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Seminar: Tim van Gelder (U. Melbourne)

Date: Thursday, 21st February 2019
Time: 02:30 PM
Location: Connected Intelligence Centre, University of Technology Sydney (Bldg.22)

SWARM as an Immersive Learning Environment for Analytical Reasoning Skills

Abstract: SWARM is a cloud platform aimed at improving analytical reasoning in intelligence work. SWARM tries to improve analytical reasoning by improving collaboration within groups of analysts rather than by trying to structure their thinking in any particular way. In large-scale testing in 2017, teams on SWARM showed they could produce remarkably good reasoning. While primarily aimed at improving performance, SWARM appears to have a strong additional benefit in improving participants’ understanding of, and facility in, analytical reasoning. This presentation will provide a quick overview of SWARM and some of the research results to date, and briefly discuss SWARM’s potential as a learning environment.

Biography: Tim van Gelder is an applied epistemologist and currently an Enterprise Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is a lead researcher on the SWARM Project, a major effort to develop a cloud platform for collaborative analytical reasoning, as part of the CREATE program funded by IARPA, the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. Over the past two decades he has contributed to the development of argument mapping tools and methods, and to research on the impact of their use on the development of critical thinking skills. He has experience providing consulting and training services to large public and private sector organisations in areas such as reasoning, estimation, and decision making. He also keeps bees.