SBIR Phase I: I-MINDS: Intelligent Multiagent Infrastructure for Distributed Systems in Education

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0441249
Agency Tracking Number: 0441249
Amount: $99,611.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
I-MINDS
5211 Jade Court, Lincoln, NE, 68516
Duns: N/A
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hong Jiang
 Dr
 (402) 472-6747
 jiang@cse.unl.edu
Business Contact
 Hong Jiang
Title: Dr
Phone: (402) 472-6747
Email: jiang@cse,unl.edu
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes an innovative multiagent technology called the Intelligent Multiagent Infrastructure for Distributed Systems in Education (I-MINDS). In this system, the agents communicate and coordinate their actions to help support the students and instructors that they serve by adapting to changing classroom environments and student behaviors and by better analyzing the status of a classroom at different resolutions for the instructor. Thus, I-MINDS supports cooperative learning among students, assists instructors in managing real-time classroom activities, and facilitates experimentation leading to a better understanding of teaching and learning. The quality of interactions in Internet-based classrooms fostered by I-MINDS will approach that previously attained only in live, "synchronous" classrooms. I-MINDS will be used to improve distance learning and teaching in post-secondary education and corporate training through a system of intelligent software agents that communicate with each other to exchange experiences and to cooperatively support instructors and students. The proposed project will move I-MINDS from an encouraging proof-of-concept phase to a pathfinder and prototyping phase, paving the way for full development and commercialization. The project goal is to improve both learning and teaching in online post-secondary education and training--through the use of technology. The project objectives include (1) embedding structured cooperative learning into I-MINDS to further support the collaborative learning environment, and (2) providing the scalability and security necessary for the cognitive functions and scaled deployment of I-MINDS. The broader impact of this project is twofold. The first impact is expected to be graduates with diverse backgrounds and aspirations who are better prepared to enter their chosen careers and to make knowledgeable decisions about issues they will face as citizens of society. The second one is expected to be the enrichment of online educational tools and the improved quality of Internet based classrooms to better serve the fast growing market segment of online and distance education.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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