Category Archives: Research

Adapting Grounded Theory in qualitative research: reflections from personal experience

Grounded theory is one of the methodologies that have been widely used in qualitative research. However, researchers, especially inexperienced ones have not been sure about its use in the process of the data collection and analysis. The uncertainty arises mainly from the differences that have emerged between Barney G. Glaser and Anselm L. Strauss who previously pioneered grounded theory together.

Article fist published in “International Research in Education” V. 2 (2014), n. 1, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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From research assistant to researcher: being wakeful in a mentorship journey about methodology, poverty, and deficit thinking

This article explores how insights and new knowledge were incorporated about narrative inquiry methodology, poverty, and deficit ways of thinking through a journey of mentorship. The experiences of a graduate student, as she journeys through the roles of a research assistant and graduate researcher, all the while being part of a positive mentorship experience, are relayed. The article describes the journey of an evolving researcher who becomes wakeful through the narrative inquiry methodology while engaged as a research assistant as well as a graduate student alongside her supervisor.
Keywords: qualitative research; narrative inquiry; education and training; research mentoring; poverty; deficit thinking

Article first published in “Journal of Research Practice”, V. 9 (2013), n. 2, Article M7. Reprinted with permission.

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Effectiveness of critical thinking instruction in higher education: a systematic review of intervention studies

Promoting students’ critical thinking (CT) has been an essential goal of higher education. However, despite the various attempts to make CT a primary focus of higher education, there is little agreement regarding the conditions under which instruction could result in greater CT outcomes. In this review, we systematically examined current empirical evidence and attempted to explain why some instructional interventions result in greater CT gains than others.

Article first published in “Higher Education Studies”, V. 4 (2014), n. 1. Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education and reprinted with permission. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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This issue of FormaMente comes out before and after two international events organized by GUIDE Association in Latin America: the VII Conference on Culture in the Midst of Global Modernization: The Role of Distance Education, which took place last April at the Central Campus of the Panamerican University in Guatemala City, and the VIII Conference on Science and Technology, Management and Quality: the future of higher education in Brazil and around the world, which is scheduled to take place next November at the Universidade Tiradentes (Aracaju).

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Actual requirements regarding the intellectual capital at an european and international level. The assessment of quality management systems in organisations providing instruction services

The European Union Council had and still has in view the profound changes taking place in society: globalization represents for Europe a competitors intensification in all the economical sectors, while the developing and the diversification of the information technologies can lead to a radical change of the whole learning and educational system, opening the perspectives for learning possibilities and accumulating knowledge during all one´s life.
The topic actuality of this article consist in the fact that, due to the globalization and the international competition intensification, the request for workers with a low qualification level decreases; the new jobs presuppose high performances, flexibility, stress on qualities such as: high level of performance, creativity, openness to change, initiative. People will be obliged to possess much more knowledge, competences and they will have to work in multi spheres teams. Of course not all the people can become conceptual analysts, but an adaptation to the new system, to the new economy is required.
At present, more and more people work in domains in which information is created. In the future this percentage will grow. The use on a large scale of machines and installations will determine that even workers from the basic domains to be better and better prepared. In the countries OECD the unemployment rate is higher for the persons with a second education, unlike the persons with a higher education, the manpower being in this way forced to become more qualified. On the other hand, as more and more work is taking place at an intellectual level, the detaining and manipulating of information becomes an essential quality for each employee. This article has as a main objective the highlighting of actual requirements regarding the quality assurance in instruction services at an European and international level. Thus, the permanent learning strategies from the European Union are presented, which aim at realizing a European space of knowledge. The concept of permanent learning is being analyzed as a new vision in the instruction domain, which is centered on the individual. An important aspect is the developing of basic personal competences and the validation of these through flexible qualification structures.
Due to the complexity of the processes and the context in which they are functioning, the instruction organizations should orient themselves to the models TQM, even though the standard ISO 9001 offers advantages at implementation, connected especially with the processes management, the document control and registrations. The proposed model being a TQM model adapted to the instructional domain and integrated with ISO 9001, can be easily utilized by these organizations.

