Activity Fund Projects

Title

Teaching Analytics: a feedback control approach to aid student self-assessment in higher education

Organiser

Paulo Moura Oliveria (University of Trás-os-montes and Alto Douro, Portugal)

Sponsoring IFAC Body:

IFAC National Member Organisation Portugal: APCA - Associação Portuguesa de Controlo Automático

Link

http://www.apca.pt/

Overview

Development of a software tool that

  • Asks students a series of automatically generated questions about the logical connections among the contents of control-related courses. For example, questions of the type: “ Consider the knowledge component X (e.g., Laplace transforms). Which ones among the knowledge components Y, Z, W(e.g., complex numbers, integrals, complex exponential, eigenfunctions, ...) necessary to know to learn X? Which ones are useful but not necessary?Which ones are equivalent?
  • Collects the answers from the students, processes the information, and creates personalized graphs of what each individual students think about the logical connections of the topics within automatic control,
  • Compares the graphs of the individual students with the “nominal connections” graphs, i.e., graphs like the ones above that have already been obtained through asking the same questions to a set of automatic control teachers (an activity that has been performed within a dedicated Erasmus+ project led by Damiano Varagnolo)
  • Visualizes the mismatches to the individual students, providing in this way individual suggestions on what to re-study
  • Finds patterns of misunderstandings and highlights them to the teachers.

Title

Workshop Series on Control Systems and Data Science towards Industry 4.0.

Organiser

Joe Qin (City University of Hong Kong)

Sponsoring body

IFAC TC 6.1: Chemical Process Control

Link

https://tc.ifac-control.org/6/1

Overview

The workshop series intends to promote the importance and prevailing trend of data science, AI and control systems, in the angles of different expertise and prestigious scholars who are from different continents. The workshop series will be conducted through ZOOM Video conferencing and is free of charge and available to everyone online.

Title

Control Conference Africa (CCA) 2021 – Sponsorship of deserving academics and graduate students from Africa

Organiser

Kevin Brooks (Hatch, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)

Sponsoring IFAC body

IFAC National Member Organisation South Africa: SACAC – South African Council for Automation and Control

Link

https://sacac.org.za/

Overview

Control Conference Africa 2021 is a follow up to the extremely successful first Control Conference Africa (CCA) 2017, an IFAC event. The purpose of Control Conference Africa is to grow and foster control and automation research and application in Africa. A key aspect of making CCA 2021 a success is attracting academics from the rest of Africa to come to South Africa to participate. Funds can be an issue for these colleagues, so the availability of sponsorships is very important in attracting such people to the conference. It is proposed that six sponsorships be offered; three for academics and three for graduate students. The sponsorships will be used to cover some or all of flight costs, accommodation. and living. Registration fees for the conference for these attendees will be covered by SACAC.

Title

An online benchmark for control engineering education

Organiser

Jose Luis Guzman (Unversity of Almeira, Spain)

Sponsoring IFAC Body

IFAC TC 9.4 Control Education

Link

https://tc.ifac-control.org/9/4

Overview

We propose to develop an online international benchmark for control engineering education that can be used for free. Moreover, this benchmark would be used as part of international competitions in IFAC Symposiums and Conferences.

Benchmarks in control education have been used in Spain since 10 years ago. The idea was promoted by the Spanish Control Engineering Group (belonging to the Spanish Committee of Automatics), where every year a national competition was open for a specific benchmark problem (based on industrial processes: boilers, refrigeration systems, drone, etc.). Then, students and teachers from different Spanish Universities use the benchmark as part of their subjects during the academic course, and they present the results to that national competition. In a first step, the best three teams are classified, and they compete again in a second round. Finally, the best team is announced every year at the National Conference of Automatic Control. There are two different categories, one for undergraduate students and another for PhD students. The winner team receives a certificate from the Spanish Committee of Automatics and a prize of 300 € sponsored by the Spanish representation of the Instrument Society of Automation (ISA). The experience during these 10 years has been fantastic for teachers and students.

Title

Educational Solar Car for Pre-University Engineering Education Outreach - Dual-Axis Autonomous/RC Solar Tracker car

Organiser

David Oyedokun (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

IFAC Sponsoring Body

IFAC National Member Organisation South Africa: SACAC – South African Council for Automation and Control

Link

https://sacac.org.za/

Overview

The educational solar car will serve as an educational artefact to advance interest in electrical engineering by promoting the control principles of sense, think and act at pre-university education levels. This project will see the development of the 4th version of UCT’s interactive autonomous solar car. Various aspects will be designed and built with high school learners. As an educational tool, upon completion, the car will be used in day out outreach projects where high school learners will have the opportunity to conduct educational practical experiments on the features of the car.