Chancellor Amma’s vision to provide holistic Education in K12 and higher education that integrates both life and living skills along with managing health in rural India was the inspiration for AmritaCREATE at Amrita University.

Dr. Prema Nedungadi is a founding Director at AmritaCREATE, an award winning, educational and health technology for societal benefit initiative of Amrita University, with $4.6m in research funding, 2 patents and over 54 publications.

She is recipient of the Digital India Award from the Hon’ble Minister of MeitY, in the Category – Digital Empowerment (2015). Other awards include best journal paper, IEEE Transactions in Education (2014), Best Exhibit, Kerala Science Congress (2012), IT Excellence Award for eLearning and Education, Computer Society of India, (2013).

Her research focus areas include Education & Health Systems. AmritaCREATE has pioneered technology enhanced learning for K12 Schools & Higher Education in both formal and informal settings and in Health Awareness and Monitoring Systems. Large scale projects developed and deployed across India include Amrita Rural India Tablet enhanced Education (RITE) in remote villages, Intelligent Tutoring Systems for School Education, eGovernance Systems for Schools, Big Data Analytics in Education, Health Awareness and Monitoring IoT based Systems and Simulations and CASE Based environments for Medical Education. Her prior experience includes 15 years of Software Architecture experience at Sybase Inc. and Redbrick Systems (IBM), California, USA.

Dr. Prema Nedungadi has presented Amrita’s Digital India and Sustainable Development projects at international forums such as UNESCO and the Vatican and participated as a member of MHRD’s expert committee for inputs into the use of ICT in India’s new Education Policy. The technology and methodology is deployed in 22 states across India, with impact at 4357 schools and via. 41 remote and rural village centers. The impact includes 11,000 teachers trained and 300,000+ students impacted in schools and universities.

WORK and RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

YEAR AFFILIATION
2005 - Present Director, Amrita Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education (CREATE)
Amrita University, India Visit Facebook Page »»
1998 - 2004 Founder, Successful Bay Area Consulting with focus on ERP and Internet Technologies
Clarion Technologies, California, USA
1995 - 1998 Project Manager, Red Brick Data Warehouse for Massively Parallel Systems
Redbrick Data Warehouse (acquired by IBM), California, USA
1991 - 1995 Architect, Parallel Data Server Group
Sybase Inc, USA

RESEARCH PROJECTS

  • Principal Investigator: Amrita RITE (Rural India Tablet enhanced Education)
    Funding: Amrita University
    Under Chancellor Amma’s guidance, a unique patent pending tablet technology has been developed in multiple Indian languages with the goal of providing life-changing sustainable development solutions to the disadvantaged. We work with low achieving or out of school students directly in their village settings by using after school tutoring, alternative schools and pre-schools in formal and informal settings.
    In 40 villages, Education Centers have been established, offering holistic education, blending innovative tablet technology with time tested traditional methods including academics, health awareness, social awareness, value education while taking care of their nutrition and health. Selected student Ambassadors help raise health and social awareness in the entire village.
    Impact: 22 states, 140 villages

  • Principal Investigator: eGovernance big data Analytics Platform for CBSE Schools (eGAP)
    Funding: World Bank
    Impact: Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), India with 15000+ schools in India 
    World Bank Funding for Amrita CREATE and School of Business for their eGovernance BigData Analytics Platform

  • Principal Investigator: Online Labs for School Practical Science (OLabs)
    Funding: eLearning Division, Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India
    The Online Labs (OLabs) for Science Practical Skills (Grades 9-12), offered free to schools, was developed to overcome the limitations faced by schools in India, especially rural schools, due to either insufficient time or instruments in laboratories. The OLabs projects reached a significant milestone in 2012, when it was officially endorsed by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for its 15,000 schools.
    Impact: Over 60,000 secondary school students and 4,300 teachers trained.

