Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)    DOI: 10.54808/JSCI



No Warranty Express or Implied: Why Do We Have So Many Problems With the Computer Systems That Pervade Our Lives?
John W. Coffey
Pages: 1-6
Computer systems, large and small, are everywhere. From the 100+ electronic control units in a modern car to mobile devices, to tablets and desktop computers, to petabyte databases that are mined for information, computers pervade our lives. When any factor in our lives becomes so pervasive, a range of problems will certainly follow ranging from basic frustration and inconvenience, to lost productivity, to losses due to using the devices apart from problems with the devices themselves, to loss of life. This article explores the unique role of computers in our lives from the perspective of their complexity, limits on our ability to ensure that systems are built without errors, tradeoffs inherent in the design of computer systems, and measures that can be taken to address these problems.

Can You Hear Me Now? An Innovative Approach to Assess and Build Connections with Online Learner’s
Tina M. Serafini, Risa Blair
Pages: 7-11
Having your "voice" present in an online classroom develops connections and guides learners to take action. Written communication lays flat on the page. When learners hear you, they listen and engage. Voice feedback is a great way to make connections with learners while delivering positive and constructive comments. In the online setting, learners often feel alone and disconnected. An interactive discussion does develop a connection, but a discussion which is focused and directed within the scope of the course. Although, most facilitators agree discussions are the “heart” of an online course, they do not take the place of face-to-face communication with classmates and the instructor. Learners appreciate receiving personalized vocal feedback because of its similarity to a conference, albeit it is one-sided. Research study findings by Merry and Orsmond (2008) indicate that audio feedback can improve the learner’s experience in the online classroom, as well as deliver feedback in a more personalized form (King, et al, 2008; Lunt and Curran, 2010). Online university professors and corporate trainers continue to seek strategies to enrich the learner’s experience, in addition to reducing attrition. Audio feedback can assist facilitators in developing an engaging relationship with their learners. The utilization of Vocaroo software to deliver voice feedback is the method we explored.

End-to-end Security with Translation
Kevin E. Foltz
Pages: 12-17
End-to-end security involves two entities communicating at a distance over an insecure communication channel while maintaining many of the security properties of private, in-person communication. End-to-end security transforms an insecure channel into a secure one, such that the entities know who the other is, their communication is not interpretable by anyone observing the channel, and an active attacker that changes the content communicated will be detected. For digital communication it is desirable to have end-to-end security properties. However, not all entities that wish to communicate share a common language. This may be humans from different countries, web services that encode data in different formats, or applications that communicate with different protocols. The ideas they wish to share are common to both entities, but the representation of them is different. In such a case, end-to-end security limits the ability to use common translation methods that would allow communication. This paper discusses different translation approaches in the context of end-to-end security.

(Assistive) Technology at the Point of Instruction: Barriers and Possibilities
Lorayne Robertson
Pages: 18-24
Assistive technologies which resemble everyday communication technologies (such as text-to-speech features and predictive text) have the potential to remove barriers from the learning environment and allow more access to the curriculum for learners who need support. In the past, some of these affordances required specialized equipment but currently, applications such as predictive text are widely available in everyday life. These newer technologies enable persons with learning challenges to participate more fully in everyday communications, and the “bottom up” effect of these innovations will trickle into schools because the technology is enabling. As these digital applications, programs, and mobile devices become routinely available, and internet access for classrooms improves, more students who might have been labelled in the past as “learning-disabled” will be able to access the curriculum independently. This should support a shift in the discourse from the abled/disabled binary (which labels the students) toward labelling the learning environments instead as more or less enabling. As an increasing number of low- to medium-level tech solutions with seamless interfaces breach previous barriers such as affordability and transferability, the rates of tech adoption in schools will increase beyond the early adopters. As technology adoption increases, it will be easier to differentiate programs and classrooms toward universal learning designs. Technology in the hands of students democratizes education in significant ways and shifts the focus from digital teaching to digital learning.

