Projects Supported by Fukushima Prefectural Foundation 2003

1.Principal Investigator: Nikolay Mirenkov

Title: A subsystem of multimedia hierogly phliteracy within F-communication system and it`s usability testing

An experimental F-Literacy system has been developed to support mentally disable people and children in increasing their vocabulary and ability to manipulate with multimedia hieroglyphs and understand the hieroglyph meaning. Usability testing has been demonstrated in five schools, an education center, a special education group at a board of education, a community workshop related to the disabled, and a welfare department of a junior college. Totally about 100 teachers, parents, and professors positively evaluated our system. We successfully demonstrated the system at three exhibitions including Universal Design-2003 in Koriyama where our system were very popular among children and we were awarded by First Prize in section "Education." It is also important to mention ATAC-2003 conference in Kyoto, where about 460 persons visited our booth and 20our system.

Amount: ¥1,600,000

2.Principal Investigator: Lukas Pichl

Title: Aizu Circle in Science and Education for Fukushima Prefecture

Aizu Circle in Science and Education for Fukushima Prefecture aimed at contributing to local areas and local education. Contributing to high school education in science, awebsite ofcommented physics applets in Japanesewas created, lectures on mathematics given in Asaka High School in Koriyama, and a set of ten problems prepared for the prefectural high school programmingcontest. Cooperation of prefectural institutionswaspromotedby giving project lectures in theFukushimaMedical University(UBIC forum), Symposium of Three Universities inKoriyama,andorganizinga joint research forum with the Junior College of the University of Aizu and RIKEN. Research part focused on developing computer simulation codes for biolipid membranes, electronic structure properties of proteins, and dynamics of membrane fusion process.

Amount: ¥600,000

3.Principal Investigator: Maxim Ryzhii

Title: Internet magazine for popularization of physics and mathematics

Amount: ¥1,400,000

4.Principal Investigator: Hiroyuki Sagawa

Title: Subjective for physics exercise class

We performed the research of "Objective Education Method in Physics" in this fiscal year and obtained the following achievement. Firstly, we developed the tools to demonstrate the basic concepts of mechanics and electromagnetism: 1) experimental tools to demonstrate electrostatic forces; 2)experimental tools to demonstrate action and anti-action by using superballs; 3) experimental tools to demonstrate angular momentum by using wheels; 4) spectra decomposition tool by using diffraction lattice; 5) a tool to demonstrate Eddy current in conductors. We use time to time these tools in the classes of mechanics and electromagnetism. We also made manuals for virtual experiments by using computers and employ it the exercise classes. Secondly, we wrote a book of quantum computer information for advanced classes and published it by Springer-Verlag Tokyo Co. Ltd.

Amount: ¥1,200,000

5.Principal Investigator: Taro Suzuki

Title: Seminar on data structure and algorithm for high school students

The purpose of the seminar is to teach data structures and algorithm, which are basic and indispensable to solve problems set in 'the first personal computer contest for high school students'. I prepared 11 PowerPoint slides, 11 hand-outs, and over 100 quizzes for the seminar. I also trained 9 students from our university as lecturers of the seminar. The seminar was held for five days on August at the following three sites: Iwaki, Koriyama and Aizu Wakamatsu. Fifty nine high school students attended the seminar.

Amount: ¥1,000,000

6.Principal Investigator: Hirohide Demura

Title: Development of3D digital archiving system for Aizu lacquerware manufacturing processes

This research was inspired by a requirement of Aizu Lacquerware Cooperative union, "How to archive the traditional skills and arts for future craft persons". After interviewing them, a goal was set to capture Aizu-lacqureware's traditional skills and arts in 3D as teaching materials. Because usual 2D records (films) are insuAEcient to acquire the techniques, a new systematic way of 3D data sampling and displaying is desired. This new 3D capturing system must be arranged without any disturbance of a small working space peculiar to lacqureware craft persons. The first goal is to establish a capturing system with multi-pairs of stereo scopic cameras. Next goal is to grasp timing of coating quantitatively. The result of the research was orally presented at the Tohoku Branch Technical meeting, Information Processing Society of Japan (2004 March, Yamagata Univ., JAPAN): "3D recording system for Aizu lacquerware craftworks", M. Honda, T. Hasome, C. Saito, H. Demura, and N. Asada; "Fixation of Japanese lacquer: an application to photometric image processing for inheritance of Aizu Lacquer craftsmanship", H. Mizuno, H. Demura, and N. Asada.

Amount: ¥1,400,000

7.Principal Investigator: Alexander Vazhenin

Title: WEB-based Environment for Programming and Distance Learning

The goal of this project is in research and developing basic elements of the WEB-oriented System supporting different strategies of Programming and Distance Learning. The system was created as an extension of the W4AP server based on well-distributed data transfer protocols as well as WWW-interface being accessible from any standard browser. The software designed has the unified style for different programming platforms, special tools controlling the program implementation and verification, flexible environment providing different types of exercise scenes as well as collaboration between students and teachers including testing and questions/answers exchanges. It supports the user's authorization and has a special multi-language interface simplifying computer/human interactions. Message exchange subsystem was designed supporting effective collaboration between students and teachers. A set of templates for physics and mathematics problems and exercises was designed excluding programming process but requiring results submission and verification. These templates are based on a special interface allowing to input/verify/calculate formulas. These formulas can include not only text but also multimedia/visual objects. The one of the important part of this project was in organizing and providing the ACM/ICPC contest including an optimization of individual ergonomics workplace parameters as well as a placement together of a big number of such workplaces in a limited room space.

