A Pennsylvania company has received a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on “artificial intelligence” software for use in teacher training.
Quantum Simulations Inc. received the funding under a Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the independent federal agency. The company, located in Murrysville, Pa., is trying to develop software that would enable aspiring chemistry and mathematics teachers to view a simulated interaction between students and teachers. After watching the interaction on a computer screen, the teacher-in-training could potentially ask questions of the on-screen teacher about his or her strategy for helping the student, said Al Renshaw, the director of education programs for the company. Quantum already produces technology in tutoring and assessment that company officials say relies on artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence refers to computer systems that perform tasks typically associated with intelligent actions carried out by humans, such as reasoning, complex problem-solving, and interpreting images. The NSF has financed numerous projects using artificial intelligence in different ways in recent years, according to agency records.
A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 2007 edition of Education Week