LABS - Institute for Educational Advancement

LABS advances students’ intellectual curiosity and passion for STEM by exposing them to innovative research conducted by brilliant scientists in the field.

Learning Among Brilliant Scientists (LABS) students gain access to new knowledge and are introduced to the skills needed to be a successful scientific researcher through workshops that include a seminar and hands-on learning experience.


LABS develops the whole child by:

  • Engaging students in a unique educational experience to learn about a brilliant scientist’s current research work.
  • Promoting optimal challenge for students seeking opportunities to further their interests and passions in the STEM field.
  • Building a community of like-minded learners interested in STEM.
LABS Schedule and Application

“LABS provides to engage students early on in unique research topics. I was so impressed by these students’ intuition for science. They expressed a lot of insightful observations about the topic. This is the type of experience I wish I had had as a young student.” LABS Speaker

Upcoming Lectures

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way people interact with computers, in particular when it comes to language-based communication. Computers are now able to perform intelligent text processing tasks like translating documents into different languages, detecting the sentiment of emails, suggesting grammatical improvements to essays, and finding answers to fact-based questions in massive document databases. These tasks are examples of the research area known as natural language processing (NLP). NLP integrates knowledge across a variety of subjects including computer science, linguistics, mathematics, and cognitive science. In this workshop, students will be broadly introduced to NLP, learn what makes it so challenging, and discuss some real-world examples of its application. We’ll focus particularly on systems that categorize the content of a text by features like topic, emotional sentiment, and writing style. Students will be guided through a hands-on exercise that exemplifies the techniques that real software systems use for these analyses.



Dr. Melissa Roemmele is a Research Scientist at SDL in Los Angeles, working on interactive applications that use artificial intelligence to facilitate content understanding and creation. She obtained her PhD from the Department of Computer Science at University of Southern California. As a PhD student, she worked at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, an interdisciplinary research center that unifies scientists and artists for the purpose of building immersive technologies. As part of her research there, she developed an application intended to help people write stories by automatically generating suggestions for story sentences. Her pursuit of artificial intelligence research originally came from studying social science, through which she became interested in modeling social science phenomena using computational methods. Before coming to USC, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Linguistics at Miami University and a Master’s degree in Computational Linguistics at Indiana University. She is passionate about bridging the gap between humanities and engineering disciplines, and helping to make computing more accessible and appealing to broad audiences.




Sign Up



When: Saturday, November 16th, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm

Duration: 2.5 hours

Where: IEA Learning Center, 540 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

Cost: $50*

Please note upon registration, a LABS Series team member will be in touch with you via email to confirm and finalize your child’s enrollment in the workshop.

*Scholarships are available to qualified families in need. 

Questions? Contact us!



Participants must be:

  • Current 7th-12th grade students
  • Passionate about learning
  • Interested in pursuing an advanced STEM research topic

*You do not need to be a current IEA student to register for LABS. Students from all school districts are welcome.