Contact: Dr. William Billingsley, CARET
Mentor: Caren Weinberg
Dr. Billingsley has developed the concept of an Intelligent Textbook, which can use existing online resources to assist school and university students and others with learning and examinations. Using an AI engine, the Textbook can offer a range of features and benefits which are not possible using traditional printed textbooks, or existing online information sites such as Wikipedia.
The AI engine can help a student seeking to solve an example problem, by offering them relevant help and advice as they proceed. It also understands the context of a textbook, and has the flexibility to allow user-created content to be added, and relevant references to be drawn from multiple other websites. This allows the Textbook to be a dynamic source of information, which improves over time and can provide the reader with a range of differing approaches to the same subject.
So far, the technique has been tested on Mathematics and Electronics problems, but clearly has far wider applicability.
The challenge for the i-Team is to identify the full range of applications for this technology, both within the educational sector and outside it, as well as recommending the areas where Intelligent Textbooks can bring most value to their users. Their findings will also help direct the next set of features that are implemented in the product, based on the needs of real future users.