Article first published in the Annal of the University of Oradea: Economic Science, V. 1, n. 2, pp. 782-787. Reprinted with permission

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Imitation system for humanoid robotics heads

This paperpresents a new system for recognition and imitation of a set of facial expressions using the visual information acquired by the robot. Besides, the proposed system detects and imitates the interlocutor´s head pose and motion.

Copyright2013 Felipe Andres Cid, Jose Augusto Prado, Pablo Manzano, Pablo Bustos, PedroNunez. Article firstpublished in Journal of Physical Agents, V. 7, n. 1, as open access articledistributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence.

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Effects of culture and education on ethical responses on our global society

Two trends that affect communications are prevalent today: a focus on ethics in the U.S. business operations and an increasingly global society and marketplace. This research project brings together these trends to gain a more in-depth understanding of the impact of culture on ethical education. By surveying students in six countries around the globe, this study was able to get at the divergent cultural frameworks utilized in ethical decision-making. The results offer a significant contribution to our understanding of the cross-cultural implications on ethical values in the business context. This understanding provides unique insights into ethics education and the need for a contextual understanding of applied ethics.

Article first published in Global Advances in Business Communication, V. 1, n. 1, Article 5. Reprinted with permission

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Tertiary education and the crisis of public finance

Turbulent economic environment after overwhelming the last crisis period is typical for present days as well as permanent increasing dependability of all our activities on information and communication technology (ICT). Although the global economic crisis was the reason for disinvestment into ICT in 2009 there is expected that ICT will generate almost 5.8 million new jobs in Europe till year 2013 and they have to be saturated also by adequately qualified ICT specialists.
This contribution presents the research in the progress focused on the tertiary education system in the Czech Republic. We are predicting trends in education and especially in ICT education in Europe and in the Czech Republic as well for next ten years. We can expect that future ten years period will be critical not only for the Czech tertiary education system, but also for the Czech Republic because number of ICT students will be decreasing and number of ICT specialist demanded by labor market will be increasing. From macroeconomic point of view we can expect that also state subventions into state governed tertiary education system will decrease in the whole Europe.
Some recommendations, proposals and forecasts for further development of education system are presented at the end of this contribution.

Copyright 2012 Milos Maryska, Petr Doucek. Article first published in Journal of Sistems Integration, V. 3, n. 2, 2012, pp. 74-87. Reprinted with permission

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Funding crisis in higher education institutions: rationale for change

An important priority of public policy is to ensure that higher education institutions contribute to economic growth and social progress as a whole, especially in the context of today´s globalised markets and knowledge economy. It is crucial for any nation to have a good education system and strategic planning to improve learning outcomes, access to facilities, and efficient use of resources. This paper explained the rationale for change in funding higher education with comparison made based on previous literature in developed and developing countries.

Article first published in Asian Economic and Financial Review, V. 2, n. 4, pp. 562-576. Reprinted with permission.

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Education far from equilibrium: chaos philosophy and the quest for complexity in education

It would be futile, John Dewey argued in 1902, to think that we have to choose between child-centered, progressive education and traditional, subject-matter-oriented approaches. Calling for adaptivity, he stressed that we need the act of balancing the one with the other. The tendency in current educational policy to lean in favor of traditional, disciplinary modes of control appears to lose sight of this need. The aim of this paper is to reconnect to the task of maintaining a balance between educational freedom and structure, using a variety of theoretical resources such as complexity science, and the philosophies of Deleuze and Guattari, Schiller, and Nietzsche. Based on these resources, the authors also discuss Steiner Waldorf education as an example of how educational practice may approach, and integrate the significance of chaos in the form of a “virtual pedagogy”.

Article first published in “Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education”, V. 9 (2012), n. 2, pp. 1-14. Reprinted with permission.