  • Principal Investigator: Measuring Learning
    Funding: HP Foundation, USA
    Develop methods to assess STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills including innovation, creative and higher-order thinking, global collaboration and the ability to tackle big, open-ended challenges; these are often not evaluated in schools.
    Collaboration: Carnegie Mellon University
    Impact: 28 schools with over50,000 students
    Awarded at HP-Catalyst Summit in Beijing

  • Principal Investigator: AmritaJeevanam - Health Awareness & Monitoring Platform for Rural India
    Funding: Amrita University
    ChancellorAmma’s vision to provide low cost medical devices to villagers, train them in using it and provide health awareness, monitoring and preventive education,has resulted in AmritaJeevanam, a patent pendinglow cost solution.
    Impact: Health Monitoring & Awareness in Rural India, Health Worker Training in140 villages

  • Principal Investigator: Medical Simulation (MedSim)
    Funding: eLearning Division, DeiTY, Government of India
    MedSim is an innovative Medical Simulation Serious Game Platformthat allows medical students to visualize, learn, practise and experience a variety of medical skills and procedures. We are collaborating with Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, CDAC and Trivandrum Medical College
    Impact: 200 Medical and Nursing Colleges in India

  • Principal Investigator: Continuous & Comprehensive Evaluation for Schools (CCE)
    Funding: eLearning Division, DeitY, Government of India
    Impact: Teachers and Administrators of Secondary Schools, India.

  • Co-Principal Investigator: Virtual Labs Simulation Labs for Higher Education (Physical and Chemical Sciences)
    Funding: MHRD, Government of India
    Developed over 200 virtual simulations, animations and videos in Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences and Biotechnology. Our videos selected by prestigious youtube edu channel
    Impact: Higher Education Engineering and Science students in India.

  • Principal Investigator: Career, Soft skills & Language Labs
    Funding: Amrita University
    Caree, SoftSkill & Language Labs for job readiness for university students.
    Impact: 2000 students in India.

  • Principal Investigator: Amrita Learning Systems for Schools
    Funding: Amrita University
    Amrita Learning, our flagship product, is an Intelligent Tutoring System with Science, Language Arts and Mathematics
    Impact: 35 schools with over 36,000 students in India 

  • Principal Investigator: eLiteracy & Health Awareness using tablets for Tribals in Kerala
    Funding: IT For Masses, DeitY, Government of India
    Computer and Health Awareness using Tablets
    Impact: 1000 Scheduled Tribes in Tribal areas including abused girls.

  • Principal Investigator: Scaling of OLabs
    Funding: eLearning Division, DeitY, Government of India
    Impact: 15000 schools, training of 30,000 teachers and cloud technology for 3.6 million students

ACADEMICS

TEACHING STUDENT MENTORING INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MENTORING
M. Tech. Computer Science
M. Tech. E- learning Technology
Rural Internship
Amrita Rural Internships across India
Live-in-Labs
For more details »»

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS

PATENTS

  • Filed: Two
     

CONFERENCES ORGANISED 

Publications

Publication Type: Journal Article
Year of Publication Publication Type Title
2016 Journal Article S. Dr. Diwakar, Kumar, D., Radhamani, R., Sasidharakurup, H., Nizar, N., Dr. Achuthan, K., Prema Nedungadi, Raman, R., and Bipin G. Nair Dr., “Complementing Education via Virtual Labs: Implementation and Deployment of Remote Laboratories and Usage Analysis in South Indian Villages”, International Journal of Online Engineering (iJOE), vol. 12, pp. 8–15, 2016.[Abstract]