Supplementing Multiple Modalities and Universal Design in Learning with Goal-Setting
Russell Jay Hendel
Pages: 25-30
The basic idea of this paper is that the principles of proper goal-setting should supplement application of the principles of Universal Design in Learning (UDL) and pedagogic challenge to instruction. 1) The concept of pedagogic challenge is well understood. The pedagogic hierarchies of Bloom, Anderson, Gagne, Van Hiele, and Marzano give precise characterizations of pedagogic challenge. Hendel has recently advocated a unified view of these pedagogic theories. 2) Similarly, the concept of Universal Design in learning by which the same content is presented to different students in different modalities making the learning experience universal is fairly well understood. 3) The concept of proper goal-setting, that is the proper sequencing of a learning task into component subtasks in such a way as to maximize learnability is also fairly well understood, however, it is not often discussed or applied. This paper reviews the basic ten attributes of goal-setting and supplements this review with experiments highlighting the efficacy of certain techniques. The paper concludes by reviewing three learning domains–mathematics, chess, and writing-where goal setting can change our perspective on proper teaching.

Experts Informing Experts
Robert Hammond
Pages: 31-35
Equal attention is placed on the transmitter and receiver roles in even the earliest conceptual models for communication. And yet, the primary emphasis of sales training is on who will deliver the training, what will be trained, how to deliver the training, when to train, and where the training will be delivered. Often absent in sales training is a focus on why the salesperson will adopt the training. A key dynamic in the training environment are the multiple levels of expert status that exist within and between business and academic informing activities as well as in both the informer and receiver roles.

It is common in sales training efforts to have a sales manager or third party expert (consultant) conduct sales training. This paper summarizes findings of a practitioner – scholar with over 30 years of industry experience conducting a workshop for sales managers at a different company (name disguised as FinanceCo in the paper) and in a different industry. While the practitioner – scholar is an expert, the sales managers who are receiving the training are experts within their domain of knowledge. This dynamic challenges the conventional mindset of a trainer being the expert and the receiver being a novice. The dynamic is then generalized to the broader community of informing actions.

Internet of Things – A New Epistemic Object
Rolf Dornberger, Terry Inglese, Safak Korkut
Pages: 36-44
Within the digitalization the Internet of Things (IoT) plays an important role. The research areas of the Internet of Things, highlighting its potentialities as well as its dark sides, are discussed. Here, IoT is seen as a new epistemic object with its own history, which is not fully documented yet. The concept of agency, design and material morality is discussed. The responsibility embedded in the design, according to an advisable collective decision making approach is investigated, where humans and non-humans, as key parts of the IoT, can make their own contributions.

An Experiment in Interdisciplinary STEM Education: Insights from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
Fr. Joseph R. Laracy, Thomas Marlowe, Fr. Gerald J. Buonopane
Pages: 45-53
The “silo effect” is a major problem today in academia, i.e. the growing tendency of disciplinary isolation both in research and teaching. “Siloing” is noted particularly in the formal, natural, and applied sciences. Yet, many areas of human inquiry require by their very nature, an interdisciplinary approach. At Seton Hall University, in the context of the Core Curriculum for undergraduate studies, serious efforts are underway to bring the sciences into dialogue with the wider Catholic intellectual tradition. By fostering a healthy exchange between philosophy, theology, mathematics, computing, and the natural sciences, upperclassmen have been able to explore topics of great personal interest and draw significant connections from content learned in diverse fields of their education. Opportunities exist to extend and adapt this approach to other university settings internationally.

Big History Understanding of Complexity, Informatics and Cybernetics
John L. Motloch
Pages: 54-60
Takes a Big History view of complexity, informatics and cybernetics. Through this lens, presents Big Science, complex adaptive systems (CAS), CAS operational modes, and current massive and escalating CAS change as indicators of emergence and transformation. Calls for complex adaptive system management and complex system co-design as collaboration among diverse human and non-human intelligences, from ecological to digital. Speaks to emerging potentials for the sciences of complexity, informatics and cybernetics in this unique time in Big History as humanity shifts from opaque decisions and hierarchical messaging to transparent network conversations and co-design with complexity.

