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Kenneth D. Forbus

Kenneth D. Forbus is Professor of Computer Science and Education at Northwestern University. He is the author of Building Problem Solvers (MIT Press, 1993).

Titles by This Author

For nearly two decades, Kenneth Forbus and Johan de Kleer have accumulated a substantial body of knowledge about the principles and practice of creating problem solvers. In some cases they are the inventors of the ideas or techniques described, and in others, participants in their development.

Building Problem Solvers communicates this knowledge in a focused, cohesive manner. It is unique among standard artificial intelligence texts in combining science and engineering, theory and craft to describe the construction of AI reasoning systems, and it includes code illustrating the ideas.

After working through Building Problem Solvers, readers should have a deep understanding of pattern directed inference systems, constraint languages, and truth maintenance systems. The diligent reader will have worked through several substantial examples, including systems that perform symbolic algebra, natural deduction, resolution, qualitative reasoning, planning, diagnosis, scene analysis, and temporal reasoning.

Titles by This Editor

Multimedia, simulation, computer-mediated communication networks, and distance learning have all become part of the educational toolkit. The next major technology to change the face of education will be based on the widespread use of artificial intelligence (AI). Progress in AI has led to a deeper understanding of how to represent knowledge, to reason, and to describe procedural knowledge. Progress in cognitive science has led to a deeper understanding of how people think, solve problems, and learn. AI scientists use results from cognitive science to create software with more humanlike abilities, which can help students learn better.

This book looks at some of the results of this synergy among AI, cognitive science, and education. Examples include virtual students whose misconceptions force students to reflect on their own knowledge, intelligent tutoring systems, and speech recognition technology that helps students learn to read. Some of the systems described are already used in classrooms and have been evaluated; a few are still laboratory efforts. The book also addresses cultural and political issues involved in the deployment of new educational technologies.