ICT-enabled virtual and remote labs have become a platform augmenting user engagement in blended education scenarios enhancing University education in rural India. A novel trend is the use of remote laboratories as learning and teaching tools in classrooms and elsewhere. This paper reports case studies based on our deployment of 20 web-based virtual labs with more than 170+ online experiments in Biotechnology and Biomedical engineering discipline with content for undergraduate and postgraduate education. Via hands-on workshops and direct feedback using questionnaires, we studied the role of remote lab experiments as learning and teaching tools. Although less reliable than direct feedback, we also included online feedback to perceive blended and remote learning styles among various users. Student and teacher user groups suggested significant usage adaptability of experimental process and indicated usage of remote labs as supplementary tools for complementing laboratory education. Usage analysis implicated the role of online labs as interactive textbooks augmenting student interaction and positive correlates to learning. More »»
2016 Journal Article Prema Nedungadi and Raman, R., “The medical virtual patient simulator (MedVPS) platform”, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol. 384, pp. 59-67, 2016.[Abstract]

Medical Virtual Patient Simulator (MedVPS) is a cutting-edge eLearning innovation for medical and other health professionals. It consists of a framework that supports various patient cases, tailored by interdisciplinary medical teams. Each virtual patient case follows the critical path to be followed for a specific patient in a hospital. MedVPS takes the student on a journey that enables the student to interview, examine, conduct physical, systematic and ultimately reach a diagnosis based on the path that is chosen. After the interactions, the student must decide whether each response is normal or abnormal and use the virtual findings to identify multiple probable diagnoses or reexamine the virtual patient with the goal to narrow down to the correct disease and then provide treatment. We present the architecture and functionality of the MedVPS platform and include a pilot study with medical students. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016.

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2015 Journal Article R. Raman, Prema Nedungadi, V Smrithi Rekha, and Achuthan, K., “Computer Science (CS) Education in Indian Schools: Situation Analysis using Darmstadt Model”, ACM Transactions on Computing Education (IN PRESS), 2015.
2015 Journal Article R. Raman, Dr. Achuthan, K., Prema Nedungadi, Dr. Diwakar, S., and Bose, R., “The VLAB OER Experience: Modeling Potential-Adopter Students' Acceptance”, IEEE Transactions on Education, vol. 57, pp. 235–241, 2015.[Abstract]

Virtual Labs (VLAB) is a multi-institutional Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative, exclusively focused on lab experiments for engineering education. This project envisages building a large OER repository, containing over 1650 virtual experiments mapped to the engineering curriculum. The introduction of VLAB is a paradigm shift in an educational system that is slow to change. Treating VLAB OER as an educational technology innovation, its adoption by potential-adopter engineering students (N=131) is modeled based on Roger's theory of perceived attributes. Regression and factor analysis were used to analyze the data. Results indicate that the attributes of Compatibility, Ease of Use, Relative Advantage, and Trialability significantly influence potential-adopter students' intention to adopt an innovation like VLAB. The study also observed that using OER (such as VLAB) on desktops and low-cost tablets had similar effects in student performance to using physical labs. This has interesting implications for education policy-makers who are looking to reduce the digital divide.

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2014 Journal Article R. Raman, Achuthan, K., Prema Nedungadi, and Ramesh, M., “Modeling Diffusion of Blended Labs for Science Experiments Among Undergraduate Engineering Students”, Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST, vol. 135 LNICST, pp. 234-247, 2014.[Abstract]

<p>While there is large body of work examining efficacy of Virtual Labs in engineering education, studies to date have lacked modeling Blended Labs (BL) - mix of Virtual Labs (VL) and Physical Labs (PL) for science experimentation at the university engineering level. Using Rogers theory of perceived attributes, this paper provides a research framework that identifies the attributes for BL adoption in a social group comprising of (N=246) potential adopter undergraduate engineering students. Using Bass model the study also accounts for the interinfluence of related group of potential adopter faculties who are likely to exert positive influence on students. The results revealed that acceptance of BL as an innovation and its learning outcomes are strongly associated with innovation attributes like Relative Advantage, Compatibility, Ease of Use, Department and Faculty support. Learning outcomes are very positive under BL when compared to PL, though within BL, ordering of PL and VL was not significant. For certain innovation attributes gender differences were significant. Overall students expressed much more positive attitude to adopt BL model for learning than using only PL. © Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2014.</p>

