Research

Recently, well-known organizations and initiatives indicate the importance of learning to code from basic education to higher levels of training. This has raised interest in research on new methodologies and teaching practices in Computer Science. Much of my work and research focus on the human-centred approaches in the use of games to teaching various Computer Science topics including programming.

Our results show that the use of games in learning has been effective in some topics and it can make positive changes in the world. However we still need to research how to effectively introduce and use the new educational technologies in the classroom.

I also have interest and experience in others emerging research fields. Highlight to educational robotics using Arduino focusing on smart homes, Internet of Things and motions sensors. Another research field can be identified in my previous works that includes artificial intelligence for time series forecasting, character recognition, and prediction of soccer match results.

Our research lab

Interests

  • Games-Based Learning and Gamification
  • Computer Science Education
  • Artificial Intelligence in Education
  • Educational Robotics
  • Emerging Educational Technologies
  • Internet of Things and Smart Homes

Research Projects

  • Neural Network-Based Stock Market Forecast and Pattern Comparison (2019-Present)

    A stock price pattern recognition approach based on the artificial neural network.

    Recent studies show that stock patterns may imply useful information for forecasting stock prices. Patterns underlying price time series cannot be exhaustively discovered by pure human power in a limited time, so the computational algorithm for recognizing stock price patterns becomes increasingly popular. Currently, there are mainly two types of stock price pattern recognition algorithms: the rule matching algorithm and the model matching algorithm. However, both algorithms require the participation of domain experts as well as a lack of learning ability. To address these problems, this project proposes a stock price pattern recognition approach based on the artificial neural network. One hypothesis is that the neural network can effectively learn pattern characteristics and accurately recognize patterns.

    Status: In progress.

    Type: Research.

    Students involved: Joubert J. V. Lelis.

     

  • The research game (2018-Present)

    An online game for learning about conducting research projects.

    This research project aims at concept design and development of an online game with educational objectives to learn concepts and practices useful in conducting a research project. Initially, it will be a board game similar to Snakes and Ladders, but tailored with additional features to make it focused on research and dependent on skill and judgment, rather than luck and randomness. Through the game, students learn the essential components of a successful qualitative research project: research question, proposal design, ethical approval, methods for fieldwork, analysis, writing and referencing.

    Status: In progress.

    Type: Research.

    Students involved: Erick S. Almeida, Melquisedeque M. Silva.

    Image credits to UTC Library.

  • SQL planet adventures (2018-Present)

    Comic-based online game for learning SQL.

    This research project aims at concept design and development of an online game with educational objectives to help students apply concepts as taught in database lectures. Our goal is to develop a new type of educational game, namely a combination of classic programming tutorials and comic-based adventure games. In the game students can learn the essential concepts of SQL language through the game that provides a step-by-step overview and instructions that help get started with the SQL.

    Status: In progress.

    Type: Research.

    Students involved: Aurélio P. N. Filho.

  • Physics RPG game (2017-2019)

    A RPG game to stimulate learning of Physics.

    The original idea for this projects belongs to one of my students. This projects refers to the use of RPG game as a learning object for the awareness and contextualization of the learning of Physics, in the scope of High School. Learning Physics enables students to observe the changes that occur in the environment, thus improving their understanding of the contents.

    Since it is the teacher who has the responsability to choose the methodology that allows the reflection and a critical understanding about the reality in which the student is inserted, it is proposed that one of the viable ways of working the learning of Physics is to contextualize the subjects using an learning object, such as educational software based on RPG game.

    We hope as results from this work, that the use of this tool can make the class more interesting, contextualized and easy to understand on subjects related to Physics.

    Status: Completed.

    Type: Research.

    Students involved: Laura B. Freitas, Aurélio P. N. Filho, Maria F. N. Gouveia.

    Others researchers involved: João B. Oliveira.

  • Framework for Games-Based Construction Learning (2014-2017)

    A framework for games-based construction learning with a text-based programming languages approach.

