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CyberLab

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A New Project at the IUPUI CyberLab

Code Name: Rumi Agent

The Rumi Agent

Rumi is the codename for an intelligent software agent being conceptualized, researched, and developed at the IUPUI CyberLab in collaboration with CourseNetworking LLC (theCN.com). For students, Rumi plays the role of a “digital” mentor, personal teaching assistant, and a caring classmate. It dynamically and intelligently recommends resources, learning activities, and social connection. It alerts students of forthcoming learning assignments and offers alerts with emotions. For instructors, Rumi offers alerts about students who might be falling behind and offers advanced analytics of students’ learning activities. Additionally, a backend smart algorithm will enable Rumi to offer more course management automation to course instructors and teaching assistants. 

Rumi’s interaction is perceived as human-like communication with emotion and feeling. Rumi’s communication mostly appears as a post within the LMS environment by showing Rumi’s robotic face as appearing neutral, happy, sad, or angry, depending on the nature of the message. The machine learning part of Rumi improves the usefulness of his messages (posts) and recommendations as he gains more experiences interacting with the learners. 

At the initial research phase, Rumi will be designed to work inside of the CourseNetworking (the CN) learning environment. Later, Rumi will be developed as an independent app that may run within other LMS systems such as Moodle.

The deliverables of the Rumi project are expected to be scholarly papers, theses/dissertations, intellectual properties, and commercial and/or open-source products. As Rumi is being developed at a university laboratory, Indiana University is expected to provide support for necessary patent applications and seed funding for the commercialization of the Rumi Agent.

Background

For the last twenty years, a number of educational software systems known as Learning Management Systems, or LMS, have been developed and rolled out as an open-source (Sakai, Moodle) or commercial system (Blackboard, Desire to Learn, Canvas, etc.). However, almost all the LMS products lack the capability of being an “engaging” system and have not been able to play an active role as an “enabler” in transforming teaching and learning in today’s social pedagogical paradigm. In fact, almost all LMS are designed as teacher-centric systems offering tools and features to help instructors “manage” their courses.

There is a need to research and invent a new educational technology and concepts that translate teaching and learning into a smart and engaging learning environment. The expected outcome is a student-centric system that offers a personal learning environment with the capability to think, reason, and learn. That is an intelligent, agent-based system, that offers a totally personalized learning space for each student in any grade level, and follows a student as he/she moves to a higher grade, college, graduate school, and throughout his/her lifelong learning and professional development.

Project Team

PI: Ali Jafari, Professor, Computer and Information Technology, Purdue University, Indianapolis, Founder and CEO, CourseNetworking LLC, theCN.com

Co-PI: Zina Ben Miled, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, Indianapolis.

Graduate Students:

Marziyeh Mirzaeibonnehkhater, MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Purdue University, Indianapolis, August 2015 - August 2017

Mahmood Hosseini, MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Purdue University, Indianapolis, January 2017 – January 2019

New Position, Graduate Assistantship, MS in ECE, spring or fall 2018 - summer 2020

New Position, Graduate Assistantship, Ph.D. in ECE, spring or fall 2018 - 2022

Graduate Assistantship Positions

Open position #1, MS in ECE, begins in spring 2018 (Jan 2018) or Fall 2018 (Aug 2018)

The successful candidate will be conducting his/her MS research on the development of the Rumi Intelligent Agent project being developed at the IUPUI CyberLab.

The applicant must have a minimum of two years professional computer programming experiences outside of his/her classroom coursework. Once a candidate meets the admission requirements for the MS degree at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, she/he will be considered for this graduate assistantship.

Open position #2, Ph.D.  in ECE, begins in Spring 2018 (Jan 2018) or Fall 2018 (Aug 2018)

The successful candidate will be conducting his/her Ph.D. research on the development of the Rumi Intelligent Agent project being developed at the IUPUI CyberLab.

The applicant must have a minimum of two years professional computer programming experiences outside of his/her classroom coursework. Once a candidate has met the admission requirements for the Ph.D. degree at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, she/he will be considered for this graduate assistantship. 

Contact Ali Jafari, Ph.D. (Jafari@iupui.edu) for details