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2014 Journal Article Prema Nedungadi and Remya, M. Sb, “A scalable feature selection algorithm for large datasets-quick branch & bound iterative (QBB-I)”, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol. 27, pp. 125-136, 2014.[Abstract]

Feature selection algorithms look to effectively and efficiently find an optimal subset of relevant features in the data. As the number of features and the data size increases, new methods of reducing the complexity while maintaining the goodness of the features selected are needed. We review popular feature selection algorithms such as the probabilistic search algorithm based Las Vegas Filter (LVF) and the complete search based Automatic Branch and Bound (ABB) that use the consistency measure. The hybrid Quick Branch and Bound (QBB) algorithm first runs LVF to find a smaller subset of valid features and then performs ABB with the reduced feature set. QBB is reasonably fast, robust and handles features which are interdependent, but does not work well with large data. In this paper, we propose an enhanced QBB algorithm called QBB Iterative (QBB-I).QBB-I partitions the dataset into two, and performs QBB on the first partition to find a possible feature subset. This feature subset is tested with the second partition using the consistency measure, and the inconsistent rows, if any, are added to the first partition and the process is repeated until we find the optimal feature set. Our tests with ASSISTments intelligent tutoring dataset using over 150,000 log data and other standard datasets show that QBB-I is significantly more efficient than QBB while selecting the same subset of features. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014.

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2014 Journal Article S. Diwakar, Nair, B., Sasidharakurup, H., Radhamani, R., Sujatha, G., Shekhar, A., Achuthan, K., Prema Nedungadi, and Raman, R., “Usage and Diffusion of Biotechnology Virtual Labs for Enhancing University education in India’s Urban and Rural Areas”, E-Learning as a Socio-Cultural System: A Multidimensional Analysis, pp. 63-83, 2014.[Abstract]

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-enabled virtual laboratories provide an online learning experience with the aid of computer-based instructional materials (animation, simulation, and remote-trigger experiments) for improving the active learning process. The project reported on in this chapter was set up in order to enhance university and college education, which is now becoming an advanced training environment for solving the geographical, social, and economic challenges faced in the interdisciplinary field of science education, especially in India. In order to study the role of biotechnology virtual laboratories in the current education system, a pedagogical survey, via workshops and online feedback, was carried out among several student and teacher groups of different Indian universities. This chapter reports how virtual labs in biotechnology can be used to improve teaching and learning experiences in an easy and understandable way with user interaction and how such tools serve to effectively reduce the problems of laboratory education especially in remote areas. The results obtained from user-feedback analysis suggest the use of virtual labs as a recommended component in blended education in large classroom scenarios for enhancing autonomous learning process and as an alternative to enhance lab education in geographically remote and economically challenged institutes. More »»
2014 Journal Article S. Dr. Diwakar, Parasuram, H., Medini, Ca, Raman, R., Prema Nedungadi, Wiertelak, Ed, Srivastava, Se, Dr. Achuthan, K., and Bipin G. Nair Dr., “Complementing neurophysiology education for developing countries via cost-effective virtual labs: Case studies and classroom scenarios”, Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, vol. 12, pp. A130-A139, 2014.[Abstract]

Classroom-level neuroscience experiments vary from detailed protocols involving chemical, physiological and imaging techniques to computer-based modeling. The application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is revolutionizing the current laboratory scenario in terms of active learning especially for distance education cases. Virtual web-based labs are an asset to educational institutions confronting economic issues in maintaining equipment, facilities and other conditions needed for good laboratory practice. To enhance education, we developed virtual laboratories in neuroscience and explored their first-level use in (Indian) University education in the context of developing countries. Besides using interactive animations and remotely-triggered experimental devices, a detailed mathematical simulator was implemented on a web-based software platform. In this study, we focused on the perceptions of technology adoption for a virtual neurophysiology laboratory as a new pedagogy tool for complementing college laboratory experience. The study analyses the effect of virtual labs on users assessing the relationship between cognitive, social and teaching presence. Combining feedback from learners and teachers, the study suggests enhanced motivation for students and improved teaching experience for instructors. © Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience.

