February 1, 2018

Computers in Education: the First Hundred Years


Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea

Newly Retired Vice-Chancellor & Principal

University of Edinburgh



When: 14:15 - 15:30, 13 February 2018

Where: SLATE, Vektergården, Christiesgate 13, 3 etasje





Abstract / Background

My Leeds PhD applied machine learning to a self-improving algebra tutor. The practical work for this was carried out at the University of Texas. In Edinburgh I researched how Logo could support the learning of high school mathematics. Then in 1978 I founded the Open University Computer Assisted Learning Research Group. During stays at Xerox PARC I explored the learnability of object-oriented programming. I also did an enjoyable series of experiments with Randall Smith and Eileen Scanlon on a shared version of Smith's Alternate Reality Kit. Since 2012 working at Edinburgh I have been preoccupied with MOOCs and online distance learning at scale. My interests range from underlying technologies such as machine learning, assessment techniques and learning analytics, to the design of whole Masters courses.



Speaker Bio

Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea BSc (Sussex), PhD (Leeds), DUniv (Heriot-Watt), DUniv (Strathclyde), LL.D hc (McGill), D.hc (St. Petersburg HSS), FAcSS, FRSE, FREng, was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in October 2002 and retired on January 31, 2018. He is Chair of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) - the UKs Uninett.  His academic output, produced mainly in collaboration with others and on topics relating to computer based learning, artificial intelligence, and mathematics education, includes 10 books, 22 BBC television programmes and over 100 journal articles. Tim was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's 2008 New Year Honours in recognition of his services to higher education.



Relevant Links


Learning and Teaching with Computers (1983)

In Order to Learn: How the Sequence of Topics Influences Learning (2007)

A few publications










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