Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

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



How Are Students Motivated for Learning Multidisciplinary Field: Biomedical Engineering?
Shigehiro Hashimoto
Pages: 1-6
The academic field has been divided into each specialized field. Many problems in global society (including Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)) cannot be solved by the single disciplinarian. They are waiting for the multidisciplinarian. For students, it is not easy to find the way to learn a multidisciplinary field: the curriculum, the textbook, the learning team, and the teacher (adviser). “Biomedical Engineering” is one of the multidisciplinary fields, which have many related fields: biology, medicine, informatics, and engineering. The topic includes case studies (education for freshman, undergraduate, master’s and doctoral courses) based on the author’s experiences. “Finding related subjects to the case study” is effective to motivate students to learn the multidisciplinary field. Multidisciplinary group activities are effective for students to find innovative ideas for multidisciplinary topics. Multidisciplinary conferences give students opportunities to improve their communication ability. Multidisciplinarians are necessary to make bridges over the barrier between global problems.

A Man-Machine Synergy Integrated Approach for Homeland Protection
Mario La Manna
Pages: 7-12
A Homeland Protection system is a complex system or, according to a multidisciplinary terminology, a system of systems. Examples of systems of systems are: communication systems, transportation systems, energy grids, border control systems, vessel traffic systems, civilian emergency systems, security systems, etc. A system of systems is made of individual elements with multi-faceted interconnections with each other and with the external environment. Such systems cannot be studied by a simple decomposition into a number of small parts or units, as they present patterns and outcomes, which are not present in individual elements. An advanced security system for Homeland Protection is constituted of a set of sensory elements, enhanced by artificial intelligence, and on human agent/intelligence elements, cooperating with each other. From the examination of some case studies, we demonstrate that a man-machine synergy integrated approach is particularly suited to enhance the security level in Homeland Protection tasks.

Assistive Technologies: Companion or Controller? – Appropriation Instead of Instruction
Tina Haase, Wilhelm Termath, Dirk Berndt, Michael Dick
Pages: 13-18
Assistive digital technologies support employees in coping with complex activities by providing the necessary infor-mation directly related to the work task and according to the individual requirements. On the one hand, they have the potential to relieve people at work, for example by sup-porting physical assistance systems in physically demand-ing activities. Cognitive assistance systems can achieve re-lief by preparing complex data in a way that is comprehen-sible to the employee and supporting him in carrying out his work and in making decisions. On the other hand, as-sistance systems can lead to expropriation and alienation by depriving employees of autonomy and room for maneu-ver. This happens especially when the distribution of roles between the working person and the assistance system only provides the executive role for the human being and all decisions are determined by a technical system that sup-posedly has the greater stock of knowledge and intelli-gence.

The question arises as to how a digital cognitive assistance system can help people to experience themselves as self-effective in their work and to develop further.

What Traditional Apprenticeship Principles Can Teach Us about Active Learning
Steven Ehrlick
Pages: 19-24
Active learning has recently become a popular pedagogical tool, however, its antecedents stretch back to antiquity. While any non-lecture activity will positively affect student attention spans [1], mere activity alone is not sufficient to inspire students to engage in deep learning. An active learning module should further course learning outcomes, and foster critical thinking [2] and be perceived by students as a link between these classroom activities and the skill set they must acquire for their futures in the workforce [3] Apprenticeship is also a model of learning that transcends its application to vocational training, having been used in areas as divergent as law, medicine, culinary arts and media production [4, 5]. As a model of learning, apprenticeship can be framed by four guiding dimensions – pedagogical, occupational, locational and social [6]. This paper draws upon these four principles to provide a conceptual framework for active learning activities in higher education, which may be of use to all instructors but especially those charged with teaching students 21st century skills.

Constructive Dialogs – Systemic Interdependencies of Associating and Disassociating Communication
Philipp Belcredi, Tilia Stingl De Vasconcelos Guedes
Pages: 25-30
If you have ever tried to follow a discussion on a controversial topic on any social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed that even the smallest deviation from the majority opinion can lead to the exclusion of the person from the ongoing discussion.

Terms like cancel culture, online bashing, Twitter storm, etc., also describe this kind of disassociating communication. However, every ostracism decreases the size of the remaining in-group, to the point where society could end up fragmented into multitudes of small social systems.

On one hand, a democratic society in which a dialog is only possible in smaller units tends to be far more complex and thus far less capable of acting than a society that favors a broader discourse. On the other hand, social interaction that allows and incorporates many different opinions, views, propositions, and conclusions seems to require a large effort. For an open-minded discourse to succeed, our communication shall transcend both the content dialog (first-order) and the meta-dialog (second-order) so as to set the dialog in relation to its context.