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2014 Journal Article R. Raman, Prema Nedungadi, and Ramesh, M. V., “Modeling diffusion of tabletop for collaborative learning using interactive science lab simulations”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), vol. 8337 LNCS, pp. 333-340, 2014.[Abstract]

Within the context of Roger's Diffusion of Innovation theory we propose a pedagogical framework for attributes that can significantly affect student adoption of collaborative learning environment like multi-user, multi-touch tabletop. We investigated the learning outcomes of secondary school students in India collaboratively using OLabs on a tabletop (EG1 = 30) vs. individually using at desktops (EG2 = 92). We analyzed the nature of communication, touch and non-touch gesture actions, position around the tabletop, focus group interviews, and pre and post test scores. Using Bass model the study also accounts for the inter influence of related group of potential adopter teachers who are likely to exert positive influence on students. The results revealed that learning outcomes on tabletop are strongly associated with innovation attributes like Relative Advantage, Compatibility, Ease of Use, Perceived Enjoyment, Perceived usefulness and Teachers support. Overall students expressed much more positive attitude to adopt tabletop technology for learning vs. desktop. We find that the mean group performance gain is significant with collaboration using tabletop and significantly greater than the group using desktops. We also find that the group interactions with the tabletop area significant factor that contributes to the group's average performance gain. However, the total time spent in while using the tabletop is surprisingly not a significant factor in the performance gain. Our findings contribute to the design of new pedagogical models for science learning that maximizes the collaborative learning potential of tabletops. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

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2013 Journal Article R. Raman, Dr. Achuthan, K., and Prema Nedungadi, “Virtual labs in engineering education: Modeling perceived critical mass of potential adopter teachers”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), vol. 8095 LNCS, pp. 288-300, 2013.[Abstract]

Virtual labs for science experiments are a multimedia technology innovation. A possible growth pattern of the perceived critical mass for virtual labs adoption is modeled using (N=240) potential-adopter teachers based on Roger's theory of diffusion and of perceived attributes. Results indicate that perceived critical mass influences behavior intention to adopt a technology innovation like Virtual Labs and is affected by innovation characteristics like relative advantage, ease of use and compatibility. The work presented here models the potential-adopter teacher's perceptions and identifies the relative importance of specific factors that influence critical mass attainment for an innovation such as Virtual Labs.

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2012 Journal Article R. Raman, Prema Nedungadi, and , “Modelling diffusion of a personalized learning framework”, Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 60, pp. 585–600, 2012.[Abstract]

<p>A new modelling approach for diffusion of personalized learning as an educational process innovation in social group comprising adopter-teachers is proposed. An empirical analysis regarding the perception of 261 adopter-teachers from 18 schools in India about a particular personalized learning framework has been made. Based on this analysis, teacher training (TT) has been identified as one of the dominant factor which can significantly influence decision by teachers to adopt the educational innovation. Different situations corresponding to fixed and time dependent dynamic carrying capacity of potential adopter-teachers at any time have been developed. New generalized models capturing the growth dynamics of the innovation diffusion process in conjunction with the evolutionary carrying capacity of potential adopters are investigated. The coupled dynamics allows forecasting the likelihood of success or failure of new educational innovation in a given context. Different scenarios for TT are considered based on—constant growth rate model; proportional growth rate model; stratified growth rate model. The proposed modelling framework would be of great interest to education policy makers as it has the potential to predict the likelihood of success or failure of new educational innovation.</p>

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2012 Journal Article Prema Nedungadi and Raman, R., “A new approach to personalization: Integrating e-learning and m-learning”, Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 60, pp. 659-678, 2012.[Abstract]

