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Learning Tools for Interactivity & Dynamic Data Vizualization in Science Worlds

Margaret Corbit, Cornell Theory Center, Cornell University Dr. Cinzia Gandini, Medico Veterinario, Spec. Clinica dei Piccoli Animali, Dr. Simeon J. Simoff, Faculty of Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney
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queenbee: Here we go! Welcome to the third session, second panel, of the day.

hypatia: wild applause!!!

emrys: w00t!

HenrikG: applause:)

queenbee: I am Margaret Corbit here in Ithaca NY and

SunnyOne: clapps

vetunimi: appaluse!

"Auntie Galen": yay, Corbit!

Digigardener: yay corbit

"akejay": *clap* *clap*

padraic: you go grrrlll

zch: applause!!

queenbee: I want to thank our speakers who come to us from

"Rowan": drumm roll

zg: use the big blue avatar - its bigger - will make you stand out from teh crowd

"scicentr3673": it's been FUN just getting in

vlearn7: clap, clap clap!!

HenrikG: drums are round.. I guess they can roll:)

queenbee: Our first speaker is Dr. Cinzia Gandini, Medico Veterinario, Spec. Clinica dei Piccoli Animali

vetunimi: hi everyone

queenbee: Cinzia is a practicing veterinarian and a master world designer

queenbee: She will be talking with you about the CHEMEET project, Cinzia, take it away :>)

vetunimi: Hi everybody, I am introducing myself, I am Cinzia Gandini, DVM, the developer of the Chemeet project

vetunimi: this work is part of the University of Milan, Italy Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Science and Technology for Food Safety

vetunimi: the courses involved in this study are both Chemistry and Biochemical Propedeutics I and II

vetunimi: I am very glad to have the opportunity to participate again to the VLearn 3D 2001 Event and I would like to thank Bonnie De Varco and Margaret Corbit and the whole AWEdu staff

"akejay": yay!

"Auntie Galen": hear hear

tinkerbell: applause!

vetunimi: I am presenting a preliminary report of the Chemeet project, which has just started, as a 3D virtual environment used for distance learning in the AWEDU universe, using the Activeworlds' Technology

vlearn7: applause!!!

vetunimi: The Chemeet world is aimed to exploring Activeworlds effectiveness in rendering scientific 3D animations besides this

vetunimi: different plug-ins and web-based tools were also tested inside the virtual environment in order to achieve a more interactive educational resource in chemistry education

vetunimi: The project is also analysing students' interests and capability in taking advantage of the new computer based technologies through an Internet connection

vetunimi: and evaluating different results obtained by offering the same contents both in webpages and in a 3D world

vetunimi: Here on the web page you find one of the animations purposed in Chemeet, this is a 3D animated laboratory test

vetunimi: please scroll down the page to see the laboratory test animaion

vetunimi: specifically, the Fehling test purposed allow students to perform the whole laboratory test by clicking on objects, reading notes and downloading documents

queenbee: Will you be able to make the testtubes move inthe world?

vetunimi: yes i made them move in the world, this is a recordering of what you can do inside the virtual environment

omar: are there any examples of such movements in any other world?

vetunimi: this isn't an animation built for a webpage, it is what it happens clicking on lab tubes inside the virtual laboratory

vetunimi: yes i guess so omar

vetunimi: with the new browser 3.2 it is also possible to implement animations

vetunimi: Regarding the integration with other web tools, a white board is being used to improve communication

vetunimi: you can see same animated example as shown before for laboratory tests, on the webpage on your left

vetunimi: the white board is used during online tutoring and it allows both teachers and students to participate together actively as they were joining a real class to make exercises and get their works corrected or having further explanations

vetunimi: The 3D plug-ins tested, in this case to render molecules, are used together to enhance students learning

vetunimi: Activeworlds let you explore in first person the spatial configuration of a molecule, its shape and orientation, and basic molecular models were built and assembled to build more complex structures.

vetunimi: Chime (MDL), a popular plug-in in the Chemistry field, demonstrated to be fully compatible with the Browser and to not cause any slow down or crashing problems to the system while running at the same time with Activeworlds

vetunimi: The preliminary results were obtained examining a group of 107 university students of the first year, before lessons were taking place and during the course.

