Matching Items (14)

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Empowering Women in Zambia through Computational Thinking Curriculum

Description

The nonprofit organization, I Am Zambia, works to give supplemental education to young women in Lusaka. I Am Zambia is creating sustainable change by educating these females, who can then

The nonprofit organization, I Am Zambia, works to give supplemental education to young women in Lusaka. I Am Zambia is creating sustainable change by educating these females, who can then lift their families and communities out of poverty. The ultimate goal of this thesis was to explore and implement high level systematic problem solving through basic and specialized computational thinking curriculum at I Am Zambia in order to give these women an even larger stepping stool into a successful future.

To do this, a 4-week long pilot curriculum was created, implemented, and tested through an optional class at I Am Zambia, available to women who had already graduated from the year-long I Am Zambia Academy program. A total of 18 women ages 18-24 chose to enroll in the course. There were a total of 10 lessons, taught over 20 class period. These lessons covered four main computational thinking frameworks: introduction to computational thinking, algorithmic thinking, pseudocode, and debugging. Knowledge retention was tested through the use of a CS educational tool, QuizIt, created by the CSI Lab of School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. Furthermore, pre and post tests were given to assess the successfulness of the curriculum in teaching students the aforementioned concepts. 14 of the 18 students successfully completed the pre and post test.

Limitations of this study and suggestions for how to improve this curriculum in order to extend it into a year long course are also presented at the conclusion of this paper.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Web-Based Classroom Tool for Beginner Java Classes

Description

Learning to program is no easy task, and many students experience their first programming during their university education. Unfortunately, programming classes have a large number of students enrolled, so it

Learning to program is no easy task, and many students experience their first programming during their university education. Unfortunately, programming classes have a large number of students enrolled, so it is nearly impossible for professors to associate with the students at an individual level and provide the personal attention each student needs. This project aims to provide professors with a tool to quickly respond to the current understanding of the students. This web-based application gives professors the control to quickly ask Java programming questions, and the ability to see the aggregate data on how many of the students have successfully completed the assigned questions. With this system, the students are provided with extra programming practice in a controlled environment, and if there is an error in their program, the system will provide feedback describing what the error means and what steps the student can take to fix it.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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STUDY GENIE: An Analysis of a Web-based Note-Sharing and Cheat Sheet Tool

Description

Research has shown that the cheat sheet preparation process helps students with performance in exams. However, results have been inconclusive in determining the most effective guiding principles in creating and

Research has shown that the cheat sheet preparation process helps students with performance in exams. However, results have been inconclusive in determining the most effective guiding principles in creating and using cheat sheets. The traditional method of collecting and annotating cheat sheets is time consuming and exhaustive, and fails to capture students' preparation process. This thesis examines the development and usage of a new web-based cheat sheet creation tool, Study Genie, and its effects on student performance in an introductory computer science and programming course. Results suggest that actions associated with editing and organizing cheat sheets are positively correlated with exam performance, and that there is a significant difference between the activity of high-performing and low-performing students. Through these results, Study Genie presents itself as an opportunity for mass data collection and to provide insight into the assembly process rather than just the finished product in cheat sheet creation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Predicting Outcome of a Pitch Given the Type of Pitch for any Baseball Scenario

Description

This thesis serves as a baseline for the potential for prediction through machine learning (ML) in baseball. Hopefully, it also will serve as motivation for future work to expand and

This thesis serves as a baseline for the potential for prediction through machine learning (ML) in baseball. Hopefully, it also will serve as motivation for future work to expand and reach the potential of sabermetrics, advanced Statcast data and machine learning. The problem this thesis attempts to solve is predicting the outcome of a pitch. Given proper pitch data and situational data, is it possible to predict the result or outcome of a pitch? The result or outcome refers to the specific outcome of a pitch, beyond ball or strike, but if the hitter puts the ball in play for a double, this thesis shows how I attempted to predict that type of outcome. Before diving into my methods, I take a deep look into sabermetrics, advanced statistics and the history of the two in Major League Baseball. After this, I describe my implemented machine learning experiment. First, I found a dataset that is suitable for training a pitch prediction model, I then analyzed the features and used some feature engineering to select a set of 16 features, and finally, I trained and tested a pair of ML models on the data. I used a decision tree classifier and random forest classifier to test the data. I attempted to us a long short-term memory to improve my score, but came up short. Each classifier performed at around 60% accuracy. I also experimented using a neural network approach with a long short-term memory (LSTM) model, but this approach requires more feature engineering to beat the simpler classifiers. In this thesis, I show examples of five hitters that I test the models on and the accuracy for each hitter. This work shows promise that advanced classification models (likely requiring more feature engineering) can provide even better prediction outcomes, perhaps with 70% accuracy or higher! There is much potential for future work and to improve on this thesis, mainly through the proper construction of a neural network, more in-depth feature analysis/selection/extraction, and data visualization.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Modeling the Complexity of Sankey Diagrams

