• Graduate and professional students
  • Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC)
  • Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Accolades & Honors

Alex Silver earned an award for her doctoral dissertation research

Blue Pitt flags hang on poles beside a sidewalk

Alex Silver, a graduate student studying cognitive psychology in Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), received one of two 2022-23 Doctoral Dissertation Research Excellence Awards from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS). The award acknowledges graduate student scientists who have conducted research of superior quality and broader societal impacts.

Silver (A&S ’21G) earned the FABBS accolade for her dissertation, “Linguistic and Social Influences on Number Word Acquisition.” The project’s overall goal is to test the process by which infants learn to map number words to quantities and the role of parental input in this process. Silver’s research will contribute to the conceptualization and understanding of the development of mathematical thinking and individual differences in children’s earliest math abilities.

 “Alex’s dissertation will be the culmination of her past work on the development of mathematical thinking in early childhood. It will be groundbreaking in its focus on infants and the environmental factors that shape the development of mathematical understanding at this young age,” said Melissa Libertus, LDRC research scientist and Silver’s advisor. “Throughout Alex’s years in graduate school, she has worked with numerous families in the Pittsburgh community and beyond, sharing her passion for child development and how exciting math can be for young children.”

Other recent honors for Silver include the Dr. Ruth L. Myers Memorial Award for excellence in mentoring from Pitt’s Department of Psychology and the spring 2023 LRDC Graduate Student Council Award. She studied psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University before earning her MS in cognitive psychology from Pitt.