vetunimi: The 94% of the students tested could dispose of an Internet connection,

vetunimi: the 65% had a computer of the last generation and a fairly fast connection that allowed them to make easily use of a 3D environment. The most common was a dialup connection and a 57K modem

vetunimi: The 80% of the students seemed to have a basic knowledge of computers. The group was not trained in advance to the use of a 3D environment

vetunimi: they could only get self-trained by reading the Chemeet's website guidelines. The matter of fact only the 26% read the help guide

vetunimi: The most of the students had no problems in surfing the website (73%), while the number dropped to 42% when considering the 3D environment

vetunimi: of course we are expecting the number to grow fast, because before lessons start or examinations are planned,

vetunimi: students seem fully engaged with other courses and practice and generally have less time to focus on one single matter until the end of January

vetunimi: The enthusiasm was high and the low number of students that actually logged in the virtual environment could be mainly interpreted as difficulties encountered with hardware or problems in dealing with the English language

katy: Our kids grow up playing 3-D computer games - they will have an easier time to navigate in 3-D.

vetunimi: that is very sure Katy

vetunimi: It's very interesting to remark that the same percentage of students was found when considering the ability of taking full advantage of all the tools purposed in both the website and the 3D environment,

queenbee: (to vetunimi) are you almost done?

vetunimi: which means that the same number of students, could make a proper use of the website or of the 3D environment

vetunimi: The Chemeet project has just started and this is only a first screening, the group of students will be monitored till the end of the course and during the period of time in which they will be studying and getting prepared for exams

vetunimi: The virtual environment is providing student's online support and courses which are scheduled twice a week and an interactive content which will be modified regularly according to the students' needs

Adrienne: i have to take off and meet my dad (he's in town) so i'll see you later. great job with the event today!!

queenbee: I want to thank you, Cinzia for such important data. This kind of evaluation is critically important to all of us.

vetunimi: this is all for now, thanks again for your attention

vetunimi: thanks meragaret

padraic: claps

"tony": thank you very much

HenrikG: very impressive:)

queenbee: cheers!

"Rowan": When will you publish your data and results?

AL: yeah!

"Grendel": bravo, Cinzia!

hypatia: thanks Cinzia... gREAT!!

"akejay": excellent execution and evaluation

vlearn7: clap clap clap!

"3donline": Good info. Thanks

"lorex": great!!

katy: bravo!!

hypatia: brava!!

vetunimi: that would be the aim Rowan

tinkerbell: Applause!

omar: i'm looking forward to seeing this realized!

"brainstorm": bravo, nice project

"Rowan": super interesting?

vetunimi: thank you

tinkerbell: wonderful data

queenbee: Next we will hear from Dr. Simeon J. Simoff, faculty of information technology,

tinkerbell: thank you

martin sjardijn: Thanx

Policy Guy: Thanks! clap clap clap

Diane: thanks 2.

queenbee: University of Technology in Sydney, clear on the opposite end of the earth from me!

vlearn6: VLEARN=Siemon

vlearn6: ooops Simeon

vlearn6: so you can see that I'm a bad typist

queenbee: I think it's predawn in Sydney. Simeon will talk about multi-faceted

queenbee: take it away, Simeon

vlearn6: Thanks QueenBee

vlearn6: Yes, here is Sunday, but the sun is up ...

vlearn6: and me too

queenbee: (to vlearn6) please choose another avatar, yours isn't showing yet

Diane: Let's pass the virtual coffee.

queenbee: summertime in Sydney, long days

vlearn6: The talk is slightly different from the main stream of the session

"akejay": hardly notice the rotation of the planet, that's for sure!

vlearn6: The problem that we were trying to address is how to support different educational needs with virtual environments

vlearn6: For instance in comp sci departments where they teach programing, 3D is not so easily accepted

vlearn6: Design computing - vice versa.: Can we accomodate such diverse needs?

vlearn6: Another issue is - what happens when a new technology comes - headache for lecturers :-)??? The 3rd issue is - how we can decrease the border "physical/virtual" in learnignn environments

vlearn6: From my experience - content-centric environments are dominating still nowadays this imposes restrictions to lecturers to fit within the paradigm

rembrandt: what is a "content centric environment"?