In this paper we spotlight the differences between associating and disassociating communication. We also use the viewpoint of social systems theory to explore not only answers to questions about the consequences of avoiding responsibility for the quality of our dialogs, but also the solutions a distinction-based approach offers to communication challenges.

The Humanistic Transfer as a Novel Approach for a Multidisciplinary Convergence
Luigi Serra
Pages: 31-41
In this plenary keynote address we will discuss the transversal role of informatics in the humanities and social sciences and the challenges of fostering an intersection or relationship between hard and soft sciences. I propose a vision based on my life experience as an IT Engineer working in a History Institute and aim to give some food for thought on what I have called, coining a neologism, “Humanistic Transfer”. This concept, developed as an analogy of “Technological Transfer”, could be an interesting and potentially important topic to start a dialog (including Dialectics) at the conference. I will give an overview, as an example, of my peer reviewed paper presented at the 18th EISTA 2020© in the context of 14th IMSCI 2020©, on an ancient Sardinian and Mediterranean traditional hand game as a case study highlighting how the role of technicians can be applied to the humanities. I will report on other contributions concerning the enhancement of cultural heritage through innovative technological solutions I have developed and presented at previous international conferences and share other memorable experiences.

Does Multidisciplinary Learning Help Global Problem: Covid-19 by Biomedical Engineering?
Shigehiro Hashimoto
Pages: 42-49
The academic field has been divided into each specialized field. Many problems in global society (including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)) cannot be solved by the single disciplinarian. They are waiting for the multi-disciplinarian. For students, it is not easy to find the way to learn a multidisciplinary field: the curriculum, the textbook, the learning team, and the teacher (the adviser). “Biomedical Engineering” is one of the multidisciplinary fields. It has many related fields: biology, medicine, informatics, and engineering. The topic includes case studies (education for the undergraduate, and the graduate courses) based on the author’s experiences. Finding related subjects to case studies are effective to motivate students to learn in the multidisciplinary field. Multidisciplinary conferences give students opportunities to improve their communication ability. Inter-disciplinarians are necessary to make bridges over the barrier between global problems.

Educating for the Future – Cultivating Practical Wisdom in Education
Maria Jakubik
Pages: 50-54
Education is unimaginable without human virtues such as wisdom (prudence), courage (fortitude), moderation (temperance), and justice (liberty). Wisdom as a leading virtue aims to achieve human excellence and the common good, not only for individuals but for all of humanity. In this paper, I seek to answer the question: “How can education cultivate practical wisdom in thinking, feelings, and in the actions of future generations?” With the practice ecosystem framework, I will present two models: one that incorporates the key features of practical wisdom, and another one that shows how they could manifest themselves in education. The paper calls for the increased responsibility of educators and educational institutions in enhancing future generations’ capacity for actions guided by practical wisdom. It calls for integrating moral values, ethical decisions, and altruism into education in order to make practical wisdom present in the everyday practices of future generations.

Cybernetics as Art
Sukjin Kang
Pages: 55-60
This paper explores cybernetics as art as well as science. Aesthetics of cybernetics are found in harmony and joyfulness with increasing choice and creativity. Cybernetics is based upon rhythm, change, mutual respect and love, all of which can be found in artistic masterpieces. Reflective and reflexive wisdom generate delight and joy in learning and practices. A cybernetic relationship can be expanded to the cosmic scales of harmony with aesthetical and ethical manifestations of art in a higher order.

Development and Evolution of Agile – Changes in a World of Change
Thomas J. Marlowe, Vassilka Kirova, Garett Chang, Omer Hashmi, Stephen P. Masticola
Pages: 61-72
Agile software development is an approach first codified in the Agile Manifesto in 2001. This was a statement of core values that became associated with a set of principles and practices. Key ideas include early and constant customer involvement, self-organizing teams that embrace change, rapid delivery of value, short timeboxed iterations coordinated by a shared list of items—a product backlog and driven by user stories and use cases, clean code, test-driven development, and continuous integration. The values, principles, and practices have permeated the technical and business world, translated and modified to fit many domains, affecting both production and management. But as with any good idea, agility can be misinterpreted, or used when inappropriate. Even a proper implementation must be tempered with good understanding of the domain, overall context, and appropriateness of selected agile practices, and modified to fit the enterprise, the domain, and the problem. In this paper, we briefly trace the evolution of agile methods, placing them within a wider organizational framework, and offer guidelines for their use.