    This project is related to my doctoral research and dissertation. The use of games in learning and training is advocated and supported by many researchers due to its motivational and attractive features.

    This study focuses on an approach that supports the use of learning methodologies based on constructionist activities.

    Therefore, a pedagogical framework is proposed to guide lecturers who teach programming on how to integrate games-based learning to present coding concepts in the context of familiar real-world applications like computer games development.

    The framework is supported by motivational and attractive game features in conjunction with the authentic and meaningful aspects of constructionist activities for Games-Based Construction Learning (GBCL).

    Status: Completed.

    Type: Research.

  • Digital tensiometer for irrigation automation (2013-2014)

    Development of a digital tensiometer for irrigation automation.

    Irrigation is an important tool in optimizing production and improving the quality of agricultural products. However, it is necessary criteria in the use of water resources and energy expenditure in the process.

    This work proposes the development of a digital tensiometer to be used in automatic systems of irrigation management, where through a microcontroller and a set of special sensors it is possible to measure soil moisture.

    See the local news TV video in Portuguese-only.

    Status: Completed.

    Type: Research.

    Students involved: Rodrigo P. Costa, Daruick F. S. Cunha.

    Others researchers involved: Ailton L. D. S. Junior, Rodrigo G. Martins.

  • Kinect + Arduino (2012-2014)

    Use a motion sensor to remotely control robotic structures.

    This project presents a scientific research for development of a natural interface for remote control of robotic structures. This interface proposed to be used as a tool for social inclusion of people with physical disabilities. In development we use (a) a sensor body movements; (b) a structure in the form of a robotic mechanical arm; and (c) a software for communication between the motion sensor and the robot arm.

    Experiments were performed to verify the appropriateness of that interface, to identify possible failures, and to implement improvements. The experimental results have shown that the interface works properly without big changes.

    See the local news TV video in Portuguese-only.

    Status: Completed.

    Type: Research.

    Students involved: Lucas F. Moura, Erick H. S. Nunes, Marcelo O. Filho.

    Others researchers involved: Ailton L. D. S. Junior, Rodrigo G. Martins.

  • Artificial Neural Networks applications (2012-2013)

    Some applications of artificial neural networks to solve various problems.

    The area of ​​Artificial Intelligence (AI) is in full development and is the focus of countless researches in the area of ​​computing. Its use in different types of systems is increasingly common.

    Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) is a part of computational intelligence. Its purpose is to simulate the behavior of a network of natural neurons using artificial neurons.

    The object is justified by the attempt to consolidate with the student concepts studied in the curricular units of programming creating an environment closer to their reality. In addition, because it is the reproduction of an artificial intelligence environment, it will contribute to a better theoretical and technical formation of the student.

    Goals
    The objective of the project is to use ANN to develop different AI systems capable of: a) forecast meteorological data based on historical data; b) serve as a basis for future applications such as climate or financial time series behavioral prediction software; c) predict soccer match results; d) perform character recognition.

    Status: Completed.

    Type: Research.

    Students involved: Lucas F. Moura, Lígia S. Mendes, Leandro G. Medeiros.

  • Cell-Casa (Smart home) (2011-2013)

    A system for remotely control residences over Internet.

    The advancement of electronics and computing made it possible to use home automation systems to create domotics, or home automation. Among the various applications of home automation include the improvement of comfort, rationing of resources, safety and assistance to people with disabilities and the elderly.

    This work describes an Internet remote control system consisting of a microcontroller, a web server and client applications. The system allows the remote control of the lighting system and other devices of the residence through a cellular or computer. The system was built using common electronic components and free software, forming a cost-effective and easy-to-deploy system. For a device with internet access, the user can manage the house through a 3D model that addresses the concepts of virtual reality or a web page. See the video in Portuguese-only.

    Status: Completed.

    Type: Research.

    Students involved: Rodrigo P. Costa, Renato F. Rissate, Lucas F. Moura.

    Others researchers involved: Ailton L. D. S. Junior, Rodrigo G. Martins.