Spotlight on PPIGers

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Miki Grahame

The Playground Project is 3-year project funded by ESPRIT. Our aim is to create computer environments called "playgrounds" where children aged 6-8 can play, design and create games. We are working with two visual/animated programming languages: ToonTalk and Open Logo. Through programming and playing with rules, we hope to enable children to engage in abstract ways of thinking.

The project consists of a consortium of partners from UK, Portugal, Sweden and Slovakia, with complimentary expertise in computer science, education, curriculum development and commercial concerns. The Institute of Education is the lead project partner.

Find out more at our website: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/playground

Miki Grahame is a research officer on the Playground Project working at the Institute of Education. Before this, she did a computer science degree at Cambridge University . Her research interests are: learning to program, children's understanding of rules, visual representations in computer science, and user-interface design.

m.grahame@ioe.ac.uk

Rob Rist

rrist@gmu.edu

I'm still working on a better basis for Zippy; I've been building a model of cognition based on links (of various types) between objects. When / if it is complete, it should be able to support any of the existing cognitive architectures, including neural nets. It does a pretty good job of capturing episodic and semantic memory, goals and objects, for functional and part-of relations; basically, it can dynamically generate episodic copies by combining (semantic) goal and object relations. I'm now working on procedures, selection and looping; it's tricky ...