Flourishing Organizations
Maria Jakubik
Pages: 61-72
In this paper, I seek to answer the following question: What makes organizations flourish? My ontological standpoint is that organizations are living, open systems created and developed by people who are unceasingly and dynamically evolving, learning and developing. Appreciative inquiry (hereafter AI), as a form of action research, changes the focus from problem solving to developing organizations based on their strengths. The life-giving forces of 29 organizations in Finland were ascertained during a four-year period of research. Groups of Master’s students collected and analysed qualitative data from 319 interviews, where they asked “unconditional positive questions”. This paper presents a synthesis of the findings of these students’ inquiries. The findings assert that discovering what provides joy and happiness for people in work serves as a strong basis for them to dream, design and maximize their own and their organization’s destiny in the future.

Pros & Cons of Smart ICT in Some Governmental Applications
Dusan Soltes
Pages: 73-75
The paper is dealing and presenting results of our ongoing research under the framework of our EU/7FP/Sec./SMART that has been focus on application of the latest smart ICT in five selected problem areas viz. e-Government, Border control, Counter-terrorism, Consumer protection and Smart surveillance in cyberspace. At this time the most important problem areas among these five selected application areas have been the protection of the protection of the Schengen external borders of the EU and closely related problems of the fight against terrorism. In difference to the existing critical situation with the illegal immigration and thus also the growing thread of terrorism in the EU, the paper is clearly demonstrating that the existing system of application and proper utilization of the latest smart ICT in addition to be supported by the strong and demanding EU “aquis communautaire” for the Schengen external border system is able fully and completely protect the territory of the EU against any threads of terrorism. In the following parts of this paper we are presenting some more details on the issues of the smart ICT not only in the case of protection of the Schengen external borders of the EU and in the fight against the terrorism but also in remaining other three application areas of our above mentioned SMART EU funded project.

Information Exchange in Vehicles Ad-Hock Networks
Tomas Zelinka
Pages: 76-80
For wireless vehicular communication both Europe and USA adopted IEEE802.11-2012 (WiFi) based communication systems. These systems are road infrastructure independent type of communication enabling both vehicle with vehicle communication as well as vehicles communication with infrastructure. However, as WiFi radio system architects stressed low system complexity, adopted communication system reaches the only sub-optimal performance with relatively low spectral efficiency, limited communication capacity and principally reduced services guaranteed performance as well as the only restricted possibility of farther system performance enhancement. New generation of 3GPP cellular networks with progressively growing services availability can in future offer alternative solution to WiFi based systems with much higher spectral efficiency and communication capacity and with possibility to guarantee communication services performance. Recently were introduced 3GPP proximity services and their extension devoted for vehicular communication. Such communication system augmentation opens possibility of full 3GPP communication systems engagement in the extensively growing vehicular communication. In this paper is discussed future expected development in this systemic area as well as both communication systems potential coopetition.

Living in a Digital World: Improving Skills to Meet the Challenges of Digital Transformation Through Authentic and Game-Based Learning
Margit Scholl, Frauke Fuhrmann
Pages: 81-86
The constant proliferation of digitization is increasingly penetrat-ing all areas of life and requires greater awareness and improved skills to handle processes based on information and communica-tion technologies. Digital technologies and infrastructures form the basis for new digital applications, new exploitation potentials, and digital business models as well as communication in digital value-added networks. This has changed people’s communica-tion behavior, and new knowledge is needed to deal with digital technologies, coupled with soft skills to cope with the changes triggered by digitization. It is also necessary to foster a new awareness of the various challenges and threat scenarios facing organizational and social values. Due to shorter and shorter tech-nology cycles, lifelong learning is taking on a new meaning. This brings into play cooperative learning exercises in cross-discipli-nary teams drawing on authentic and game-based learning ap-proaches. The results of three pilot courses on information secu-rity sensitization that used an integrated learning 3.0 approach combining authentic and game-based learning are presented and discussed.

Psychotherapy via the Internet as a Novel Tool for Clinical Use
Ulrich Sprick
Pages: 87-94
An increasing number of patients with prolonged waiting times or difficulties to get admittance to the health system has enforced the number of internet-based psychotherapy treatments in many countries. There is a wide range of solutions ranging from self-help to guided or therapist-delivered versions. Advantages and disadvantages of the different treatment approaches will be highlighted. Completer rates and effects of different e-health treatments will be compared with face to face treatments. Additionally different quality parameters of internet-based psychotherapy will be focused.

Technology Intercepts for Cyber Security Applied to Critical Infrastructures
Mario La Manna
Pages: 95-100
The implementation of a cyber security system for critical infrastructures requires the extensive use and the targeted application of the most modern computer and communication technologies. In fact, cyber crime, as many other illegal activities, has gained momentum from the latest expansion and power of the Internet and from the widespread use of the sophisticated tools used in the networks, especially social networks. Combating cyber crime needs the same synergy between human and machine technologies as done by cyberspace hackers to attack their objectives. This paper aims to making a review of these technologies and drawing the guidelines for an efficient design of a cyber security system, with reference to the defense of critical infrastructures.

“And Then a Miracle Occurs …” – Engaging the Challenge of Operationalizing Theories of Success in Digital Transformation
Michael Von Kutzschenbach
Pages: 101-105
Digital transformation programs do not have an enviable track record of success. The technical potential of digital technologies is seemingly limitless but it must be grounded in a clear understanding of how the firm creates fundamental values.

While there are significant differences between startup firms with no existing business infrastructure and well-established firms seeking to leverage benefits from applying digital technologies to existing operations, both rely on an underlying theory of success. In the case of a completely new business, a built-in approach to integrating digital technology with the basic theory of success is appropriate. For existing businesses with business models in place, the integration could result in a bolted-on approach. This has some unique challenges, not least in relation to employee resistance and acceptance.

Digital leadership is about building a shared theory of success for digital business transformation. Developing management flight simulators (MFS) helps to surface assumptions and beliefs about current business model behavior and aims to enhance learning about the consequences of changing the logic of the business model.

Systems thinking and modeling provides a powerful approach to developing dynamic business models for operationalizing and communicating the utilization of innovative digital technology.

Multidisciplinary Learning Extends Communication Skill, and Helps Cross Cultural Understandings: Biomedical Engineering
Shigehiro Hashimoto
Pages: 106-112
The effects of multidisciplinary learning on extension of communication skill and on cross-cultural understandings have been discussed. “Biomedical engineering” is exemplified for the multidisciplinary field, which includes biology, medicine, engineering, and others. Several multidisciplinary learning programs have been practiced in the biomedical engineering field: in Japan, in Thailand, and in USA. Some of them are cross-cultural student-seminars on biomedical engineering. In the group work, students are divided into the small cross-cultural groups. Each group finds a problem, methods to solve the problem, and contribution to the society in relation to Biomedical Engineering. Presentations are made with slides in reference to information in the internet. They have learned how to communicate with students, who has not only a variety of studying backgrounds but also a variety of cultural backgrounds. The training awakes students to several points: thinking from a different point of view, and using various communication tools. The process extends the communication skill, and helps cross-cultural understandings.

Integrating Teaching, Research and Problem Solving: An Experience in Progress in the Mucuri Valley Region (Brazil)
Leônidas Conceição Barroso
Pages: 113-118
An interdisciplinary project that seeks to integrate teaching, research and real-life problem solving is described. It concerns the question: how to achieve development of the Mucuri Valley region (in the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia, Brazil) respecting its natural resources? Geography is used as a guiding axis, having as technological support the Geographic Information Systems for the interdisciplinary dialogues in order to integrate data, information, techniques, methods and people from different fields of knowledge.

