- Rozovsky wins prestigious NSF Early Career Award
- UD students meet alumni, experience 'closing bell' at NYSE
- Newark Police seek assistance in identifying suspects in robbery
- Rivlin says bipartisan budget action, stronger budget rules key to reversing debt
- Stink bugs shouldn't pose problem until late summer
- Gao to honor Placido Domingo in Washington performance
- Adopt-A-Highway project keeps Lewes road clean
- WVUD's Radiothon fundraiser runs April 1-10
- W.D. Snodgrass Symposium to honor Pulitzer winner
- New guide helps cancer patients manage symptoms
- UD in the News, March 25, 2011
- For the Record, March 25, 2011
- Public opinion expert discusses world views of U.S. in Global Agenda series
- Congressional delegation, dean laud Center for Community Research and Service program
- Center for Political Communication sets symposium on politics, entertainment
- Students work to raise funds, awareness of domestic violence
- Equestrian team wins regional championship in Western riding
- Markell, Harker stress importance of agriculture to Delaware's economy
- Carol A. Ammon MBA Case Competition winners announced
- Prof presents blood-clotting studies at Gordon Research Conference
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month events, programs announced
- Stay connected with Sea Grant, CEOE e-newsletter
- A message to UD regarding the tragedy in Japan
- More News >>
- March 31-May 14: REP stages Neil Simon's 'The Good Doctor'
- April 2: Newark plans annual 'wine and dine'
- April 5: Expert perspective on U.S. health care
- April 5: Comedian Ace Guillen to visit Scrounge
- April 6, May 4: School of Nursing sponsors research lecture series
- April 6-May 4: Confucius Institute presents Chinese Film Series on Wednesdays
- April 6: IPCC's Pachauri to discuss sustainable development in DENIN Dialogue Series
- April 7: 'WVUDstock' radiothon concert announced
- April 8: English Language Institute presents 'Arts in Translation'
- April 9: Green and Healthy Living Expo planned at The Bob
- April 9: Center for Political Communication to host Onion editor
- April 10: Alumni Easter Egg-stravaganza planned
- April 11: CDS session to focus on visual assistive technologies
- April 12: T.J. Stiles to speak at UDLA annual dinner
- April 15, 16: Annual UD push lawnmower tune-up scheduled
- April 15, 16: Master Players series presents iMusic 4, China Magpie
- April 15, 16: Delaware Symphony, UD chorus to perform Mahler work
- April 18: Former NFL Coach Bill Cowher featured in UD Speaks
- April 21-24: Sesame Street Live brings Elmo and friends to The Bob
- April 30: Save the date for Ag Day 2011 at UD
- April 30: Symposium to consider 'Frontiers at the Chemistry-Biology Interface'
- April 30-May 1: Relay for Life set at Delaware Field House
- May 4: Delaware Membrane Protein Symposium announced
- May 5: Northwestern University's Leon Keer to deliver Kerr lecture
- May 7: Women's volleyball team to host second annual Spring Fling
- Through May 3: SPPA announces speakers for 10th annual lecture series
- Through May 4: Global Agenda sees U.S. through others' eyes; World Bank president to speak
- Through May 4: 'Research on Race, Ethnicity, Culture' topic of series
- Through May 9: Black American Studies announces lecture series
- Through May 11: 'Challenges in Jewish Culture' lecture series announced
- Through May 11: Area Studies research featured in speaker series
- Through June 5: 'Andy Warhol: Behind the Camera' on view in Old College Gallery
- Through July 15: 'Bodyscapes' on view at Mechanical Hall Gallery
- More What's Happening >>
- UD calendar >>
- Middle States evaluation team on campus April 5
- Phipps named HR Liaison of the Quarter
- Senior wins iPad for participating in assessment study
- April 19: Procurement Services schedules information sessions
- UD Bookstore announces spring break hours
- HealthyU Wellness Program encourages employees to 'Step into Spring'
- April 8-29: Faculty roundtable series considers student engagement
- GRE is changing; learn more at April 15 info session
- April 30: UD Evening with Blue Rocks set for employees
- Morris Library to be open 24/7 during final exams
- More Campus FYI >>
7:56 a.m., Feb. 12, 2009----During the recently completed Winter Session, 12 University of Delaware students endeavored to build on their expertise and knowledge in computer science to help both students at UD and children around the world to engage in learning.