Back to Basics: Towards Building Societal Resilience Against a Cyber Pandemic
Eliana Stavrou
Pages: 73-80
Cybersecurity experts have long been discussing the potential of a cyber pandemic leading to a massive disruption of ICT operations with a devastating societal impact. Even though society has not faced yet the full potential of a cyber pandemic, the recent COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how a cyber pandemic can look like at its initial stages. Unfortunately, citizens proofed to be unprepared to handle the COVID-19 threat landscape and how fast cyber-attacks escalated at a global scale targeting individuals, corporations, and governments, all at once. This clearly demonstrates that society, at a global scale, is not adequately prepared to defend against a cyber pandemic, despite all the efforts of the cybersecurity community. Cybersecurity awareness and training efforts have been delivered as part of a national or corporate cybersecurity strategy, aiming to promote a cyber hygiene and enhance protection against cyber-attacks on an individual, a corporate, or a national level. The current level of citizens’ cybersecurity awareness is not yet the desired and actions need to be taken to upscale it. Thus, it is time to take a step back to identify what is missing from current awareness efforts and reconsider how people learn. This knowledge can drive the redesign of the national and corporate cybersecurity awareness activities, effectively building citizens’ cyber skills and knowledge, and leading to the development of robust cyber resilient societies, capable of defending and withstanding a future cyber pandemic.

Interventions to Improve Cognitive Presence and Student Performance in the Age of COVID-19
Madhumita Banerjee, Joy Wolf, Suresh Chalasani
Pages: 81-89
With universities offering predominantly online versions of courses in response to the global impacts of COVID-19, this fundamentally altered educational landscape calls for stronger emphasis on improvement of student learning in virtual environments. The Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework is a well-known model that includes three dimensions which influence teaching and learning effectiveness in the online classroom: social presence, teaching presence and cognitive presence. In this paper, strategies to implement and improve cognitive presence are discussed. Quantitative assessments of student performance are presented prior to, and post implementation of strategies intended to enhance cognitive presence. Additionally, implementations of qualitative strategies aimed at developing cognitive presence in the online classroom are presented. Examples of instructional techniques used to help students achieve learning objectives from courses in business, physical science, and social science are examined. The objective of this paper is to present simple yet effective strategies that may be used to promote student engagement and facilitate learning of complex concepts in virtual environments.

Integrated Culture – What the Merging Dynamics of Human and Internet Mean for our Global Future
Michael J. Savoie
Pages: 90-92
Researchers have often treated modularity and integration as mutually-exclusive. A module was defined as a stand-alone system, whereas integration required a single ecosystem. Today, however, we recognize that ecosystems often contain independent modules that are interrelated to create the system. Much like land, sea and air combine to create a livable planet, we are seeing a similar symbiosis occur between man and machine, with the internet as the connector of the independent human modules. Technology has become such an integral part of our daily lives that our culture – who we are as individuals and a society - is being affected. As we continue to create devices that blur the line between what is “us” and what is “the internet,” the idea of symbiosis – the merging of human and internet - becomes more and more real. What we are witnessing today is the melding of human creativity with the common platform of the internet protocol (IP) creating a unique global culture. This new ecosystem of man and machine is what is called Integrated Culture, and is the focus on this paper.

Concept Mapping and Knowledge Modeling: A Multi-Disciplinary Educational, Informational, and Communication Technology
John W. Coffey
Pages: 93-99
Concept maps are useful in many disciplines for the representation and communication of structured knowledge. This article contains a description of concept mapping and knowledge modeling based upon concept maps that are used for a variety of purposes. It describes applications of concept mapping and knowledge modeling for education, for knowledge preservation and sharing, for knowledge creation, as an efficient means of creating documentation, and for the creation of knowledge formalisms from informal knowledge representations. Examples are drawn from several different knowledge domains.

The Methods They Are a Changing!
Steinar Killi
Pages: 100-105
Well-known teaching methods are altered by technology and social change. Three methods are exemplified and discussed; learning through frustration, teaching the teacher and simulation. The primary focus has been on how these changes have impacted the teaching methodologies, also how day-to-day learning can be altered. A secondary focus has been on the importance of timing in teaching planning.

Integration of Inquiry-Based Learning with Real -World Problem-Solving
Suzanne K. Lunsford
Pages: 106-109
Our chemistry courses are focused on developing real-world problem solving skills. These real-world problem skills developed in our laboratory and field trips require students to acquire knowledge as researching the question to solve accordingly. As stated by Arthur L. Costa ““The critical attribute of intelligent human beings is not only having information but also knowing how to act on it.” Our Inquiry-based activities/labs/field trips are organized, open-ended approach that promotes creativity, design of experiment, with testing and analysis which lead to solving the problem. Our students utilize inquiry-based learning skills and gather, critique, analyze, and interpret information; create working theories; pose new questions; bring forward evidence; integrate new technology to solve the problem. The main steps to successful IBL module involves 1) professor needs to start with a question , problem-based question; 2) students need to design a plan for the project; 3) students need to create a scheduled plan; 4) professor needs to facilitate the students; 5) professor needs to assess the outcomes and possibly continue the facilitation process; 6) professor needs to evaluate the experiences and how to improve the experience (reflection time). This paper will discuss the novel inquiry-based labs developed and discuss the pre- and post-test analysis data to illustrate the content gains in our chemistry courses. These novel inquiry-based labs require each student to obtain a different project/problem to solve. The novel aspect has prevented cheating and requires students to become independent thinkers and not looking for the answers on-line or from previous students that have taken the chemistry course in the past. The IBL example will be detection of acetaminophen, ascorbic acid and caffeine without the need to prior separation using a novel electrode sensor.