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Circuit Theory extended: the role of speculation in crises

This paper asks why modern finance theory and the efficient market hypothesis have failed to explain long-term carry trades; persistent asset bubbles or zero lower bounds; and financial crises. It extends Godley and Lavoie (Monetary Economics: An Integrated Approach to Credit, Money, Income, Production and Wealth, 2007) and the Theory of the Monetary Circuit to give a mathematical representation of Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis. In the extended circuit, the central bank rate is not neutral and the path is non-ergodic. The extended circuit has survival constraints that include a living wage, a zero interest rate and an upper interest rate. Inflation is everywhere. The possibility of stable carry trades emerges. In high interest rate, hedge economies, powerful banks invest surplus loan interest. With speculation, banks lobby to enter investment markets and the system is precariously liquid/illiquid. In a Ponzi economy, where loans never get repaid, solvency is a balance between increasing reserves, reducing interest rates and rebuilding banks’ balance sheets during systemic crises. Simulating bank bailouts, household bailouts and a Keynesian boost suggests that bank bailouts are the least effective intervention, exerting downward pressure on wages and household spending: austerity.

Article first published in “Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal”, V. 6 (2012), n. 34 as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Creating values for sustainability: stakeholders engagement, incentive alignment, and value currency

A shareholder theory of firm and a stakeholder theory of firm may differ in their respective evaluation method of firm performance may differ in their respective evaluation method of firm performance. Both theories however recognize the importance of value creation as the economic role of firms as institutions. The New Institutional Economics (NIE) emphasizes incentives alignment, while also viewing stakeholder engagements as methods to expand the boundaries of firms.

Article first published in “Economics Research International”, 2012, Article Id. 142910, doi: 10.1155/2012/142910, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative

Commons Attribution License.

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Implementing the Principles for Responsible Management Education into Management and Business Courses

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Management are now becoming new challenges for business and government policy both in the United States and in Russia. Therefore, the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) unveiled at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in July 2007 must be new priorities and key words for business education programs. In this regard, Higher Education Institutions and academic community are expected to adopt a leading role.

Received: 30 October 2012
Revised: 6 November 2012

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Evidence for a Particle Produced in Association with Weak Bosons and Decaying to a Bottom-Antibottom Quark Pair in Higgs Boson Searches at the Tevatron

We combine searches by the CDF and D0 Collaborations for the associated production of a Higgs boson with a W or Z boson and subsequent decay of the Higgs boson to a bottom-antibottom quark pair.

Article published in “Physical Review Letters”, Received 26 July 2012; published 14 August 2012.


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Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC

CMS Collaboration

Results are presented from searches for the standard model Higgs boson in proton–proton collisions at  √√s=7 and 8 TeV in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), using data samples corresponding to integrated luminosities of up to 5.1 fb−1 at 7 TeV and 5.3 fb−1 at 8 TeV.

Article published in “Physics Letters B”, Received 31 July 2012.  Received in revised form 9 August 2012. Accepted 11 August 2012 – Available online 18 August 2012.

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Von Neuromancer zu Second Life. Raumsimulationen im Cyberspace

In his novel Neuromancer, first published in 1984, the US-american author William Gibson coined the term cyberspace for the virtual reality generated by computers. On the basis of an etymological analysis this term can be interpreted as the traditional relation between helmsman and space. In the medium of sci-fi-literature and sci-fi-film this phenomenon of cyberspace changed rapidly  between 1980 and today. In early examples, for instance in the film Tron produced in 1982, the virtual figures act in a disintegrated space without any destination or orientation. In later examples, for instance in the film Matrix produced in 1999, the cyberspace becomes a substitute world for a dark, chaotic or destructive vision of reality. Contemporary forms of cyberspace, as visualized in the 3D-online-city Second Life, are in contrast used for financial activities and symbolize the hard world of economic policy. This development of cyberspace can be seen either as an evolutionary process or a dichotomy primary defined by different facets of space simulation in virtual reality.