Amount: ¥1,000,000Y

8.Principal Investigator: Masahide Sugiyama

Title: Development of UNIX/Linux based Video Caption Player

During seven years from 1997 we developed VC Player for audio handicapped people, and in 2003 we developed the prototype of its UNIX version Player. Using the Player we can develop our university education support system both for audio handicapped and foreign students.

Amount: ¥1,400,000

9.Principal Investigator: Mohamed Hamada

Title: Designing visual tools for CS education

In this project we introduced some visual tools for computer science classes. Namely we introduced a Finite Automaton Simulator that can be used in the "Automata and Formal Language" class. We also introduced a set of visual examples. Our simulator and examples are written as a web-based applications to enable students to study anywhere anytime.

Amount: ¥700,000

10.Principal Investigator: Stephen Lambacher

Title: Research on Muscle Movement of the Face When Pronouncing English Semi-vowels and Vowels

When Japanese students pronounce English, they utilize the same muscles as when they pronounce Japanese. However, Japanese muscle movement is centralized when they pronounce English, while English native speakers' muscle movement is decentralized. As a result, native English speakers obviously use very dynamic mouth movement. Traditionally, pronunciation teachers used videos which showed the speaker's face from the front so that learners can easily see their muscle movement; however, it is very diAEcult to perceive muscle movement precisely. Presenting 3D muscle movements will be very beneficial to learners because they will know exactly which facial muscles are used when pronouncing a specific sound. The target English sounds of this project consisted of the semi-vowel [r] sound in the initial, middle, and final positions, as well as all 13 American English vowels. All of the muscle movements are shown from beginning to end of the target sounds. The overall purpose and goal of this project was to collect muscle movement speech data from native English speakers by using Links digiworks Capture System. Muscle movements of the data were made visible using the facial capture software "Face Station 2." Mouth movements is shown from one side of the face around to the front and then back to the other side of the face. 3D muscle movements of a face while pronouncing English sounds was created.

Amount: ¥600,000

11.Principal Investigator: Vitaly Klyuev

Title: Compiling and Keeping up-to-date Very Large Topic-Specific Data from the Internet

General purpose search engines like Google and AlltheWeb are playing a significant role in finding starting points on the net to search for detailed information to answer user queries. To make these steps easier for people, topic-specific search engines can be helpful. These search engines have to be tools to sort out the chaotic world of electronic documents on the net. They are becoming popular in learning from the Web. Such tools are important for university students. The core of any search engine is a collection of documents consisting of the links to the Internet locations of the documents themselves. How to create it: by hand or automatically? In this research, we have demonstrated an eAEcient semi-automatic style. A large Japanese collection of algorithms and their applications consisting of more than 70000 itemswas compiledfromthe Internet. Newindexingtechniqueand similarity metrics for Japanese documents was created. We found that their usage to make a decision about relevance of crawled documents was effective. It made possible the reduction of human intervention in the checking process of discovered data. Proposed metrics can be useful in compiling such data from the net. The aforementioned collection was incorporated into the OASIS search system. We are working now to make it accessible to the public. The main results of our researchwere published in a journal paper and presented at two international conferences.

Amount: ¥1,200,000

12.Principal Investigator: Steven Tripp

Title: Word Net Dictionary Interface

Several years ago I created a computer-based language-learning tool called Verb Machine. This CGI allowed language learners to set several parameters and see sentences create online. This software used only about 50 highly frequent verbs. WordNet is a hierarchical digital dictionary arranged as a lexical inheritance system containing about 10,000 verbs. The WordNet database also contains grammatical and lexical information about the verbs that can be extracted and re-purposed. The object of this research is to create a highly expanded Verb Machine and to test this interface with actual learners. Prototype versions are being tested.

Amount: ¥1,000,000

13.Principal Investigator: Qiangfu Zhao

Title: Development of learnable and comprehensible mobile robots

The purpose of this research is to introduce the learning and understanding ability into mobile robots so that they can learn and grow-up autonomously in an unknown environment. The robot considered in this study is the minirobot Khepera. The problem is to ??nd a robot that can go towards a given goal (a light source) while avoiding obstacles. The information used by the robot for making decisions is provided by 8 infrared sensors and 8 light sensors. Human interruption is not allowed during learning. For this purpose, we proposed a genetic algorithm that can result in good robots evolutionally. If the fitness is properly defined, the robots so obtained can have very good generalization ability. That is, the robot can go towards the goal from many different start points even if these start points are not used during learning.

Amount: ¥500,000

14.Principal Investigator: Ken Nakazawa

Title: Program development for exercise adoption and maintenance in Aizuwakamatsu City

Amount: ¥1,400,000