Most personalized learning systems are designed for either personal computers (e-learning) or mobile devices (m-learning). Our research has resulted in a cloud-based adaptive learning system that incorporates mobile devices into a classroom setting. This system is fully integrated into the formative assessment process and, most importantly, coexists with the present e-learning environment. Unlike many mobile learning systems, this system provides teachers with real-time feedback about individual and group learners. Its scalable and extendable architectural framework includes the server-side pedagogical recommendation of content adaptation based on the users' knowledge-levels and preferences. Content is also automatically adapted to the end device that is being used. This context-aware delivery allows users to switch between e-learning and m-learning, and between devices, without any loss in personalized content. Our work builds on a web-based Adaptive Learning and Assessment System (ALAS) that is built on the Knowledge Space Theory model. At present, this system is used at school computer labs and our goal was to widen this user-base by enhancing this system to support personalized learning on mobile devices. This study describes our process of developing this technology, and contains an empirical analysis of students' performance, perceptions, and achievements when using ALAS on both personal computers and mobile devices. © 2012 Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

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2012 Journal Article S. Dr. Diwakar, Dr. Achuthan, K., Prema Nedungadi, and Bipin G. Nair Dr., “Biotechnology Virtual Labs: Facilitating Laboratory Access Anytime-Anywhere for Classroom Education”, Innovations in Biotechnology Edited by Dr. Eddy C. Agbo, 2012.[Abstract]

<p>Biotechnology is becoming more popular and well identified as a mainline industry.Students have shown greater interest in learning the techniques. As a discipline, biotechnology has led to new advancements in many areas. Criminal investigation has changed dramatically thanks to DNA fingerprinting. Significant advances in forensic medicine, anthropology and wildlife management have been noticed in the last few years. Biotechnology has brought out hundreds of medical diagnostic tests that keep the blood safe from infectious diseases such as HIV and also aid detection of other conditions early enough to be successfully treated.</p>

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2011 Journal Article S. Dr. Diwakar, Dr. Achuthan, K., Prema Nedungadi, and Bipin G. Nair Dr., “Enhanced facilitation of biotechnology education in developing nations via virtual labs: analysis, implementation and case-studies”, International Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering, vol. 3, pp. 1–8, 2011.[Abstract]

Methods for educating students in biotechnology require intensive training in laboratory procedures. Laboratory procedures cost Universities in terms of equipment and experienced guidance which often come short in many developing countries. Universities need revitalizing approach and well-adapted curriculum especially in terms of laboratory practice. For enhanced education at the level of University-level laboratory courses such as those in biology or biotechnology, one of the key elements is the need to allow the student to familiarize laboratory techniques in par with regular theory. The Sakshat Amrita virtual biotechnology lab project focusing on virtualizing wet-lab techniques and integrating the learning experience has added a new dimension to the regular teaching courses at the University. Establishing virtual labs requires both domain knowledge and virtualizing skills via programming, animation and device-based feedback. This paper reports a cost-effective process used in virtualizing real biotechnology labs for education at Universities. The major challenge in setting up an effective knowledge dissemination for laboratory courses was not only the scientific approach of biotechnology, but included the virtualization aspects such as usage/design scalability, deliverability efficiency, network connectivity issues, security and speed of adaptability to incorporate and update changes into existing experiments. This paper also discusses an issue-specific case-study of a functional virtual lab in biotechnology and its many issues and challenges. More »»
2011 Journal Article R. Raman, Prema Nedungadi, Dr. Achuthan, K., and Dr. Diwakar, S., “Integrating Collaboration and Accessibility for Deploying Virtual Labs using VLCAP”, International Transaction Journal of Engineering, Management, & Applied Sciences & Technologies , 2011.[Abstract]