vlearn6: The next two slides will illustrate the idea (with Blackboard 5)

vlearn6: you can see that two substantially different courses ("Virtual Communities" and "Applications of AI") have to be fitted within the same structure ...

vlearn7: That would be a super idea - no VR & ed conf since those 2 in UK

hypatia: at least do a minit or two on stage with screens changed to yours

vlearn6: The alternative approach that we (Mary Lou Maher from the Key Centre of Design Computing, University of Sydney, myself and other researchers in the group)

vlearn6: have taken is to integrate existing environments .... smoothly ... for the users :-))

vlearn6: here is a bit of history leading to that. it started with 'old' technologies - MOO based virtual campus, which may have visited

vlearn6: the problem there was that there was no space where to conduct 3D design studies

vlearn7: no conf f2f I mean, at least none that I'm aware of, outside of maybe a couple in South America

vlearn6: so how to integrate AW and MOO and make the transition from one to another smooth?

vlearn6: here are the integration principles - they apply at 3 levels

hypatia: thx :0) learning new procedures all the time

vlearn6: The ontologiical level is resopnsible for presertving consistency across environmetns

vlearn6: In the design level we basically establish the mappings between the metaphors in the different envieronments

vlearn6: The implementation level deals with the bridging interfaces

omar: can you give an easy example?

vlearn6: Current configuration is shown on the slide

vlearn6: an example - the VC MOO is structured in terms of rooms, when AW - coordinates

vlearn6: so you need a mapping between the rooms in the moo and the corresponding areas in AW

vlearn6: in the MOO - character has a textual description - in AW it is in avatar - in transition you need again some mapping between that descrip[tion and geometry of the avatar

vlearn6: hope I answered your question omar

vlearn6: I'll have to skip some bits ...

vlearn6: The slide shows current configuration - you can see that the Virtual Campus is getting a cross university environment ...

vlearn6: on the next slide are the technologies that are currently integrated

vlearn6: so on-line programming lessons are conducted in the MOO envionment from where students can then go to the virtual design stuudio for a class on virtual architecture

vlearn6: One of the benefits is the incremental growth of such environment

queenbee: Again this is wonderful docmentation of research that is really getting beyond the conceptual stage.

queenbee: thanks so Much Simeon, we look forward to hearing much more from you soon.

hypatia: thanks Simeon!!!

queenbee: clappppppp

vlearn6: questions ..?? ???

"Rowan": was wonderful, thanx!

vlearn7: clap, clap, clap!!!

padraic: grreatstuff!

omar: hurrah

katy: Very interesting.

zg: simeon are you currently using aw?

HenrikG: clap clap

Ginger: Whoo hoo!

key: clap!!

Diane: thanks

tinkerbell: Awesome!

queenbee: (to hypatia) please ask simeon to move to another world if he wants to take questions now

Jay: *clap* *clap* *clap*

emrys: again a w00t! would be aproriate here

tinkerbell: Bravo!

dnw3: yeeee haw!

vetunimi: just great!!!

martin sjardijn: bravo!

vetunimi: cograts!

"remi": thanks!

SunnyOne: expanding the borders

"akejay": hurrah!

"videonaut": clap clap

katy: I had the chance to visit your virtual campus for DCNet 99 - the first virtual conference I attended. It was very impressive.

dnw3: pushing the envelope

vlearn6: katy - it has grown a lot since then :-))))

katy: Would like to visit gain - do you have public tours?

"Grendel": are you a contractor or do you work for a company? or a university?

queenbee: I would like to talk with you today about our experience developing scientific visualization

queenbee: bgblue here :>)

zg: smile for the camera :)

queenbee: The Cornell Theory Center is a high-performance computing and interdisciplinary research

queenbee: We support a wide variety of academic and industrial researchers and it's my

queenbee: That's the PR part of my title. My other half is devoted to outreach education.

queenbee: While images and multimedia are important to online PR, visualization and interactive

jeffs: hmmm we seem to be trapped insideeach other's bounding boxes ;^}

queenbee: One of the first interactive 3D systems that we developed was in VRML.

queenbee: You see here a screen shot of a model of a chain of alanine molecules that the user can

queenbee: interact with. The site includes several such models.

queenbee: The interactive VRML models were more of a challenge for programming than simulation.

