Smart Primer

Revolutionize Education with Artificial Intelligence

About Smart Primer

The Smart Primer is an interactive, narrative-based tutor that combines some of the best features of both physical- and electronic-based learning methods. Our initial focus will be on creating stories that help students develop skills in science, computing, mathematics, reading, and writing.

Who are we?

We are a group of researchers from Stanford CS and Education who aim to provide adaptive education through technology.

Why is it called Smart Primer?

The project draws inspiration from Neal Stephenson’s 1995 science fiction novel, The Diamond Age. But the key here is the subtitle: “Or, a Young Lady’s Ilustrated Primer”.

In the novel, a young girl receives a book in the form of a tablet. The tablet weaves a story, embedding the girl in as the main character, and through activities and narrative, this book gives the girl a complete education. It’s this young lady’s primer that formed the foundation of our ideas for the smart primer.

Current Project

We currently have one project going on:

Past Project


If you are interested in working with us, please send an email to

We work with Stanford undergraduate and master students both in school year and in summer. Students usually register for research classes such as CS 199 in school year and apply for summer research programs such as CURIS in summer.

We also welcome exceptional students and researchers outside Stanford and can provide funding support.

We have positions open in three areas: HCI, AI, and Education. You can learn more about what kind of skills we are looking for in Get ready for the project.



Get ready for the project


If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email Sherry Ruan (