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May 8: Presentation

Event Date: May 8, 2008
Speaker: Mireille (Mimi) Boutin
Speaker Affiliation: School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University
Sponsor: School of ENE
Time: 3:30-4:30
Location: ARMS 1109 (note room change!)
Open To: Faculty, students, staff, public
The Purdue Kiwi: a student-driven online learning tool

Mireille (Mimi) Boutin
Assistant professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University

A “kiwi” is a student-driven Internet based learning tool. In a kiwi, students post course material, questions, comments, observations, or whatever else they think is relevant to their education. In addition, students can cross-link material from within courses, from different courses, or from exterior www pages. This enables students to • work as a group to build an adaptable repository of learning material, including background material and real-world applications, • collectively learn the connections between the material of the different courses offered at Purdue as well as between the curriculum material and real-world applications. Navigating the kiwi content allows one to assimilate “knowledge in its whole complexity”, including the different ways to link the pieces of knowledge together. (For example, a lecture is merely a directed path in the kiwi graph. There are different ways to choose the path that will cover the same basic material. Students should be encouraged to try to follow different paths when studying.) The Purdue kiwi is currently situated at Although it is possible to protect certain pages, all its content is currently accessible to anybody in the world using a web browser. Anybody with a Purdue career account can login and contribute content. The current software and design is completely controlled by students. The two goals of this talk are 1) to encourage professors to use the Purdue kiwi in their classes; 2) to discuss the potential use of the Purdue Kiwi as an education research tool.

Mireille (Mimi) Boutin was born in Canada in the province of Quebec. She received the B.Sc. degree in Physics-Mathematics from the University de Montreal, and the Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis under the direction of Peter Olver. In 2001-2002, she was a visiting research scientist in the groups of David Mumford and David Cooper at Brown University. In 2002-2003, she worked in Leipzig (Germany) at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences. She joined Purdue’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2004 as an assistant professor with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Mathematics. Her research interests include database browsing, image and video processing, automatic text translation, and computational mathematics.

With Kathryn Leonard, she co-founded the Rose-Whelan Society, an organization for women graduate students and post-doctorate in mathematics/applied mathematics at Brown University. In 2007, she instigated the Kiwi Project at Purdue University. She is a member of IEEE, SPIE, the AMS and FoCM.