When Anna Krause says that anyone can boost their learning abilities, she doesn’t think of it as a subjective belief or positive personal mantra. To her, it’s a fact.
“We are not born with a certain fixed amount of intelligence. Neuroscience actually shows that our intelligence can grow if we work on difficult problems,” Krause said. “So one of the most important things I can help nurture is a growth mindset.”
It’s a keystone bit of knowledge about human potential that is woven throughout Krause’s life. You can see it in her work as a math tutor and mentor at the Jalen Rose Academy, where she helps students push through difficult problems, boosting their confidence in the process. Or in her membership in the Society of Women Engineers, where she’s organized events that help young women discover their love of STEM fields. It’s even the reason she credits much of her own academic success to her tight-knit study group, where she said collaboration is the key to conquering the toughest subjects.
Krause’s big interest at the moment is robotics, and perhaps not surprisingly, she’s particularly fascinated by “socially assistive” robots that boost human potential.
“Robots have been used as social skills practice partners for children with autism and some
children have gone from nonverbal to verbal,” Krause said. “For the elderly, robots in
the form of pets can be helpful in restoring a sense of agency and also provide companionship in an otherwise lonely time. So to help people like that would be a dream come true.”