and learning (2021). Studies in Educational Evaluation, 70. DOI: 10.1016/j.stueduc.2021.101002.

Lavi, R., Dori, Y. J., & Dori, D. (2020). Assessing novelty and systems thinking in conceptual models of technological systems. IEEE Transactions on Education. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1109/TE.2020.3022238.

Lavi, R., Dori, Y. J., Wengrowicz, N., & Dori, D. (2020). Model-based systems thinking: Assessing engineering student teams. IEEE Transactions on Education, 63(1), 39-47, DOI: 10.1109/TE.2019.2948807

Lavi, R., & Dori, Y. J. (2019). Systems thinking of pre- and in-service science and engineering teachers. International Journal of Science Education, 41(2), 248-279, DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2018.1548788

Lavi, R., Shwartz, G., & Dori, Y. J. (2019). Metacognition in chemistry education: A literature review. Israel Journal of Chemistry, 59, 583-597, DOI: 10.1002/ijch.20180008

Maital, S. & Lavi, R. (2019). Can effective creative thinking be taught to and implemented by students? Poster presented in the 41st International School Psychology Association conference, Basel, Switzerland, July 9-12, 2019.

Avargil, S., Lavi, R., & Dori, Y. J. (2018). Students’ metacognition and metacognitive strategies in science education. In Y. J. Dori, Z. Mevarech, and D. Baker (Eds.), Cognition, Metacognition and Culture in STEM Education (pp. 33-64). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Crawley, E., Bathe, M., Lavi, R., & Mitra, A. (2020). Implementing the NEET Ways of Thinking at MIT and Assessing their Efficacy. Paper presented in the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada, June 22-26, 2020 (conference held online due to COVID-19 pandemic). Retrieved from https://bit.ly/39Tl6dy

Dori, D., Kohen, H., Jbara, A., Wengrowicz, N., Lavi, R., Soskin, N. L., ... & Shani, U. (2020). OPCloud: An OPM Integrated Conceptual-Executable Modeling Environment for Industry 4.0. In R. S. Kenett, R. S. Swarz, and A. Zonnenshain (Eds.), Systems Engineering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Big Data, Novel Technologies, and Modern Systems Engineering (pp. 243-272). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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Rea Lavi, PhD

Structured methods and innovative tools for complex problem-solving

Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of Rea Lavi and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are only his views and positions and not that of any other institution or person.

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