Meeting Learning Challenges in Product Design Education with and through Additive Manufacturing
William Lavatelli Kempton, Steinar Killi, Andrew Morrison
Pages: 119-129
Digital fabrication tools have been available to design students for the past 20 years. Tools such as 3D printers have been used to Rapid Prototype design concepts and representations, within product development and to imitate conventional manufacturing techniques. In the last decade, there has been an increase in interest surrounding Additive Manufacturing and a shift from 3D printing as prototyping to making end-use artefacts.With much core research still located in engineering frameworks, this article addresses perspectives from practice-based, qualitative inquiry into Product Design pedagogy. It does so through attention to specialist skills training, critical study and interpretation of the computational, material and socio-economic contexts and conditions surrounding digital fabrication. The pedagogical view on Additive Manufacturing we present incorporates both technical and socially oriented conceptualisations of design. We have attempted this through what we term an Additive Experiential Learning Model in the context of Product Design education. In the model we elaborate on a set of related mindsets: Designing through the technology and designing with the technology. While the former focuses on AM as a tool for realizing product ideas, the latter seeks to exploit and develop knowledge on the premise of the technology. The approaches offer pedagogical avenues and inspirations for industry in quests to use Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing in novel, experiential and practice-based ways.

Creating and Using Symbolic Mental Structures via Piaget’s Constructivism and Popper’s Three Worlds View with Falsifiability to Achieve Critical Thinking by Students in the Physical Sciences
Matthew E. Edwards
Pages: 130-134
Learning a new concept requires the mind to enter into a state of disequilibrium and then progress through identified stages to re-establish eventually a new state of equilibrium. The human intellect persists in a dynamical equilibrium state while maintaining self-satisfaction and a contented worldview by constantly integrating and assimilating incoming information that resonates with its current understanding and previous experiences. This equilibrium state allows reflective thought and reassurance to the individual about what is already known albeit it with a limited generalization. However, with the onset of receiving and assimilating a new concept, you are thrown into a state of mental disequilibrium. It is the need to remove the disequilibrium that requires either critical thinking by the individual, resulting in an expanded worldview, or a discounting of it while maintaining a disengaging behavior. The former allows re-establishment of mental equilibrium with an expanded understanding, and the latter persists by never departing from equilibrium. In either case, the intellect has its equilibrium—one instance with requisite development of new understanding, the other without change. To restrict the onslaught of a constant barrage of new concepts, underprepared students avoid majoring in the physical sciences, opting instead to pursue other majors or to take fewer physical science courses. To address the lack of effective learning, we have developed the notion that individual Symbolic Mental Structures, as a key component of constructivism, can assist the underachieving student to become more engaged in the physical sciences and academia in general. This approach requires us to revisit Piaget’s constructivism theory, Karl Popper theory with its falsifiability criterion, which supports the former, and to consider Bloom’s affective and cognitive domains.

Creativity in Higher Education: Comparative Genetic Analyses on the Dopaminergic System in Relation to Creativity, Addiction, Schizophrenia in Humans and Non-Human Primates
Bernard Wallner, Sonja Windhager, Katrin Schaefer, Martin Fieder
Pages: 135-142
Teaching creativity is a substantial quality improvement in higher education. To demonstrate cross-functional thinking is a must for degree holders to be able to solve solutions useful for the society. Such a demand must be underlined by rational arguments. The neurobiology of creative behavior provides important information how the brain processes such activities. The subcortical mesolimbic brain areas, specifically the dopaminergic system, are of interest. The me n t i o n e d system and its two class receptors, D1 and D2 types, seem to be key players to mediate pleasure associated with predictive, motivational, or attentional sensations linked to learning processes and creativity. In this work a comparative biological approach was used to analyze genetic polymorphisms of SNPs in humans and nonhuman primates based on phenotypical expressions of creativity in humans. This methodology was used to get a view of the phylogenetic dimension of this trait in the order of primates. 13 out of 50 chosen SNPs showed accelerated selection processes shared by humans and nonhuman primates. The results of this study confirmed the assumption that phenotypical expression of creativity is a genetically inherited feature in primates. It is suggested that such a phylogenetic approach justifies a consideration of teaching creativity in higher education. It is suggested that creativity represents an old trait in primates because the most distant relative primate used in this study diverged 25 Mya ago from humans.