Decision-Theoretic Academic Advising

Project Description

During the course of an student's undergraduate education many decisions are encountered which may impact short and long term academic success as well as relative enjoyment and (perceived) utility that are obtained by the student. Human advisors help the student advisee make decisions that can have a positive major effects on their educational experience. The advisor's task is complicated by a potential lack of knowledge of the individual student's goals and preferences. Further, the potential long-term effects of actions may not be obvious even to experienced academic advisors.

In order to deal with the difficulties encountered in academic advising our research group is developing tools and methods for generating stochastic models of an academic domain, and for fast stochastic planning and generation of advice. The project is divided into three areas: model construction, planning, and interface design. The academic domain poses challenges in each of these areas.

Project Details

Research Team

University of Kentucky


  • Professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Model construction, Planning, Interface Design

Robert Crawford

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Computer Science
  • Model Construction; state transition functions

Daniel Michler

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Computer Science
  • Model Construction; utility functions

Libby Knouse (Ferland)

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Computer Science
  • Model construction; planner construction
Josiah Hanna

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Computer Science
  • Model construction; multicriteria optimization; planner construction
University of Tennessee, Martin

Dr. Joshua Guerin

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Tennessee at Martin
  • Model construction; planning
National ICT Research Australia (NICTA)

Dr. Nick Mattei

  • Post doctoral scholar, University of New South Wales/NICTA with Dr. Toby Walsh
  • Interface design
University of Pennsylvania

Tom Dodson

  • Physics and astronomy graduate student, University of Pennsylvania
  • Interface design

Not Currently Involved

University of Kentucky

Dr. Joan Mazur

  • Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Planning; interface design
Cal Poly State, San Luis Obispo

Dr. Alexander Dekhtyar

  • Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science

Research

IRB Protocol number: 09-0751X4B: "Creation of a College Student Advising Disposition and Needs Survey Database for Future Research Purposes"

IRB Protocol number: 10-0544-X4B: "Decision-Theoretic Academic Advisor"

IRB Protocol number: 11-0243-X4B: "User validation of automated explanation system"

University of Kentucky IRB protocol no. 07-2381 response – Non-human subject classification

Publications

The Academic Advising Planning Domain. Joshua Guerin, Josiah Hanna, Libby Ferland, Nicholas Mattei, and Judy Goldsmith. Proceedings of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2012) Workshop on the International Planning Competition (IPCW 2012).

A Natural Language Argumentation Interface for Explanation Generation in Markov Decision Processes. Thomas Dodson, Nicholas Mattei, and Judy Goldsmith.

  • Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Algorithmic Decision Theory (ADT 2011)
  • Proceedgins of the 6th Workshop on Explanation Aware Computing (EXACT 2011)
Constructing a Dynamic Bayes Net Model of Academic Advising. Joshua T. Guerin and Judy Goldsmith. Proceedings of the Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI 2011) Workshop on Bayesian Modeling Applications (BMAW 2011)

A Decision-Theoretic Academic Advisor: Extended Abstract. Joshua T. Guerin. In The Proceedings of the International Joint Converences on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2011)

Analysis of Undergraduate Teaching Evaluations in Computer Science. Joshua T. Guerin and Daniel Michler. In The Proceeding of The 42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE 2011)

Tech Report: Constructing Dynamic Bayes Nets Using Recommendation Techniques from Collaborative Filtering. Joshua T. Guerin, Robert Crawford, and Judy Goldsmith. TR 515-10.

Presentations

The Academic Advising Planning Domain. Libby Ferland. International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (2012), Workshop on the International Planning Competition. Atibaia, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012).

Talks

Academic Advising: Automatically Generating Convincing Explanations of Recommendations from Complex Models. Nicholas Mattei.

  • Eastern Kentucky University 25th Annual Symposium in the Mathematics, Statistical, and Computer Sciences (2011).
  • University of Texas at Austin (2011).
Rethinking the Academic E-Advisor. Joshua T. Guerin. Second Annual Symposium on Cognitive Science, University of Kentucky (2009).

Poster Presentations

Attitudes and Expectations of Undergraduate Students in STEM and non-STEM Disciplines. Joshua T. Guerin, Nicholas Mattei, and Thomas Dodson. Third Annual University of Kentucky STEM Education Symposium (2012).

Decision-making in Academic Advising. Joshua T. Guerin. First Annual International Conference on Comparative Decision Making Studies, Spring 2011.

Awards

Second Place Graduate Student Poster Presentation. Joshua T. Guerin, Nicholas Mattei, and Thomas Dodson. For Attitudes and Expectations of Undergraduate Students in STEM and non-STEM Disciplines. Third Annual University of Kentucky STEM Education Symposium (2012).

Second Place Graduate Student Presentation. Nicholas Mattei. For "Academic Advising: Automatically Generating Convincing Explanations of Recommendations from Complex Models." EKU 25th Annual Symposium in the Mathematics, Statistical, and Computer Sciences (2011)

Advising Survey

In order to better understand how students approach academic advising in the real world, we have put together an academic advising survey. If you are a student at the University of Kentucky we welcome your contribution to our research. The survey is completely anonymous, and aggregate results will be used to construct better models and planning methods for planning in the advising domain.

The survey can be found here.

If you are a student we would appreciate your contributing to our work by taking the survey.

External Links

Cal Poly Wiki

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
PDFpdf STEM_survey_summary.pdf manage 424.2 K 2012-05-11 - 19:53 UnknownUser UK STEM Symposium 2012 Advising Poster
Topic revision: r15 - 2013-05-27 - 12:59:07 - JosiahHanna
 
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