Works in Progress

Session Track-02

Track 2 – Works-In-Progress I

Conference
12:30 PM — 2:00 PM EDT
Local
Aug 1 Sat, 12:30 PM — 2:00 PM EDT

Experiment design with Galilean beam expanders for magneto-optical traps and the advanced undergraduate laboratory

Jared Matthew Cochrane (United States Military Academy at West Point, USA); Mary Lanzerotti, Corey Gerving, Seth Barbrow and Anthony Dinallo (USMA, USA)

1
This paper presents a compound lens experiment design, suitable for upper-division undergraduate laboratory courses, in which teams of students constructed and measured the properties of Galilean beam expanders. Skill in developing Galilean beam expanders is useful for undergraduates who will build a magneto-optical trap in a follow-on course. This laboratory experiment was performed by third-year undergraduate students in our applied optics course and provided students with the opportunity to gain knowledge about lasers, lenses, and alignment of optical components prior to their laboratory work building a magneto-optical trap.

This paper presents an accessible experimental design to introduce undergraduates enrolled in an applied optics course to beam expanders which they will encounter while designing and building a magneto-optical trap (MOT) in a subsequent laboratory course. Analysis of the experiment is carried out according to typical methodologies in undergraduate experiments.

Exploration of Pedagogical Interventions to Improve the Outcomes of Hispanics in AP Computer Science

Mayra S Bachrach (1000 Morris Ave, USA); Patricia A Morreale and Gail Verdi (Kean University, USA)

1
A research project underway at Kean University is exploring pedagogical interventions aimed at improving the outcomes of English Language Learners in Advanced Placement Computer Science. English Language Learners are students who come from non-English speaking homes and backgrounds. With the increasing numbers of Hispanic students in many K-12 classrooms, Spanish is the language most often spoken by English Language Learners. Advanced Placement Computer Science teachers will utilize strategies from Sheltered Instruction, an educational model from English as a Second Language and Bilingual education, in their classrooms. The impact of this approach will be measured by comparing the exam scores of students in the classroom of participating teachers with the 2020 national and state Advanced Placement Computer Science exam scores. Research outcomes of the pedagogical interventions explored will be widely utilized for teaching Computer Science to all English Language Learners, including Hispanics.

Impact of a Free Textbook on an Introductory Programming Course

Tacksoo Im, Hyesung Park, Wei Jin, Rick Price, Robert Lutz, Sonal Dekhane and Na'el Abu-Halaweh (Georgia Gwinnett College, USA)

3
Rising textbook costs has made students reluctant to purchase them. According to the review of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, textbook prices has risen 88% since 2006 and the rate of its increase has been greater than tuition. Even parents do not have the ability to pay for the textbook for years. The high cost of textbooks has led many students to forego the purchase of textbooks and has led to underachievement in many cases. Anecdotally, the authors have determined that many students are not purchasing the textbook for a programming fundamentals course. In this paper, we present our findings in implementing a free textbook and its impact on students.

A Preliminary Work on Visualization-based Education Tool for High School Machine Learning Education

Abel A Reyes, Colin Elkin, Quamar Niyaz, Xiaoli Yang and Sidike Paheding (Purdue University Northwest, USA); Vijaya Kumar Devabhaktuni (University of Purdue Northwest, USA)

3
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become one of the most recurrent topics nowadays, due to its many industrial applications and its wide range of research topics in academia. Within AI, Machine Learning (ML) is one of the most prominent sub-fields, the popularity of which is complemented with its high demand as a professional skill for different industries. In the last few years, teaching ML is thus increasingly common in different levels of education. However, the curricula implemented for several courses or programs to learn ML are not always appropriate for the backgrounds of students, particularly high school students, as programming and complex math experience are usually required to implement ML models and understand the potential of this field. For this reason, it is possible for students to have difficulties with the lack of experience required or expected and to have prior to learning ML topics. In addition, motivation can be affected, as the curriculum does not sufficiently engage the student in the learning process. In this work, we propose a visualization tool to introduce high school students to the ML field, which will be implemented using concepts of gamification and adapting the content of the curriculum without requiring exhaustive experience in programming or math.

SALP: A Scalable Autograding System for Learning Programming - A Work in Progress

Diego Calderon and Erick Petersen (Universidad Galileo, Guatemala); Oscar Rodas (Universidad Galileo & Tesla Lab, Guatemala)

2
Programming courses can be hard for students, but also for teachers, because of the huge amount of time that takes to manually grade each student's assignment and the different kind of valid solutions. Moreover, there are other problems related to manually grade assignments such as completely objective and homogeneous grading. In consequence, both students and teachers don't get feedback as fast as they should in order to take action and reinforce the topics with lower performance on each assignment. Finally, the increasing popularity of MOOCs makes manually grading no longer viable. To this aim, a scalable autograder system is proposed in order to provide students with faster feedback and help teachers with the evaluation of assignments. Our proposal can be used for learning different programming languages like Java, Python, C, C# and Ruby.

Using virtual assistant for learning selected topics of Physics

José R Aguilar-Mejía and Santa Tejeda (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico)

3
With the increase in the use of mobile applications and advances in artificial intelligence, the use of emerging technologies such as chatbots has increased. Given its characteristics, this type of applications are beginning to be used in the educational area, so there is a need to measure its impact and ensure its effectiveness in the learning process.

This study implements the use of a chatbot to increase the conceptual understanding of Newton's laws, integrating it into a didactic sequence in conjunction with active learning activities.

