Keynote Speaker

Prof. Antanas Verikas
Halmstad University, Sweden

Prof. Antanas Verikas was awarded a PhD degree in pattern recognition from Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. Currently he holds a professor position at both Halmstad University Sweden, where he leads the Department of Intelligent Systems, and Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. His research interests include learning systems, classification, fuzzy logic, image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, applied soft computing, and visual media technology. He published more than 170 peer reviewed articles in international journals and conference proceedings and served as Program committee member in numerous international conferences. He is a member of the European Neural Network Society, International Pattern Recognition Society, International Association of Science and Technology for Development, and a member of the IEEE.

Speech Title: Data mining-based modelling of athletic performance

Abstract: Golf and bicycling are two kinds of sports considered in this work. Golf shot effectiveness, expressed in terms of club head speed or ball carry distance, and a blood lactate concentration level and an oxygen uptake rate are parameters used to assess performance of golfers and bicyclists in this work. Predicting the performance parameters using information extracted from multi-channel surface electromyography (sEMG) signals recorded from relevant body muscles is the main aim of this work. The approach is based on canonical correlation analysis, random forest-based modelling, decision fusion and multiple sets of novel features extracted from a sEMG signal stream. Statistics reflecting muscle coordination patterns and various statistics computed using correlation-based analysis of sEMG dynamics were important predictors of the parameters. The adopted methodology allowed building accurate models for predicting blood lactate concentration level and oxygen uptake rate using a set of simple features. Correlation-based analysis of sEMG dynamics and decision fusion have proved useful in building models to predict golf club head speed and ball carry distance with acceptable accuracy.

We argue that an EMG signal stream contains useful information for assessing performance of golfers and bicyclists. Surface EMG data enable wearable computing in the field of ambient intelligence and has potential to enhance exercising of a long carry distance shot. We also argue that muscle coordination patterns change during fatiguing cycling exercises and these changes provide important information for tracking two important physiological parameters, blood lactate concentration level and oxygen uptake rate. The investigations have also shown that the canonical correlation analysis is a promising tool for studying relations between sEMG and biomechanical data. Better understanding of these relations may lead to guidelines concerning muscle engagement and coordination of thorax, pelvis and arms during a golf swing and will help golf coaches in providing substantiated advices.

Plenary Speaker

Assoc. Prof. Brad Mehlenbacher
Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD), College of Education, NC State University, USA

Dr. Brad Mehlenbacher is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Waterloo's Games Institute. He is an Associate Professor of Distance Learning (Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development), Primary Area Faculty Member with Human Factors and Applied Cognition (Psychology), Affiliated Faculty Member with Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media (English and Communication), and Affiliated Faculty Member with the Digital Games Research Center (Computer Science) at NC State University. Mehlenbacher is author of the CCCC's 2012 Best Book in Technical and Scientific Communication, Instruction and Technology: Designs for Everyday Learning (MIT Press, 2010), co-author of Online Help: Design and Evaluation (Ablex, 1993), and has chapters in the CCCC award-winning Solving Problems in Technical Communication (U of Chicago Press), The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook (Lawrence Erlbaum), The Computer Science and Engineering Handbook (CRC), and the 1998 NCTE award-winning Computers and Technical Communication (Ablex). He earned his BA and MA at the University of Waterloo and his PhD in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University. Mehlenbacher is past president of ACM SIGDOC. Brad has consulted for the Computer Science Department and Engineering Design Research Center at Carnegie Mellon; the Centre for Professional Writing at the University of Waterloo; Apple Computer; SAS Institute; and IBM.

Speech Title: Instruction and technology: Elaborating on the five dimensions of online learning

Abstract: The perpetual connectivity made possible by twenty-first-century technology has profoundly affected instruction and learning. Emerging technologies that upend traditional notions of communication and community also influence the ways we design and evaluate instruction and how we understand learning and learning environments. This presentation outlines a detailed, multidisciplinary analysis of the dynamic relationship between technology and learning and describes how today's ubiquitous technology conflates our once separated learning worlds - work, leisure, and higher-educational spaces. After reviewing several models of instruction and learning with technology drawn from peer-reviewed research, I elaborate on five interdependent learning dimensions: learner background and knowledge, learner tasks and activities, social dynamics, instructor activities, and learning environment and artifacts. I conclude with a description of recent research on cloud-based collaboration, educational gamification, mobile learning, and the challenge of learner attention and engagement online.