jeffs: I teleported to Panel 3 and am now "stuck" inside another person's avatar and cannot move ;^}

queenbee: oops

queenbee: shift click

jeffs: is there a way to jump to another place?

jeffs: thanks

jeffs: phew

queenbee: The image with the multicolored blocks comes from an online java simulation of the spead of

queenbee: the tropical disease malaria. Interesting and fun, but again. Single user and these systems

queenbee: Next to virtual worlds. We host SciCentr, a science museum that is constantly under

queenbee: construction, and SciFair, a world for teens in afterschool and other extracurricularprograms. We also have curie world, currently used for our data visualization system.

queenbee: It has been a challenge to begin mastering both a new medium and new content, but we do have a few working systems to show for it.

hypatia: unless you have coords other than gz

hypatia: all three signs linked

hypatia: i mean stage screens

Immigration Officer: You are being joined by dnw3.

katy: Exploring visualizations together enables to bring in different background knowledge, to help navigate a larger data space - collaboration helps to understand complex visualizations.

queenbee: we would like to show you some of our work. If you would click on the third image,

hypatia: any image behind the stage will teleport you to curie world where the demo is, folks

queenbee: you will end up in curie world and kofi will show you our grid bot, it generates data landscapes.

hypatia: folks the last session will follow the demo

hypatia: please click on screens behind stage to teleport to the gridbot demo of scicentr

queenbee: you can also just teleport to or click on curie in the world menu

hypatia: to curie

queenbee: Curie Ho!

hypatia: screens behind stage will teleport you to CURIE the fabulous gridbot demo world :0)

Immigration Officer: Welcome to Curie, queenbee

[Loginbot]: Welcome, queenbee. Please login

kofi: Gridbot is a program that takes in a data file as input

katy: We need a 3-D map of the state Indiana - can your program handle such large data sets?

kofi: Yes, in theory.

kofi: ...The data file is just a bunch of numbers (not neccessarily integers, nor positive)

kofi: Gridbot uses this data as elevation points to model something like what you are see infront of you

kofi: I am loading up a webpage to demonstrate how it all works.

kofi: The numbers in the grid represent the input...

kofi: and you can see how those numbers match up with the model beneath it.

kofi: so, who wants to play?

tinkerbell: I do! =)

kofi: alright.

tinkerbell: How do I start?

vlearn6: yup

kofi: you first need to log in, with Loginbot.

tinkerbell: 'k...... how so?

SunnyOne: My login did not work

vlearn6: same probelm

tinkerbell: ... real rookie here <grin>

kofi: hehe

kofi: you need a username.

mbanz: I'm sorry I just had to move from one town to another so I came late in - how do I login?

kofi: all of you can use "user1"

katy: user1

kofi: and the password is "passwd1"

padraic: diabolically clever!

kofi: for help, look at the example on the webpage

vlearn6: user passwd1 doesn''t exist - that's what I got from the login bot ..

kofi: please note, there's space for only 8 people to login

"lorex": yep me too

kofi: hmm...

"Grendel": that's the best lateness excuse I've ever heard, mbanz! :o)

"Rowan": same boat:)

kofi: look at the "example login sequence", and try to follow it

Diane: I have to say, this is annoying!

katy: I was too slow :( - lets see what everybody is building :)

queenbee: MrC is building

tinkerbell: ...looking around to see what's being built...

tinkerbell: =)

"remi": user1

Immigration Officer: You are being joined by dnw3.

mbanz: I try again - my computer is going mad - how do I login?

queenbee: instructions are on web page on right

"akejay": "user limit has been exceeded"

"akejay": loginbot crashed

Digigardener: i dont exist!!!!

queenbee: well that means 8 people succeeded

hypatia: so i will leave it to you to do the seque? just lemme know when so I can tele the foks in vlearn... going okay?

vetunimi: :-)

omar: hi everyone

kofi: okay, mbanz. whisper 'quit' to loginbot

omar: i just bulit the stuff at girdbot sector 6

katy: Kofi, can you feed in GIS files externally?

