Category Archives: 2010/3-4


This number of FormaMente includes in its first part a plurality of approaches about the knowledge theory, analyzed from different scientific research perspectives. The deductive, inductive or mixed method, the conceptual maps, the contents analysis and the data categorization, are illustrated transversally ranging from specific disciplines in the field of mathematics, linguistics and science education.

Giovanni Briganti

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‘Being’ critical in multiliterate societies: A Heideggerian analysis

The main goal of this study is to describe and analyze the meaning of Being in everyday life at school and the way subjects´ discursive relations within such a context might interfere in their learning of the English language as well as in their criticism, and in what ways this could help or impede them from enhancing their literacy through lifelong learning activities. Heidegger´s Hermeneutic Phenomenology, together with the Ethnography of Speaking and Applied Linguistics, served as the bases for this study. Literacy is no longer linked to the single threshold which separates the literate from the illiterate, and it has become more complex regarding new demands imposed as new societies become more technologically advanced. We believe it is time we started looking for the meaning of Being in different contexts which surround it, since this contributes to our understanding of any phenomena being investigated. After analyzing the data, it can be said that students´ anguish and emptiness – which they experienced in some situations – was highly revealing of their true feelings and emotions. They revealed themselves before the world which constituted them and which was intrinsically related to their inner world, which was affected by the world around them.

© The authors. Article originally published in ‘Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices’, V. 4 (2010), n.2, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License


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Backward induction versus forward induction reasoning

In this paper we want to shed some light on what we mean by backward induction and forward induction reasoning in dynamic games. To that purpose, we take the concepts of common belief in future rationality (Perea [1]) and extensive form rationalizability (Pearce [2], Battigalli [3], Battigalli and Siniscalchi [4]) as possible representatives for backward induction and forward induction reasoning. We compare both concepts on a conceptual, epistemic and an algorithm level, thereby highlighting some of the crucial  differences between backward and forward induction reasoning in dynamic games.

© The authors. Article originally published in ‘Games’, V. 1 (2010), pp. 168-188, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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Adding Theoretical Grounding to Grounded Theory: Toward Multi-Grounded Theory

The purpose of this paper is to challenge some of the cornerstones of the grounded theory approach and propose an extended and alternative approach for data analysis and theory development, which the authors call multi-grounded theory (MGT). A multi-grounded theory is not only empirically grounded; it is also grounded in other ways. Three different grounding processes are acknowledged: theoretical, empirical, and internal grounding. The authors go beyond the pure inductivist approach in GT and add the explicit use of external theories. A working procedure of theory development in MGT is presented, which can be seen as an extension of the grounded theory approach.

© The authors. Article first published in the ‘International Journal of Qualitative Methods’, V. 9 (2010), n. 2, and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence

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Quo Vadis, Artificial Intelligence?

Since its conception in the mid 1950s, artificial intelligence with its great ambition to understand and emulate intelligence in natural and artificial environments alike is now a truly multidisciplinary field that reaches out and is inspired by a great diversity of other fields. Rapid advances in research and technology in various fields have created environments into which artificial intelligence could embed itself naturally and comfortably. Neuroscience with its desire to understand nervous systems of biological organisms and systems biology with its longing to comprehend, holistically, the multitude of complex interactions in biological systems are two such fields. They target ideals artificial intelligence has dreamt about for a long time including the computer simulation of an entire biological brain or the creation of new life forms from manipulations of cellular and genetic information in the laboratory. The scope for artificial intelligence in neuroscience and systems biology is extremely wide. This article investigates the standing of artificial intelligence in relation to neuroscience and systems biology and provides an outlook at new and exciting challenges for artificial intelligence in these fields. These challenges include, but are not necessarily limited to, the ability to learn from other projects and to be inventive, to understand the potential and exploit novel computing paradigms and environments, to specify and adhere to stringent standards and robust statistical frameworks, to be integrative, and to embrace openness principles.

© 2010 The Authors. Article first published in ‘Advance in Artificial Intelligence’, V. 1 (2010) as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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Exact Decomposition Approaches for Markov Decision Processes: A Survey

As classical methods are intractable for solving Markov decision processes (MDPs) requiring a large state space, decomposition and aggregation techniques are very useful to cope with large problems. These techniques are in general a special case of the classic Divide-and-Conquer framework to split a large, unwieldy problem into smaller components and solving the parts in order to construct the global solution. This paper reviews most of decomposition approaches encountered in the associated literature over the past two decades, weighing their pros and cons. We consider several categories of MDPs (average, discounted, and weighted MDPs), and we present briefly a variety of methodologies to find or approximate optimal strategies.

© 2010 The Authors. Article first published in ‘Advances in Operations Research’, V. (2010) as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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On the Measurement of the (Non)linearity of Costas Permutations

We study several criteria for the _non_linearity of Costas permutations, with or without the imposition of additional algebraic structure in the domain and the range of the permutation, aiming to find one that successfully identifies Costas permutations as more nonlinear than randomly chosen permutations of the same order.