For the analysis of the data, an exploratory study with a pre-experimental design was carried out on several university physics groups, with a total of 122 participants. Hake's g was calculated to know the gain in the students' conceptual understanding.

The results of this study demonstrate that although there is an increase in students' conceptual understanding, the design of the didactic sequence needs to be improved to increase the percentages obtained. Likewise, it is necessary to develop instruments that allow direct measurement of the impact of the use of chatbot on student learning and the selection of a control group to compare the results of students who completed the didactic sequence, with those that take a traditional physics class.

Session Chair

To Be Determined

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Session Track-06

Track 6 – Works-In-Progress II

Conference
3:00 PM — 4:30 PM EDT
Local
Aug 1 Sat, 3:00 PM — 4:30 PM EDT

Systems Thinking and STEM/Technical Training: How to Use a Holistic View to Prevent End-to-End System Problems

Dwight Bues (SAIC Corp., USA)

1
I was challenged by Rocky Avvento and Eric Sudano at the 2019 IEEE ISEC conference to expand their discussion of Systems Thinking (targeting K-12 students) and mine regarding STEM Education to cover how these holistic design methodologies apply to Vocational - Technical Training. A holistic design process is utilized by engineers subconsciously, but is one of the most important things to teach to young technical students. This paper will present several operationally-relevant models of "systems" to help the reader understand the concept and, potentially, use it in his/her own designs. The Challenge is that there must be a way of looking at Systems that gives the Engineer/Technician a broad view of its overall working constraints and the interactions of its component parts. Systems Thinking is just that type of technique.

Improving method of instruction in classrooms

Sanish Rai (West Virginia University Institute of Engineering, USA)

1
During lecturing, a whiteboard is the instructor's most used tool. While the instructors provide lecture slides to students, the whiteboard contains more valuable information which all are erased as the lecture progress to make space for new content. In this work, a study is performed by using an iPad and Apple pencil as a digital whiteboard and marker. A digital tablet allows to provide all the notes written during a lecture to be saved and provided to students. The technology is used in the classroom to be used as a cheaper and better alternative to the instructor's computer and whiteboard without need of any new software or hardware requirements. The study showed that iPad and apple pencil could be an effective instructor tool if the instructor can utilize available iPad apps.

Improving computer science lab feedback methods

Sanish Rai (West Virginia University Institute of Engineering, USA)

1
In computer science programming courses such as Java, C, Python, C++, the computer science (CS) lab plays the most significant role in helping freshmen students to learn the coding for the first time. In the labs, students work on some programming assignment problems and submit them on an online platform to be graded by instructors. The labs are designed to get student hands-on coding and implement the programs in the computer, however, the feedback is received after a week or many of which are ignored by the students. As such, in this work, a one-on-one grading feedback methodology on completion of the program was implemented. Along with feedback, instructors would ask various questions to students related to the problem to understand their knowledge, thinking process and at the same time, enhance the communication skills of students. A quantitative study of the process using survey data showed that this method had a positive impact on students without causing any additional burden on instructors.

STEM Leadership and Training for Trailblazing Students in an Immersive Research Environment

Marisel Villafañe-Delgado, Erik Johnson, Marisa Hughes and Martha Cervantes (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, USA); William Gray-Roncal (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory & Preparation Meets Opportunity Foundation, USA)

1
Educating the workforce of tomorrow is an increasingly critical challenge for areas such as data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. These core skills may revolutionize progress in problems such as healthcare and precision medicine, autonomous systems and robotics, and scientific disciplines such as neuroscience. Skills in data science and artificial intelligence are in high demand in industrial research and development, but we believe that traditional recruiting and training models in industry (e.g., internships, academic connections) are not serving the needs of the diverse populations of students that will be required to revolutionize these fields. Our program, CIRCUIT, targets trailblazing, high-achieving students who are facing barriers in achieving their goals and becoming leaders in data science, machine learning, and AI research. Traditional recruitment practices often miss these ambitious and talented students with non-traditional backgrounds, and these students are at a higher risk of not persisting in research careers. In the CIRCUIT program we recruit holistically, selecting students based on their commitment, potential, and need. We designed a training and support model for our internship, consisting of a compressed data science and machine learning curriculum, a series of professional development training workshops, and a team-based robotics challenge. These activities support trailblazing students developing the skills needed for dynamic, team-based engineering teams of the future.

A Study of Localization Methods to Help Elderly Patients in their Home Environments

Akbar Ali (University of Virginia, USA); Jennifer Suon (Towson University, USA); Muhammad Ali Yousuf (Johns Hopkins University, USA)

1
Patients with various movement hampering illnesses that are kept in hospitals are at low risk of getting injured as they are constantly under strict observation. However, once these patients move into their homes, it becomes difficult to monitor them and/or warn them of potential hazards. For example, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of progressive lung diseases that obstruct airflow. It affects millions of adults in the USA alone, with a world estimate of 64 million by the World Health Organization. COPD patients are tied to their oxygen tanks via pipes that are attached to their mouths for breathing. Older individuals living at home who have a system set up with these oxygen tanks can be exposed to many different problems such as walking too far away from the tank, tripping over the plastic pipes, etc. Most of these patients have limited resources to invest on expensive tracking devices. In order to solve some of these problems, one must first be able to reliably locate them and keep track of them at all times. The objective of this work is to provide a comprehensive, multi-sensor platform which can be reliably installed at homes. We explore a variety of low cost tools and techniques available. This includes satellite tracking of cell phones, ultrasound, laser range finders, iBeacons, etc. We also discuss some of the fancier tools on the horizon, which may soon be available for household applications.

Session Chair

To Be Determined

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