"Grendel": don't worry digi...you think, therefor you are

kofi: and then, whipser 'user1'

tinkerbell: so.... where are the 8 people building?

kofi: after that, 'passwd1'

vlearn6: the idea is terrific -visual data mining within the data - i would love to have a more detailed session after the conference ....

mbanz: It says I don't exist!

omar: i just whispered user1 and then passwd1 to loginbot

tinkerbell: gridbot sector 6....

tinkerbell: ?

omar: wrote my grid

tinkerbell: how to get there....

mbanz: oh sorry now its ok

vetunimi: me too omar

omar: and told gridbot sector 6 to build

"lorex": yes!!!

kofi: Katy, if it's just numbers, we can handle it

"Ola": help doesnt exist either!! :*)

queenbee: Ok, I will have to leave those of you who want to play with kofi. We would also like to show you

"lorex": works perfect

vetunimi: yes i do not exist too

queenbee: the genebot. Please follow me to SciCentr and we will join nala in the greenhouse

vetunimi: which isn't too bad actually

tinkerbell: Omar, what are you grid coordinates... for sector 6?

omar: 4s 4w

queenbee: Going to SciCentr now

vetunimi: ok

tinkerbell: Thank you ... on my Omar...

Immigration Officer: Welcome to Scicentr, Please visit our Avatar Changing Room before you begin your exploration

Immigration Officer: You are being joined by SunnyOne.

queenbee: Hi all, we will fly on out to the genehouse and attach the tomatoes :>)

vetunimi: hi

mbanz: hi

queenbee: Nala are you home?

Immigration Officer: You are being joined by Blacksheep.

nala: hello queenbee ^_^

queenbee: You can see the genebot up above. it is a sun avatar. Nice touch nala.

queenbee: Please show us how genebot works right now.

nala: can everyone see yet?

nala: i don't ese many people in this space

queenbee: (to nala) I am going back to ground zero to send people out

nala: the coordinates are 15N 1W

queenbee: coordinates are 15N 1W

nala: out like out of scifair?

queenbee: please join nala in her space

nala: hi everyone - the demo will be on station #3

queenbee: (to nala) they can't see you from the landing pad so I am sending them out

nala: the one with the big red sign over it ^_^

nala: okay

nala: so the genebot is an exhibit where the students can see Mendelian Genetics in action

nala: oh btw, hello everyone!

nala: students can come here and become plant breeders for a day

queenbee: please join nala at 15n 1w

"lourdes": Hi! hello everybody, Mendelian genetics in action, is there anything on dihybrid crosses

nala: there are 4 traits that can be combined ^_^

nala: in any way

Diane: so how do I do 15n 1W?

nala: for examples of all combinations, look to the floor of the center of the dome

nala: cool looking tomatoes, eh?

"lorex": yes

nala: they weren't made by me - but our expert modellers

Immigration Officer: Welcome to Curie, queenbee

[Loginbot]: Welcome, queenbee. Please login

tinkerbell: now what

omar: use shift

queenbee: Hi all, hate to be a kill joy, but we need to move on to Vlearn world. Thanks!

tinkerbell: well that was interesting

tinkerbell: <grin>

tinkerbell: guess it's time to go

Immigration Officer: Welcome to Scicentr, Please visit our Avatar Changing Room before you begin your exploration

nala: okies everyone - here we go

nala: so this is station 3 of the genebot - there are 4 stations currently, but i think we can add more with the new design that we have

nala: to use the genebot,

nala: you first click the little TV screen that says "Station n start" where n is the station number

queenbee: Excuse me, but we are starting the next talk trying to keep on some sort of schedule.

nala: then if you notice on the control panel, there is a lever that goes between a button labelled 1 and another one labelled 2

nala: oh really?

nala: so shall we do this later?

queenbee: if you would like to see it , please proceed to Vlearn. if you want t osee nala's demo, please stay. concurrent sessiton :>)

Mauz: go up to Teleport menu, choose To, and type vlearn in World line

nala: so anyways, if you click on either number the joystick will move to that location - -

Mauz: i'll be shining on these tomatoes here..

nala: so now it's 1

nala: but as soon as i click it's on 2 ^_^

nala: that shows which jar that i will put the next plant in

nala: so now if i click on one of the plants on the floor fo the dome,

nala: it will appear in #2

Mauz: oh ok

nala: so watch as i click a red sprawling one

Click here for transcripts from PANEL 3

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