All events will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn, located at 1818 Maple Avenue, Evanston, IL.

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Program Highlights

Keynote Speaker: Ed Colgate, Northwestern University Department of Mechanical Engineering

Ed Colgate

Touching with Feeling: Bringing haptics to the surface

Haptics plays a vital role in everyday life. If you don't believe it, try anesthetizing your fingertips (I'll show video!). Conversely, haptics is decidedly less important when interfacing to the digital world. Our touchscreens treat the finger as a pointer and more-or-less ignore the thousands of mechanoreceptors within, not to mention the somatosensory cortex. This is an odd state of affairs. Part of the explanation is technological: how do you go beyond simple vibrations and create versatile, programmable haptic experiences? That’s what our lab has focused on for better than a decade now. In this talk, I'll explain the rapidly expanding capabilities of “surface haptic” technologies. Another part of the explanation, however, is that we know very little about how to use haptics to create great experiences, be they for education, entertainment, or elsewhere. That turns out to be the much more difficult problem. I'll describe some incipient efforts and offer some thoughts for the future.

Biography: J. Edward Colgate is the Breed University Design Professor and a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Colgate's principal research interest is haptic interface. He is the co-inventor of a class of collaborative robots known as "cobots" and a suite of technologies for bringing programmable haptic feedback to touch surfaces. He served as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics and is a Fellow of the IEEE and the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Colgate has founded three startup companies the most recent of which, Tanvas Inc., is commercializing haptic technologies.


Keynote Speaker: Thomas Stahovich, UC Riverside Department of Mechanical Engineering

Tom Stahovich 

The Quantified Student: Using Smartpens and Data Mining to Understand Student Learning and Achievement

Researchers have long sought to understand the effects of study skills on academic achievement. While this question has been a focus of active research for nearly a century, researchers have found no consistent relationship between the two. This is due, in part, to the use of research methods that rely on surveys and students’ self-reports of study habits. In our work, we overcome this limitation by using smartpens and an instrumented document viewer to objectively measure studying. This combination of technology provides a fine-grained view of the learning process not available with conventional assessment methods, and enables the use of data mining to examine the relationship between studying and achievement. In this talk, we will present novel data mining techniques we have created for this application. We will also present the results of several studies that reveal new insights about the relationship between traditional learning activities--completing homework, taking lecture notes, and reading--and performance in introductory engineering courses. Finally, we will discuss interventions that are based on these insights and are designed to improve student engagement and increase academic achievement.

Biography: Dr. Stahovich received his B.S in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California Berkeley in 1988. He received his S.M. and Ph.D. from MIT in 1990 and 1995 respectively. He conducted his doctoral research at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. After serving as an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, he joined the faculty of the University of California Riverside in 2003. At UC Riverside, he currently is a full professor of Mechanical Engineering, holds a cooperating faculty appointment in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and is Chair of the Faculty of Bourns College. His research interests include educational informatics, engineering education, sketch understanding, pen-based computing, and human-computer interaction.


You-Try-It: INKstitute with Rob Baker, Director of Technology at Cincinnati Country Day School

Saturday morning, October 14

Rob Baker 

Join us for a half day overview of the pedagogical power of Tablet PCs.

In 1996 Cincinnati Country Day School was the first school in the nation to go 1:1. We have been 1:1 in 5-12 since then and have had tablet PCs since 2003. Schools from all over the world have attended one of our tablet conferences to experience what is possible when everyone has a tablet PC.

A 1:1 tablet PC environment is not evolutionary; it is revolutionary in comparison to any other deployment. In a non-tablet PC deployment, too much energy is expended trying to fit business tools to educational tasks. The flexibility that digital ink provides allows educators to focus on desired outcomes. Tablets allow teachers to achieve the lofty goals of seamless collaboration, transparent technology integration, and personalized instruction.

Writing, sketching, annotating, illustrating, highlighting and showing process are essential parts of the teaching and learning process. I want my teachers and students to be able to offer feedback, do peer reviews, and collaborate in real time. I also want them to be able to decide the modality that best fits the task. A classroom full of students typing their notes into their laptops during a lecture turns students into copy machines, not problem solvers. Tablet PCs amplify creativity, they don’t inhibit it. A classroom can be transformed into an active, engaging, student-centered environment.

Don't have a tablet problem. We will provide one so you will be just like our teachers and students!