CONNECTING EDUCATION AND RESEARCH: EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION IN MULTI-AGENT COMPUTATION SYSTEMS AND ITS APPLICATION TO SCHOLAR RESEARCH
Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The consolidation of new research procedures, the emergence of computation as a widespread tool capable of solving a vast scope of problems, such as extracting knowledge form large sets of data, or using crowd-sourced user data to support machine-learning processes, and the development of new digital demands such as extensive access to high-tech devices, the recent wave of open data initiatives, and the increasing interconnectivity of our societies via Internet permeating not only major economic transactions but also education, art, human relations etc., are determining revolutionary changes in the contemporary research panorama.
In this context, computation has appeared as an innovative and efficient resource that is able to satisfy the most sophisticated research demands, through techniques such as machine learning, evolution-based optimization, multi-agent systems simulations, visualization of complex processes, etc. Since these are of relatively recent development, they are rarely implemented in other disciplines, especially those closer to humanities, being most of the times completely unaware of the fabulous potential that they offer to their field of study.
The communication presents the educational and research experience developed in the seminar entitled “FORMA: FORmular el MAñana” (Forulationg of Tomorrow) which was offered to students of the Higher Technical School of Computers Sciences Engineering, University of Sevilla, and to national and international researchers from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines, during the month of October in 2013 and 2014. The course was developed through the collaboration between “culturadigital” laboratory and the Department of Computer Sciences and AI, of the Higher Technical School of Computers Sciences Engineering, University of Sevilla, offering students and researchers access to knowledge that extended the regular curriculum as well as the possibility to experiment hands-on with complex systems' computation processes.
Selection process of case studies proposed by researchers and tools used in the course for modeling and developing the complex systems of each research project, such as NetLogo computing language and Processing, will be described, as well as its educational and research potential.
This paper will also describe learning techniques deployed in the course, including tutored self-learning and collaborative and interdisciplinary learning, supported by information exchange on a dedicated open space and tutorials oriented to the level of researchers and students. In particular it will show how the workshop was built around a series of case studies proposed by researchers of a significant variety of fields including urban planning, chemistry, sociology, economy, art and medicine. Quality control of the course development, through students’ surveys during the course, and evaluation practices, will be discussed as well.
Eventually, factors affecting the exceptional motivation of students participating in the course will be analyzed; motivation which was confirmed by the high-quality works produced along the course and later on the line of research of some of the researchers that took part on the course.
Keywords: Agent based modeling, complex systems, data visualization, interdisciplinary learning, computation, tutored self-learning, learning by doing.