Drexel iSchool Associate Professor Gerry Stahl Publishes Third Book on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

Feed: The iSchool @ Drexel: News
Posted on: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:00 AM
Author: The iSchool @ Drexel: News
Subject: Drexel iSchool Associate Professor Gerry Stahl Publishes Third Book on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

iSchool Associate Professor Gerry Stahl has published a new book, entitled Translating Euclid: Designing a Human-Centered Mathematics, which reports on the latest theoretical, methodological, pedagogical and philosophical developments in the Virtual Math Teams Project, a research collaboration between the iSchool and the Math Forum since 2002, funded by seven major federal grants. Translating Euclid is Dr. Stahl’s third book based on his research developments in the Virtual Math Teams Project. Dr. Stahl is trained in computer science, artificial intelligence, social philosophy, cognitive science and learning science. Since 2002, he has taught human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and social informatics (SI) at the Drexel’s iSchool. He directs a multi-million dollar research project in online collaborative math in conjunction with the Math Forum and international colleagues. His research approach includes theory building, system development and empirical studies of software usage.

iSchool Associate Professor Gerry Stahl has published a new book, entitled Translating Euclid: Designing a Human-Centered Mathematics, which reports on the latest theoretical, methodological, pedagogical and philosophical developments in the Virtual Math Teams Project, a research collaboration between the iSchool and the Math Forum since 2002, funded by seven major federal grants. Translating Euclid is Dr. Stahl’s third book based on his research developments in the Virtual Math Teams Project.

Dr. Stahl is trained in computer science, artificial intelligence, social philosophy, cognitive science and learning science. Since 2002, he has taught human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and social informatics (SI) at the Drexel’s iSchool. He directs a multi-million dollar research project in online collaborative math in conjunction with the Math Forum and international colleagues. His research approach includes theory building, system development and empirical studies of software usage.

Dr. Stahl has developed software systems and prototypes to explore support for collaborative learning, design rationale, perspectives and negotiation. His theory combines various sources from philosophy, education, sociology, communication and anthropology. He has developed a methodology of fine-grained empirical investigation into how groups of people learn to use artifacts like groupware systems in real-world settings such as school classrooms and virtual math teams. Dr. Stahl is a world-class researcher in CSCL, having organized international conferences, founded an international journal, published a volume on Group Cognition in MIT Press and one on Studying Virtual Math Teams in Springer Press and written over 150 professional papers. His website and blog are major resources for the CSCL research community.

Translating Euclid is now available in the Morgan & Claypool “Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics” lecture series. Drexel University faculty and students at can download the 325-page e-book for free from any computer on Drexel’s campus by clicking here. The e-book will be catalogued in the Drexel Libraries system within two weeks, where it can be accessed through the Drexel Libraries website.

Book Abstract

Translating Euclid reports on an effort to transform geometry for students from a stylus-and-clay-tablet corpus of historical theorems to a stimulating computer-supported collaborative-learning inquiry experience.

The origin of geometry was a turning point in the pre-history of informatics, literacy and rational thought. Yet, this triumph of human intellect became ossified through historic layers of systematization, beginning with Euclid’s organization of the Elements of geometry. Often taught by memorization of procedures, theorems and proofs, geometry in schooling rarely conveys its underlying intellectual excitement. The recent development of dynamic-geometry software offers an opportunity to translate the study of geometry into a contemporary vernacular. However, this involves transformations along multiple dimensions of the conceptual and practical context of learning.

Translating Euclid steps through the multiple challenges involved in redesigning geometry education to take advantage of computer support. Networked computers portend an interactive approach to exploring dynamic geometry as well as broadened prospects for collaboration. The proposed conception of geometry emphasizes the central role of the construction of dependencies as a design activity, integrating human creation and mathematical discovery to form a human-centered approach to mathematics.

This book chronicles an iterative effort to adapt technology, theory, pedagogy and practice to support this vision of collaborative dynamic geometry and to evolve the approach through on-going cycles of trial with students and refinement of resources. It thereby provides a case study of a design-based research effort in computer-supported collaborative learning from a human-centered informatics perspective.

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