Contemporary Issues in the Interdisciplinary Research: Smartphone Computing Research
Wen-Chen Hu, Benu Bensal, Naima Kaabouch
Pages: 110-117
Smartphones have become extremely popular in these days. People use smartphones to perform their daily activities like making phone calls, sending short messages, connecting with others, and browsing the mobile Internet. Although smartphones are indispensable devices, people are not familiar with how they are made of, how they function, and how capable they could be. It is because smartphones are intrinsically complicated and smartphone computing is related to several separate subjects such as mobile computing, mobile data management, and mobile payment and security. This article tries to fill the gap by giving an insight on smartphones including four themes: (i) smartphone status, which gives the current status of smartphones, (ii) smartphone anatomy, which shows the internal structures of smartphones, (iii) smartphone computing, which introduces smartphone app development, and (iv) current issues of smartphone computing research. Finally, further information for more smartphone-computing research will also be given.

Digital Privacy in the Mainstream of Education
Lorayne Robertson, William Muirhead
Pages: 118-125
Concerns about digital privacy are so ubiquitous that they have become part of the wallpaper of life, but the implications of large data and predictive analytics on privacy merit serious scholarly attention. Recently, a colleague recounted that he had purchased potato chips at a store with cash and was surprised the next day to be targeted with advertisements for the same chips on his home computing device. This anecdote encapsulates nicely the developments with digital privacy and surveillance in a world where the consumer is not aware of the hidden workings of corporate surveillance. North America in particular has entered into an era where the private human experience is being captured through digital devices, with or without permission, and sold for profit.

The reality is that neither policy nor education has kept pace with these digital developments, to the point that vast amounts of data are collected, synthesized, and sold without the consumer’s express permission or cognizance. Data are captured continuously from smart devices and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage, documenting individuals’ locations and preferences. Many personal elements of life are voluntarily shared online such as heart rate and sleep habits. The “creep” of data collected with and without permission is greater than most people realize.

The educational implications of this surveillance need to be explored. Parents, students, educational leaders, and the general public have a right to know how digital surveillance works and the implications for predictive analytics on their futures and their decision-making in a democratic society. Policy gaps are evident surrounding digital privacy and education. More critical, interdisciplinary approaches to policy analysis are needed in education, guided by a critical policy analysis framework that interrogates all aspects of policy related to this emerging issue.

Drones at Our Service
Mohammad Ilyas
Pages: 126-131
Drones have been of interest over the past several decades and the level of interest, including research interest, has been steadily growing. Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). With the technological advances in hardware, software, and communication technologies, the size of drones has been shrinking. In addition, the prices of drones have been dropping. These two factors alone have paved the way for many applications of drones in many areas including healthcare, energy, agriculture, transportation, public service, search and rescue operations, and many more. Some of the applications may require a group of drones to work together as a team in a coordinated manner. Drone operations in a group environment require sophistication, being smart, and in many cases being autonomous. A deeper view of drone operations indicates that the opportunities and emerging applications of drones have a clear component of service to us. This paper discusses some of the typical applications of drones and the service aspects of these applications that they provide to us. The paper also discusses the role of artificial intelligence in smart operations of drones.

Opportunities and Challenges from the Milestones of Information Technology (IT)
Benu Bansal, Wen-Chen Hu, Naima Kaabouch
Pages: 132-137
Information technology (IT) is to use computing equipment such as computers and smartphones to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information. It may be the most widely used technology nowadays because no other technologies affect our daily lives as the IT does. At the same time, the IT brings a plethora of opportunities like new jobs and challenges such as digital divide with it. People do not want to miss the opportunities and like to well prepare for the challenges, but it is not easy to foresee the opportunities and challenges. However, just like the history repeating itself all the time, the same can be applied to the IT as each IT milestone creates many new opportunities and challenges. This article first reviews the previous IT milestones and their corresponding opportunities and challenges, and then tries to predict the upcoming IT milestone and its opportunities and challenges based on the previous milestones. Therefore, readers can prepare themselves for the opportunities and challenges when the next IT milestone happens.