Description

In this Barrett Honors Thesis, I developed a model to quantify the complexity of Sankey diagrams, which are a type of visualization technique that shows flow between groups. To do

In this Barrett Honors Thesis, I developed a model to quantify the complexity of Sankey diagrams, which are a type of visualization technique that shows flow between groups. To do this, I created a carefully controlled dataset of synthetic Sankey diagrams of varying sizes as study stimuli. Then, a pair of online crowdsourced user studies were conducted and analyzed. User performance for Sankey diagrams of varying size and features (number of groups, number of timesteps, and number of flow crossings) were algorithmically modeled as a formula to quantify the complexity of these diagrams. Model accuracy was measured based on the performance of users in the second crowdsourced study. The results of my experiment conclusively demonstrates that the algorithmic complexity formula I created closely models the visual complexity of the Sankey Diagrams in the dataset.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Developing a Neural Network Based Adaptive Task Selection System for anUndergraduate Level Organic Chemistry Course

Description

In the last decade, the immense growth of computational power, enhanced data storage capabilities, and the increasing popularity of online learning systems has led to adaptive learning systems becoming more

In the last decade, the immense growth of computational power, enhanced data storage capabilities, and the increasing popularity of online learning systems has led to adaptive learning systems becoming more widely available. Parallel to infrastructure enhancements, more researchers have started to study the adaptive task selection systems, concluding that suggesting tasks appropriate to students' needs may increase students' learning gains.

This work built an adaptive task selection system for undergraduate organic chemistry students using a deep learning algorithm. The proposed model is based on a recursive neural network (RNN) architecture built with Long-Short Term Memory (LSTM) cells that recommends organic chemistry practice questions to students depending on their previous question selections.

For this study, educational data were collected from the Organic Chemistry Practice Environment (OPE) that is used in the Organic Chemistry course at Arizona State University. The OPE has more than three thousand questions. Each question is linked to one or more knowledge components (KCs) to enable recommendations that precisely address the knowledge that students need. Subject matter experts made the connection between questions and related KCs.

A linear model derived from students' exam results was used to identify skilled students. The neural network based recommendation system was trained using those skilled students' problem solving attempt sequences so that the trained system recommends questions that will likely improve learning gains the most. The model was evaluated by measuring the predicted questions' accuracy against learners' actual task selections. The proposed model not only accurately predicted the learners' actual task selection but also the correctness of their answers.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Providing Intelligent and Adaptive Support in Concept Map-based Learning Environments

Description

Concept maps are commonly used knowledge visualization tools and have been shown to have a positive impact on learning. The main drawbacks of concept mapping are the requirement of training,

Concept maps are commonly used knowledge visualization tools and have been shown to have a positive impact on learning. The main drawbacks of concept mapping are the requirement of training, and lack of feedback support. Thus, prior research has attempted to provide support and feedback in concept mapping, such as by developing computer-based concept mapping tools, offering starting templates and navigational supports, as well as providing automated feedback. Although these approaches have achieved promising results, there are still challenges that remain to be solved. For example, there is a need to create a concept mapping system that reduces the extraneous effort of editing a concept map while encouraging more cognitively beneficial behaviors. Also, there is little understanding of the cognitive process during concept mapping. What’s more, current feedback mechanisms in concept mapping only focus on the outcome of the map, instead of the learning process.

This thesis work strives to solve the fundamental research question: How to leverage computer technologies to intelligently support concept mapping to promote meaningful learning? To approach this research question, I first present an intelligent concept mapping system, MindDot, that supports concept mapping via innovative integration of two features, hyperlink navigation, and expert template. The system reduces the effort of creating and modifying concept maps while encouraging beneficial activities such as comparing related concepts and establishing relationships among them. I then present the comparative strategy metric that modes student learning by evaluating behavioral patterns and learning strategies. Lastly, I develop an adaptive feedback system that provides immediate diagnostic feedback in response to both the key learning behaviors during concept mapping and the correctness and completeness of the created maps.

Empirical evaluations indicated that the integrated navigational and template support in MindDot fostered effective learning behaviors and facilitating learning achievements. The comparative strategy model was shown to be highly representative of learning characteristics such as motivation, engagement, misconceptions, and predicted learning results. The feedback tutor also demonstrated positive impacts on supporting learning and assisting the development of effective learning strategies that prepare learners for future learning. This dissertation contributes to the field of supporting concept mapping with designs of technological affordances, a process-based student model, an adaptive feedback tutor, empirical evaluations of these proposed innovations, and implications for future support in concept mapping.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Detecting Frames and Causal Relationships in Climate Change Related Text Databases Based on Semantic Features

Description

The subliminal impact of framing of social, political and environmental issues such as climate change has been studied for decades in political science and communications research. Media framing offers an

The subliminal impact of framing of social, political and environmental issues such as climate change has been studied for decades in political science and communications research. Media framing offers an “interpretative package" for average citizens on how to make sense of climate change and its consequences to their livelihoods, how to deal with its negative impacts, and which mitigation or adaptation policies to support. A line of related work has used bag of words and word-level features to detect frames automatically in text. Such works face limitations since standard keyword based features may not generalize well to accommodate surface variations in text when different keywords are used for similar concepts.

