Mazalek receives Three-Year NSF Grant

"Getting a Grip on the Numerical World: Kinesthetic Interaction with Simulations to Support Collaborative Discovery in Systems Biology"

Alexandra Mazalekassociate professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, received a three-year National Science Foundation grant in July 2013.

Her  project draws on recent work in embodied cognition, which suggests that the process of building models--particularly models with dynamic  visualizations--can aid conceptual understanding in complex problem domains.

Ali's team will develop a system to support and enhance collaborative discovery by re-representing abstract scientific problems in an embodied way. The proposed system will allow researchers to couple visuo-spatial skills with computational techniques to develop understanding and collaborate to model complex biological systems. Simultaneously, the project will develop techniques to support collaborative modeling in science and engineering. The project will thus test how theories from embodied cognition can inform interaction design and create explicit knowledge about how collaborative discovery happens in the sciences. 

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