(please see the main page for schedule information)
We are using multiagent simulation as a methodology for exploring learning environments. In our SimEd system, a "classroom" consists of a group of agents labeled "students" and "teacher". Many types of interactions might occur between these agents, each effecting the students in different ways. We model various characteristics of student behavior and styles of teaching to show how simulated learning outcomes change when the interactions and environment change. Our longterm goal is to be able to provide an interactive software system for education policymakers and administrators in which they can evaluate the ramifications of policies they are considering. SimEd is a hierarchical model consisting of three interconnected levels: classroom, schoolhouse and school district. This talk will focus on the classroom model and will show how issues such as absenteeism, a big problem in large, urban public school systems, might be addressed.
Elizabeth Sklar is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at Columbia University. Her research centers around modeling human activity with agent-based technologies, as a means toward developing interactive systems that assist in providing solutions to human problems. Her current projects include simulation of multiagent learning environments, resource allocation in real-time multiagent systems, implementation of interactive learning systems, and evaluation of and curriculum development using educational robotics. Dr Sklar received her PhD from Brandeis University in 2000, after working at MIT/Lincoln Lab for nearly 10 years as a scientific programmer. She received the RoboCup Scientific Challenge Award in 2002 for her work on evaluating the effectiveness of educational robotics. She is a founding chair of RoboCupJunior, and is on the board of Trustees for the RoboCup Federation. She was co-chair of the ACM Java Engagement for Teacher Training (JETT) program and has served on the program committees for RoboCup, AAAI, AAMAS and on the organizing committees of many RoboCup events as well as hosting AAMAS-2004.