Article first published in “Journal of New Frontiers in Spatial Concepts”, V.3 (2011), pp. 56-62, KIT Scientific Publishing, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence.

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Visual metaphors in virtual worlds. The example of NANEC 2010/2011

Before the invention of printing, the storytelling was the grat transmitter of knowledge. The print brought speed and continuity to narrative, extending the time for its reflection. With Internet the sequentiality of the message is fragmented and new realities may be created, with reference in the real world or not. Virtual worlds are a clear example.

Article first published in “@tic Revista d´innovació educativa”, January-June 2011, pp. 38-45, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence. Reprinted with permission.

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The capture of moving object in video image

Nowadays, video is a primary information carrier in www (world wild web) and moving objects are often carrying more information. But it is hard to catch these objects in video quickly and correctly. In this paper, we put forward a method to catch moving object in video. Firstly, based on difference image method, we determine moving region in video image. To avoid hardness to build background, we build background with a new algorithm based on difference changed. Finally, we get the objects and denoise them with erosion and dilation. The experimental result is shown that the new method is feasibility and high quality.

Article originally published in “Journal of Multimedia”, V. 6 (December 2011), n. 6, pp. 518-525.
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Modeling the metaverse: a theoretical model of effective team collaboration in 3D virtual environments

In this paper, a theoretical model of effective team collaboration in 3D virtual environments is presented. The aim of this model is to enhance our understanding of the capabilities exerting influence on effective 3D virtual team collaboration. The model identifies a number of specific capabilities of 3D virtual worlds that can contribute to this team effectiveness. Compared to “traditional” computer mediated collaboration technologies, 3D virtual environments support team collaboration primarily through (a) the shared virtual environment, and (b) avatar-based interaction. Through the shared virtual environment, users experience higher levels of presence (a feeling of actually “being there”), realism and interactivity. These capabilities increase the users´ level of information processing. Avatar-based interaction induces greater feelings of social presence (being with others) and control over self presentation (how one wants to be perceived by others), thus increasing the level of communication support in the 3D environment. Through greater levels of information and communication support, a higher level of shared understanding is reached, which in turn positively influences team performance. Our paper concludes by presenting several propositions which allow further empirical testing, implications for research and practice, and suggestions for future research. The insights obtained from this paper can help developers of these virtual worlds to design standards for the capabilities that influence effective team collaboration in 3D virtual environments.

Article first published in “Journal of Virtual Worlds Research”, V. 4 (December 2011), n. 3, by the Virtual Worlds Institute Inc., as open access article, published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence.

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Jet momentum dependence of jet quenching in PbPb collisions at √SNN = 2.76 TeV

Dijet production in PbPb collisions at a nucleon-nucleon centre-of-mass energy of 2.76 TeV is studied with the CMS detector at the LHC. A data sample corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 150 µb¯¹ is analyzed. Jets are reconstructed using combined information from tracking and calorimetry. The dijet momentum balance and angular correlations are studied as a function of collision centrality and leading jet transverse momentum. For the most peripheral PbPb collisions, good agreement of the dijet momentum balance distributions with pp data and reference calculations at the same collision energy is found, while more central collisions show a strong imbalance of leading and subleading jet transverse momenta attributed to the jet-quenching effect. The dijet momentum imbalance in central collisions is found to persist for leading jet transverse momenta up to the highest values studied.

Article first published in “Physics Letters B”, universally available online 27 April 2012.

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The first 2012 FormaMente issue focuses on the importance of virtual laboratories in scientific research. The contributions selected reflect the direct involvement of GUIDE Association in virtual labs theoretical and experimental experiences and also the growing interest that distance universities show towards some important international research projects.

