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Accessible Artificial Intelligence Tutoring Software for Mathematics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R44EY019414-02
Agency Tracking Number: EY019414
Amount: $788,330.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NEI
Solicitation Number: PHS2010-2
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 157033957
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (724) 733-8603
Business Contact
Phone: (724) 733-8603
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This Fast-Track application focuses on developing the first artificial intelligence (AI) educational software to teach developmental mathematics to the blind and visually impaired. This project responds to the National Eye Institute's General Research Topics for teaching tools and the Visual Impairment and Blindness Program for other devices that meet the rehabilitative and everyday living needs of persons who are blind or have low vision. The intervention being developed will place a comprehensive set of AI mathematics tutoring systems with integrated AI assessment capabilities in the hands of the blind K-12, college and adult student, for use on demand during study at home and at school. The formulation of an advanced AI tutoring methodology with accessibility inherent to its design will have broad implications for development in many subject areas beyond mathematics. Project objectives include: Horizontal Expansion of Accessible Curriculum Content Coverage (Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Linear Equations, Metric Units, Scientific Notation) 1) Conduct initial accessibility review and analysis of AI tutor's existing user interface. 2) Implement accessibility requirements and recommendations from NFB, instructors and other partners. 3) Conduct final review to gain NFB accessibility certification after implementation of requirements. 4) Develop and issue survey of instructors on mathematics pedagogy and technology. Vertical Expansion of Accessible Features and Technological Capability 5) Implement Braille support in AI technology. 6) Develop additional AI tutor on Fractions that is automatically accessible from first principles using accessible AI framework. Evaluation of Accessible AI Educational Technology 7) Field evaluation of accessible AI technology with blind students and their instructors. 8) Continued demonstration and review of accessible AI technology by partners and other stakeholders. Preparation for success in Phase III has already been undertaken by involving partners that are important commercially as well as technically, such as the National Federation of the Blind and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). In addition, Quantum already has long-term partnerships established with McGraw- Hill and Holt, Rinehart and Winston, two of the country's leading educational publishers, as well as a major science education catalog company, CyberEd, Inc., a PLATO Learning Company. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: There is a considerable need for improved educational software for mathematics in general, but the problem of quality educational software materials for the blind and visually impaired is particularly acute. A weak mathematics background can cause unnecessary limitations in daily living activities and seriously hinder or even preclude effective pursuit of more advanced mathematics education and careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through previous federally-supported research, Quantum Simulations, Inc. has successfully developed, tested and brought to the classroom artificial intelligence (AI) tutoring systems for developmental mathematics. The goal of this Fast-Track project is to bring the full power and benefit of this cutting-edge educational technology to students who are blind and visually impaired.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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