Nationwide, the number of computer science majors is falling even as the demand increases faster than in most fields.
This is leading people like Lori Pollock, professor, and Terry Harvey, assistant professor, both in the University of Delaware's Department of Computer and Information Sciences, to explore ways to increase enrollment and retention rates for computer science courses.
This fast-track Winter Session course was designed partly as a way to explore how students would respond to new teaching methods and materials, partly to explore the challenges of incorporating robots into introductory computer sciences courses, and partly to initiate UD involvement in the One Laptop per Child program.
Guided by Pollock and Harvey, three teams of four students spent Winter Session collaboratively problem solving how to manipulate Myro robots and how to create learning games for young children who have received an XO laptop from the One Laptop per Child program.
While the laptops and Myro robots appear to be very different platforms for learning, they share a common programming language called Python. Students devoted the first week to teaching each other the major features of Python.
Then they moved on to design and develop their own Python programs to make Myro robots hide in the dark, mimic a bull following a red cape, play “Star Wars” music, change direction like a remote controlled robot, and finally chase each other across the room.
The Institute for Personal Robotics Education (IPRE) provided six Myro educational robots for the course. The robots are ideal for college classes because they are small and light enough that students can take them home and work with them.
Each robot has a variety of sensors, including a color camera, and communicates with student laptop computers via a wireless Bluetooth connection. The robot "thinking" happens on the laptop, which processes sensor data, sends movement commands to the Myro, and then receives new sensor data in return.
Robot course experience at Georgia Tech and Bryn Mawr College indicated that their students are more motivated by writing programs that can make a robot perform a task, or even sing and dance. The UD students appear to agree; written feedback to their professors included:
"Having the visual/aural feedback of the robot makes the programming experience a lot more fun, and even easier -- which is a big plus for generating interest in new students."
"Definitely enjoyed making the new application. We were all really excited to see the robot react to the light it sensed, and head for the darkest spot."
"I didn't realize I'd have so much fun with the robot at first though, but it's really exciting and I think it's a good idea to get people interested in computer science."
"Programming the [robot] demos and creating our own was a lot of fun. "
Founded by Nicholas Negroponte, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2002, the One Laptop per Child program has the mission “to create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.”
His vision led to the creation of the One Laptop per Child Foundation and the XO laptop designed for children living in remote environments, featuring small textbook size, built-in wireless, screen readable in direct sunlight, extremely durable, energy-efficient.
In addition to donating a laptop or participating in a deployment site, another key way to participate is to develop new games and learning software for children.
The UD students quickly learned that programming and debugging on a machine with a keyboard meant for small children's hands was inefficient and frustrating. Instead, they found emulators for their own laptops, and then ported their completed programs to become “activities” on the XO laptop.
The students found limited documentation on the Internet for creating XO activities that take advantage of the networking capabilities for collaborative learning games across several XO laptops. Nonetheless, each team succeeded in developing a working version of a learning game in which two or more children on different XO laptops could play and learn together on the same game.
One team created a game modeled after Whack-a-Mole where the players practice their multiples in a fun way, whacking the mole that is a multiple of the current number being learned.
Another team developed a Jeopardy!-like game where players on different XO laptops choose and answer questions in different categories for different point values. The third team modeled their game after the Apples 2 Apples card game, with a Spanish version for at least three children to match the most appropriate noun with the given adjective.
The students plan to share their finished products with the One Laptop per Child community by contributing their learning game activities to the organization's activities repository. The developer community is strongly based in free and open software.
Students and faculty are also interested in continuing the One Laptop per Child development and investigating the participation of UD students in XO laptop deployment sites, working with teachers to develop games to enhance their students' learning.