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Center for Educational Computing Initiatives
The Center for Educational Computing Initiatives (CECI) is an interdepartmental
research center that focuses on
advanced technologies emerging for educational uses. Research
at CECI involves the development of innovative technologies,
the application of technologies to specific learning objectives,
and the evaluation of the effectiveness of new technologies.
Recent CECI projects have focused on the educational application
of visualization, support for remote instrumentation, and
the management of large scientific databases. CECI also evaluates how computer
technology affects education, particularly how computer applications improve
the quality of education.
Examples of CECI's current projects include:
- The Technology-Enabled Active Learning
TEAL has reformed introductory physics education
at MIT. It is designed to help students develop better
intuition about, and conceptual models of, physical phenomena.
This new approach to teaching is centered on active learning.
It offers a highly collaborative, hands-on environment
that makes extensive use of desktop experiments, educational
technology, and computer-aided analysis of experimental
data, giving students direct experience with basic physical
phenomena such as electrical and magnetic fields. In a
new initiative, CECI is partnering with Physics Department
faculty to situtate innovative field visualizations in
a virtual-world setting. This work permits student avatars
to enter the visualizations and to solve problems by actively
measuring and modifying the fields.
- The iLabs project (
is developing a web-services-based platform for the implementation
of physical laboratories that can be operated remotely
over the internet. This project, originally funded by Microsoft,
has created an open specification and reference implementation
of a software development kit. The software is used by
laboratories in various departments at MIT and at an increasing
number of universities around the world.
- CECI is contributing to the CENSAM project (http://censam.mit.edu/),
a collaborative effort between MIT and the government of
Singapore to construct an integrated computer model of
the Singaporean environment based on real-time sensing
and advanced modeling techniques. CECI is building on its
experience with web-service and database middleware to
design a software infrastructure to facilitate the exchange
of data between researchers and to increase data longevity
Undergraduates may participate in CECI projects through the Undergraduate
Research Opportunities Program.
For further information, contact Dr. Judson Harward, Room