What do humans have to learn from computers? Dr. Laura Leventhal, computer science, is working with colleagues in other fields to harness the capabilities of computer software to help students enhance their spatial skills, which come into play in a surprising number of areas, from geology to chemistry, mathematics and mechanical reasoning. Having low spatial ability can deprive students of educational opportunities in the STEM areas just at a time when the country is calling for more graduates in those disciplines.
As the next speaker in the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series, Leventhal will discuss the field of human-computer interaction and describe a project in which she and colleagues from geology and psychology have studied the interplay between spatial ability, usable software, interactive 3D animations and the teaching of geology concepts to build effective learning tools for geology students. Leventhal will also discuss how their findings might be translatable to the teaching of students in other disciplines.
Her talk will be held from 4-5 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 17) in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. A reception will follow.
Leventhal has been an active teacher and researcher in the field of human-computer interaction. She is the author of numerous articles on the topic and the co-author, with Dr. Julie Barnes, computer science, of Usability Engineering: Process, Products and Examples (2008). Her most recent research has focused on cognitive issues in the use of interactive, three-dimensional models. She is the 2010 recipient of BGSU’s Faculty Mentor Recognition Award.