Prof. Xabier Basogain
University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain

Xabier Basogain is professor of the University of the Basque Country - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea. He is doctor engineer of telecommunications by the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and member of the Department of Engineering Systems and Automatics of the School of Engineering of Bilbao, Spain. He has taught courses in digital systems, microprocessors, digital control, modeling and simulation of discrete events, machine learning, and collaborative tools in education. His research activities include the areas of: a) soft computing and cognitive sciences to STEM; b) learning and teaching technologies applied to online education and inclusive education; c) augmented and virtual reality with mobile technologies.

Speech Title: Computational Thinking in Schools: A Window to the World of Knowledge

Abstract: In this talk we present the results of the project 'Computational Thinking in Schools' implemented by research group Cognitive Computation of the University of the Basque country, with members in Europe and USA. Our research activities integrate areas of computer science, cognitive sciences and educational technologies.
What is Computational Thinking? We will begin the talk by describing and illustrating the main elements of a working definition of Computational Thinking. This definition is the result of a comprehensive reflection on the experiences of our work and the analysis of the different interpretations of Computational Thinking that appear in the scientific literature on this subject.
What significant changes, values, methods, content, can Computational Thinking bring to our schools? In order to answer these questions it is helpful to know, with specific details, the essential characteristics of the current state of teaching and learning in schools around the world.
The PISA report (Program for International Student Assessment) organized by the OECD, notwithstanding the criticisms received from other institutions, offers relevant information regarding the current state of education in the world. The analysis of the PISA test allows the documentation of the topics being taught in schools, the type of tasks the students are required to practice (and by extension the parts of the brain they train,) as well as a documentation of what students of the world learn, and do not learn, in the areas of Science, Mathematics and Language.
Our group has focused its work on the study of the PISA report, in particular in the area of Mathematics. During this talk, we will illustrate with detailed examples the acquired knowledge of 15-year-old students around the world in the area of Mathematics after 10 years of compulsory education.
An analysis of the current state of knowledge in the area of mathematics in schools around the world allows us to propose specific educational actions that we consider necessary and effective. These are innovative educational actions aimed at those spaces of knowledge where Computational Thinking is known to be useful and effective: For example, in improving the problem-solving capacity of our young students.
Our educational proposal includes the introduction in the curriculum of Mathematics of topics that have the following characteristics:
1) Use of human computational primitives based on language and objects.
2) Use of generative languages and projects for problem solving.
3) Incorporation of topics in modern mathematics and the current world: discrete calculus, cybernetics, probabilistic thinking, differential vector geometry, the external world of the computer, robotics, and the world of data of the Internet of Things (IoT) and on the cloud.
4) Use of computers and educational technology in the classroom.
During this presentation we will show an application from the world of cybernetics called 'The self-driving car.' This is an example of a project made with the generative language Scratch. This example illustrates the features the Computational Thinking offers in order to develop new levels of cognitive processes in the minds of our students.

We will also illustrate with a second example of a case study, a university-level problem on inheritance and genetics published in Science. This example introduces another group of areas of our research that include: a) formal analysis of the complexity of a problem, b) Study of the cognitive capacities of the human mind, and c) Creation of virtual machines to solve isomorphic problems.
The implementation and dissemination activities carried out in the 'Computational Thinking in Schools' project will be presented and discussed. In the last ten years we have implemented, with public and private funding, the didactic methodologies and resources of the project in thousands of schools: a) using online education in schools around the world; and b) in classrooms of primary and secondary education, as well as at university level, in countries such as Spain, USA, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Mexico. These last countries belonging to the project One Laptop per Child (OLCP).
The common element in all these examples of dissemination activities of Computational Thinking has been the reliance in the use of educational technology. Educational technology was used in different modalities: a) educational web portals, b) classroom-based training supported by ICT technology, c) webinars based on videoconference systems, d) training through MOOC courses, e) virtual learning environments in support of teachers and students, and f) open access articles.

The presentation will end by giving explicit thanks to two towering men in the world of computer science and education: Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert.