I am in Costa Rica to attend the Second International Conference on Concept Mapping from Sept 4-7, 2006.
Conference Website: http://cmc.ihmc.us
I am also presenting a paper, co-authored by Nagarjuna, on “A Proposal to Refine Concept Mapping for Effective Science Learning“.
Our paper points out some criticisms of the traditional concept mapping technique. Though we agree with the claim that concept maps are useful in eliciting knowledge, meaningful learning, etc. we think that the effectiveness of the concept mapping method will increase if we introduce certain discipline/refinements for constructing the maps.
Concept maps are a two-dimensional representation of knowledge of a domain. Basically these are node-link diagrams and are being used for past three decades. However, as the new international standards for semantic web are being developed, the concept mapping community has seen the relevance of implementing the semantic standards into the existing concept mapping strategy. It was found that quite a number of participants in the conference touched upon the issue of formalizing the concept maps including our research paper which proposed some refinements in the existing concept maps.
As our paper proposed some refinements which is a serious issue in the concept mapping community, the organizers of the conference invited me to visit their institute in Florida, USA to further the discussion on the research work and for a possible collaboration at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (http://ihmc.us).
My paper was scheduled on the first day of the conference. The good thing about this is that as I have completed my presentation now I can relax and attend the other sessions. 🙂
Some of the people with whom I had intereting discussions were Joseph Novak, Alberto Canas, Robert Hoffman, Pat Hayes, John Coffey, Alfredo Tifi, Trish Stoddart, Tanja Kellerman, Jane Heinz-Fry, Richard Iuli, Sumitra Himangshu, Gaurav Goyal, Matthew Lange, Martin Cleaver, Andrea, Amy, Mauri Alhberg and others.
I was staying in a very economical and yet beautiful youth hostel called Gaudys Backpackers. A good coincidence was that some of the conference participants were already staying in this youth hostel and some joined us later. So we had good company and we enjoyed our stay. At the end of the conference which was free for touring, we explored some of the beatiful places in this carribean island. Costa Rica is really very beautiful.