Anna Baldazzi and Giovanni Briganti

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Recherches partenariales: coordination et coopération entre chercheurs d’entreprise et chercheurs universitaires

The partnerships created between researchers of Research and Development (R&D) companies and university researchers offer multiple assets: an addition of expertises mobilized to answer concrete perspectives, or the advantage of knowledge updated by colleagues to lead activities of publications and formalizations. However, the variety of the objectives of the stakeholders as well as the short temporality of execution towards the university criteria make it sometimes difficult to realize all the purposes assigned to these researches, as we shall see by an analysis of partnership researches in the R&D of a company. In this context, the emergence and the realization of the partnership rest on the researchers´ capacity to elaborate an appropriate work organization, procedures of coordination and relations of cooperation which are based on an exchange of ‘gifts’. However, the specific constraints related to research within companies, the ambiguity of the exchange and the problematic evaluation of the research can create problems for partnerships. We shall approach these points by the observation of several research projects which were done in partnership in the R&D department of a company and several interviews conducted with researchers of this company.

Article originally published in Revue Interventions Économiques / Papers in Political Economy, n. 43(2011). Reprinted with permission

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Diseño de investigación para el àrea emergente del desarrollo abierto

This paper departs from the observation that empirical and conceptual frameworks describing the intersection of new technology and development studies have begun to embrace the idea of open development. Frameworks for research, however, continue to reflect older notions of technology appropriation and empowerment. In order to start a dialogue about research design appropriate to open development, I provide an overview of key ontological, epistemological, and methodological considerations of significance to this field. An open development approach, I argue, should focus on enhancing cognitive justice rather than productivity or empowerment. This can best be carried out through the application of a constructivist and critical realist epistemology, through positional methodology and through networked research processes.

Received: 10 November 2011
Revised: 20 November 2011

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Competing in Several Areas Simultaneously: The Case of Strategic Asset Markets

We characterize the structure of Nash equilibria for a certain class of asset market games. In equilibrium, different assets have different returns, and (risk neutral) investors with different wealth hold portfolios with different structures. In equilibrium, an asset´s return is inversely related to the elasticity of its supply. The larger an investor, the more diversified is his portfolio. Smaller investors do not hold all the assets, but achieve higher percentage returns. More generally, our results can be applied also to other ‘multi-market games’ in which several players compete in several arenas simultaneously, like multi-market Cournot oligopolies, or multiple rent-seeking games.

Article originally published in “Games”, V. 2 (2011), as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributions Licence. Reprinted with permission. //

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How to taste mathematics

We are facing a real danger as mathematics continues to be driven further outside the realm of modern culture. The danger lies in the fact that mathematical structures reflect all possible patterns of mental activity, which are creative and unlimited. This proves itself especially in mathematical breakthroughs. Mathematics is integral to culture. In fact, mathematics merits as legitimate a place in modern culture as music.
The fundamental sequence of doing mathematics is as follows. In the first phase, the mind formulates some simple or rather involved problem. Soon the problem transforms into a sort of obsession that pushes the mind into a lengthy search for a solution. In the case where a solution is found, the mind is satisfied at least temporarily – until it creates a new problem.
Mathematics is not a pragmatic science in any sense. Hence, there is a rarity of great mathematicians in our epoch. Another reason for a dearth of modern, brilliant mathematicians is that mathematics is, unfortunately, being relegated primarily to the economic sector. Music is moving towards the same fate. No one discipline can attest to having a monopoly on how to appeal to our deepest aesthetic sensibilities – not music or any other of the arts. And, in fact, mathematics has more in common with music than students of either are led to believe.
Unfortunately, the prevailing classical methods of teaching mathematics, are partly responsible for the decline in this great art. We have to modify these methods so as to achieve a deeper understanding of mathematics. Our incomprehension of a thing often leads to our criticism of it as being too involved or complicated, followed by our tendency to thus render it unimportant, and then to our conveniently neglecting it altogether. To experience the beauty and wonder – the exaltation – of mathematics, just like that of music, requires only that we attempt to truly understand it.

Article originally published in “International Journal of mathematical Sciences and Applications”, V. 1 (January 2011), n. 1, as open access article. Reprinted with permission.