This thesis develops a unique type of textual features that generalize triplets extracted from text, by clustering them into high-level concepts. These concepts are utilized as features to detect frames in text. Compared to uni-gram and bi-gram based models, classification and clustering using generalized concepts yield better discriminating features and a higher classification accuracy with a 12% boost (i.e. from 74% to 83% F-measure) and 0.91 clustering purity for Frame/Non-Frame detection.

The automatic discovery of complex causal chains among interlinked events and their participating actors has not yet been thoroughly studied. Previous studies related to extracting causal relationships from text were based on laborious and incomplete hand-developed lists of explicit causal verbs, such as “causes" and “results in." Such approaches result in limited recall because standard causal verbs may not generalize well to accommodate surface variations in texts when different keywords and phrases are used to express similar causal effects. Therefore, I present a system that utilizes generalized concepts to extract causal relationships. The proposed algorithms overcome surface variations in written expressions of causal relationships and discover the domino effects between climate events and human security. This semi-supervised approach alleviates the need for labor intensive keyword list development and annotated datasets. Experimental evaluations by domain experts achieve an average precision of 82%. Qualitative assessments of causal chains show that results are consistent with the 2014 IPCC report illuminating causal mechanisms underlying the linkages between climatic stresses and social instability.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Explainable AI in Workflow Development and Verification Using Pi-Calculus

Description

Computer science education is an increasingly vital area of study with various challenges that increase the difficulty level for new students resulting in higher attrition rates. As part of an

Computer science education is an increasingly vital area of study with various challenges that increase the difficulty level for new students resulting in higher attrition rates. As part of an effort to resolve this issue, a new visual programming language environment was developed for this research, the Visual IoT and Robotics Programming Language Environment (VIPLE). VIPLE is based on computational thinking and flowchart, which reduces the needs of memorization of detailed syntax in text-based programming languages. VIPLE has been used at Arizona State University (ASU) in multiple years and sections of FSE100 as well as in universities worldwide. Another major issue with teaching large programming classes is the potential lack of qualified teaching assistants to grade and offer insight to a student’s programs at a level beyond output analysis.

In this dissertation, I propose a novel framework for performing semantic autograding, which analyzes student programs at a semantic level to help students learn with additional and systematic help. A general autograder is not practical for general programming languages, due to the flexibility of semantics. A practical autograder is possible in VIPLE, because of its simplified syntax and restricted options of semantics. The design of this autograder is based on the concept of theorem provers. To achieve this goal, I employ a modified version of Pi-Calculus to represent VIPLE programs and Hoare Logic to formalize program requirements. By building on the inference rules of Pi-Calculus and Hoare Logic, I am able to construct a theorem prover that can perform automated semantic analysis. Furthermore, building on this theorem prover enables me to develop a self-learning algorithm that can learn the conditions for a program’s correctness according to a given solution program.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Advancing Large-Scale Creativity through Adaptive Inspirations and Research in Context

Description

An old proverb claims that “two heads are better than one”. Crowdsourcing research and practice have taken this to heart, attempting to show that thousands of heads can be even

An old proverb claims that “two heads are better than one”. Crowdsourcing research and practice have taken this to heart, attempting to show that thousands of heads can be even better. This is not limited to leveraging a crowd’s knowledge, but also their creativity—the ability to generate something not only useful, but also novel. In practice, there are initiatives such as Free and Open Source Software communities developing innovative software. In research, the field of crowdsourced creativity, which attempts to design scalable support mechanisms, is blooming. However, both contexts still present many opportunities for advancement.

In this dissertation, I seek to advance both the knowledge of limitations in current technologies used in practice as well as the mechanisms that can be used for large-scale support. The overall research question I explore is: “How can we support large-scale creative collaboration in distributed online communities?” I first advance existing support techniques by evaluating the impact of active support in brainstorming performance. Furthermore, I leverage existing theoretical models of individual idea generation as well as recommender system techniques to design CrowdMuse, a novel adaptive large-scale idea generation system. CrowdMuse models users in order to adapt itself to each individual. I evaluate the system’s efficacy through two large-scale studies. I also advance knowledge of current large-scale practices by examining common communication channels under the lens of Creativity Support Tools, yielding a list of creativity bottlenecks brought about by the affordances of these channels. Finally, I connect both ends of this dissertation by deploying CrowdMuse in an Open Source online community for two weeks. I evaluate their usage of the system as well as its perceived benefits and issues compared to traditional communication tools.

This dissertation makes the following contributions to the field of large-scale creativity: 1) the design and evaluation of a first-of-its-kind adaptive brainstorming system; 2) the evaluation of the effects of active inspirations compared to simple idea exposure; 3) the development and application of a set of creativity support design heuristics to uncover creativity bottlenecks; and 4) an exploration of large-scale brainstorming systems’ usefulness to online communities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019