© 2010 The Author. Article first published in ‘Journal of Applied Mathematics’, V. (2010) as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, //

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Concept Mapping in Introductory Physics

Concept mapping is a meta-learning strategy based on the Ausubel-Novak-Gowin theory of meaningful learning. In a concept map, concepts are related with linking words to form propositions. By expanding this concept-proposition link, one eventually forms a web of concepts whose meanings are embedded in the presented map. The paper describes the author´s experience with students´ use of concept maps and how concept maps are scored. The strategy was utilized as an advance organizer and as an assessment tool (for diagnostic and summative purposes). Sample concept maps constructed by students taking up Introductory Physics are presented.

© 2010 The Author. Article originally published in ‘Journal of Education and Human Development’, V. 3 (2009), n. 1, // Reprinted with permission

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The organizational dynamics of knowledge and IT-enabled innovations

The paper presents an integrated framework for IT-enabled organizational innovations. The framework highlights the factors that affect the effective introduction of knowledge and information systems to become organizational innovations. It conceptualizes the innovation process as an open system and takes into consideration knowledge management and performance evaluation. The rationale for this framework is that because of the narrow scope of current frameworks, managers and IT personnel often fail to see the whole picture of their organizations. This difficulty reduces managers´ ability to understand the interrelationships between IT-based innovations and business processes. Consequently, introducing IT/IS into an organizational context doesn´t achieve its intended objectives and often fails entirely. The framework will be useful to managers in their efforts to transform their organizational operations with the use of IT applications.

© 2010 The Author. Article originally published in ‘Journal of Technology Research’, V. 2 (2010), //
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Intelligent Wireless Sensors with Application to the Identification of Structural Modal Parameters and Steel Cable Forces: From the Lab to the Field

Wireless sensing systems have been proposed for structural heath monitoring in recent years. While wireless sensors are cost-competitive compared to tethered monitoring systems, their significant merit also lies in their embedded computational capabilities. In this paper, performance of the two embedded engineering algorithms, namely the fast Fourier transform and peak-picking algorithm implemented in the wireless sensing nodes codeveloped at Stanford University and the University of Michigan is investigated through laboratory and field experimental studies. Furthermore, the wireless sensor network embedded with the engineering algorithms is adopted for the identification of structural modal parameters and forces in steel bridge cables. Identification results by the embedded algorithms in the intelligent wireless sensors are compared with those obtained by conventional offline analysis of the measured time-history data. Such a comparison serves to validate the effectiveness of the intelligent wireless sensor network. In addition, it is shown that self-interrogation of measurement data based upon the two embedded algorithms in wireless sensor nodes greatly reduces the amount of data to be transmitted by the wireless sensing network. Thus, the intelligent wireless sensors offer scalable network solutions that are power-efficient for the health monitoring of civil infrastructures.

© The authors. Article first published in the ‘Advances in Civil Engineering’, V. (2010), as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License //

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Top-Ten IT Issues, 2010

Administered by the EDUCAUSE Current Issues Committee, the electronic survey was conducted in December 2009.1 Survey participants – typically CIOs of EDUCAUSE member institutions – were asked to select the five most-important IT issues out of a selection of twenty-seven in each of four areas: (1) issues that are critical for strategic success; (2) issues that are expected to increase in significance; (3) issues that demand the greatest amount of the campus IT leader´s time; and (4) issues that require the largest expenditures of human and fiscal resources.

© The authors. Article first published in ‘EDUCAUSE Review’, V. 45 (2010), n. 3, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence //

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The European Union from the Information Society to the pervasive Learning: the role of ICT

Education is not simply a technical business of well-managed information processing [..] It is a complex pursuit of fitting a culture to the needs of its members and of fitting its members and their ways of knowing to the needs of the culture. (J.S. Bruner, 1996, p. 43)

The Bruner’s statement provides the right key to understand the ongoing irreversible turning-point of the EU, which is clearly evident in official documents and community initiatives: from the dominance of the Information Society paradigm, strongly characterized by technological and technocratic concepts and based on a cybernetic notion of the information, to the raise of education and learning considered as pervasive basis of the European society, where ICT plays an essential role.

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OEB online 6th international conference on technology supported learning and training

The OEB Conference Berlin, December 1-3 2010, allowed participants to share the innovations in the e-learning sector, debate about the ethical and social impact of the new technologies, acknowledge the current challenges for the virtual environments and discover the most recent developments in the professional field applications.

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Guide Association: perspectives on the regional and international activities

GUIDE Association continues to carry out a series of project and activities focused on both regional and global priorities, providing its members with continuing professional interaction and inter-institutional cooperation. In this connection, the first edition of the GUIDE Seminar on Virtual Higher Education dedicated to Latin America has obtained considerable results in detecting current issues and trends related to the development of virtual education in the region. The next Association appointment will be the GUIDE conference 2012 which aims, in a wider perspective, at fostering the exchange among international and global actors coming from both the academic and professional field.

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