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Complexity leadership in transdisciplinary (TD) learning environments: a knowledge feedback loop

The conception that leadership is the activity of individual actors is challenged by a more dynamic approach that regards leadership as processes that influence organizations. This influence is a catalyst in the creation of new knowledge especially in environments where innovation is a key characteristic. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a model grounded in the complex adaptive systems (CAS) within transdisciplinary (TD) settings and to highlight the dynamic mechanisms that allow for emergent new knowledge informed by complexity leadership theory (CLT). The theoretical model provided presumes i) a context of TD; ii) leadership as an agentic process; iii) entanglement as a fundamental leadership function in CAS; iv) multi-level interventions; and v) a proposed knowledge feedback loop that serves as a driver for continual renewal to the adaptive system.

Article first published in the ‘International Journal of Transdisciplinary Research’, V. 5, n. 1 (2010), as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

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Fractal solids, product measures and fractal wave equations

This paper builds on the recently begun extension of continuum thermomechanics to fractal porous media that are specified by a mass (or spatial) fractal dimension D, a surface fractal dimension d and a resolution length scale R. The focus is on pre-fractal media (i.e. those with lower and upper cut-offs) through a theory based on a dimensional regularization, in which D is also the order of fractional integrals employed to state global balance laws. In effect, the governing equations are cast in forms involving conventional (integer order) integrals, while the local forms are expressed through partial differential equations with derivatives of integer order but containing coefficients involving D, d and R. This procedure allows a specification of a geometry configuration of continua by ‘fractal metric’ coefficients, on which the continuum mechanics is subsequently constructed. While all the derived relations depend explicitly on D, d and R, upon setting D = 3 and d = 2, they reduce to conventional forms of governing equations for continuous media with Euclidean geometries. Whereas the original formulation was based on a Riesz measure – and thus more suited to isotropic media – the new model is based on a product measure, making it capable of grasping local fractal anisotropy. Finally, the one-, two- and three-dimensional wave equations are developed, showing that the continuum mechanics approach is consistent with that obtained via variational energy principles.

Revised version of the article first published in ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences’, V. 465(2009), n. 2108, pp. 2521-2536, //
Received 26 April 2011

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Virtual dance and motion capture

A general view of various ways in which virtual dance can be understood is presented in the first part of this article. It then appraises the uses of the term ‘virtual’ in previous studies of digital dance. A more in-depth view of virtual dance as it relates to motion-capture is offered, and key issues are discussed regarding computer animation, digital imaging, motion signature, virtual reality and interactivity. The paper proposes that some forms of virtual dance be defined in relation to both digital technologies and contemporary theories of virtuality.

Article first published in ‘Contemporary Aestherics’, V. 9 (2011) as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License

A cartesian critique of the artificial intelligence

This paper deals with the philosophical problems concerned with research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), in particular with problems arising out of claims that AI exhibits ‘consciousness’, ‘thinking’ and other ‘inner’ processes and that they simulate human intelligence and cognitive processes in general. The argument is to show how Cartesian mind is non-mechanical. Descartes´ concept of ‘I think’ presupposes subjective experience, because it is ‘I’ who experiences the world. Likewise, Descartes´ notion of ‘I’ negates the notion of computationality of the mind. The essence of mind is thought and the acts of thoughts are identified with the acts of consciousness. Therefore, it follows that cognitive acts are conscious acts, but not computational acts. Thus, for Descartes, one of the most important aspects of cognitive states and processes is their phenomenality, because our judgments, understanding, etc. can be defined and explained only in relation to consciousness and not in relation to computationality. We can only find computationality in machines and not in the mind, which wills, understands and judges.

©2010 Academic Journals. Article first published in ‘Philosophical Papers and Reviews’, V. 2 (2010), n. 3, pp. 27-33 and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence

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The changing landscape of higher education

Focusing strictly on technology trends can obscure other environmental factors that are drivers for innovation in higher education. The authors identify ten fissures in the landscape that are creating areas of potentially tectonic change.

Article originally published in ‘Educause Review’, V. 46 (2011), n. 1, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence

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