The Virtual Labs Collaboration and Accessibility Platform (VLCAP) provides tools to further India’s National Mission project: the building of over 150 Virtual Labs (VL) for over 1450 multi-disciplinary undergraduate- and postgraduate-level experiments. VLCAP optimizes VL development and deployment costs and ensures a rich, consistent learning experience. Its multi-tier, scalable architecture allows VL builders to focus on their experiments. Its modules (VL workbench, collaborative content management, repositories) have axiomatically-designed interfaces that bring speed and efficiency to design. Its integration of user-management tasks (single sign-on, role-based access control, etc.) enhances flexibility without compromising security. The key accomplishments include its application of simulation VL and its provision of easily usable authoring tools, pre-configured templates, and management and assessment modules for instructors. VLCAP’s support of multiple deployment models, including the cloud, hosted, and mixed models, ensures scalable and reliable usage in hosted environments, and secure access for learners in remote locations.

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2011 Journal Article Prema Nedungadi and Raman, R., “Learning-Enabled Computer Assessment of Science Labs with Scaffolds Methodology”, The Technology Interface International Journal | , vol. Volume 11, Number 2 , no. Fall/Winter 2011, 2011.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Year of Publication Publication Type Title
2016 Book Chapter A. Jayakumar, Babu, G. S., Raman, R., and Prema Nedungadi, “Integrating Writing Direction and Handwriting Letter Recognition in Touch-Enabled Devices”, in Integrating Writing Direction and Handwriting Letter Recognition in Touch-Enabled Devices, vol. 380, New Delhi: Springer India, 2016, pp. 393–400.[Abstract]

Optical character recognition (OCR) transforms printed text to editable format and digital writing on smart devices. Learning to write programs has made learners trace an alphabet to learn the flow of writing and OCR by itself is less effective as it ignores the directional flow of writing and only focuses on the final image. Our research designed a unique android-based multilingual game-like writing app that enhances the writing experience. A key focus of the research was to compare and identify character recognition algorithms that are effective on low-cost android tablets with limited processing capabilities. We integrate a quadrant-based direction checking system with artificial neural networks and compare it to the existing systems. Our solution has the dual advantage of evaluating the writing direction and significantly increasing the accuracy compared to the existing systems. This program is used as the literacy tool in many villages in rural India. More »»
2015 Book Chapter Prema Nedungadi, Malini, P., and Raman, R., “Inquiry Based Learning Pedagogy for Chemistry Practical Experiments Using OLabs”, in Advances in Intelligent Informatics, Springer, 2015, pp. 633–642.[Abstract]

Our paper proposes a new pedagogical approach for learning chemistry practical experiments based on three modes of inquiry-based learning namely; structured, guided and open. Online Labs (OLabs) is a web-based learning environment for science practical experiments that include simulations, animations, tutorials and assessments. Inquiry-based learning is a pedagogy that supports student-centered learning and encourages them to think scientifically. It develops evidence based reasoning and creative problem solving skills that result in knowledge creation and higher recall. We discuss the methodology and tools that OLabs provides to enable educators to design three types of inquiry-based learning for Chemistry experiments. The integration of inquiry-based learning into OLabs is aligned with the Indian Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) goal of nurturing higher order inquiry skills for student centered and active learning. Inquiry-based OLabs pedagogy also empowers the teachers to provide differentiated instruction to the students while enhancing student interest and motivation.

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2015 Book Chapter R. Raman, Haridas, M., and Prema Nedungadi, “Blending Concept Maps with Online Labs for STEM Learning”, in Advances in Intelligent Informatics, Springer, 2015, pp. 133-141.[Abstract]

In this paper we describe the architecture of an e-learning environment that blends concept maps with Online Labs (OLabs) to enhance student performance in biology. In the Indian context, a secondary school student’s conceptual understanding of hard topics in biology is at risk because of a lack of qualified teachers and necessary equipments in labs to conduct experiments. Concept map provides a visual framework which allows students to get an overview of a concept, its various sub concepts and their relationships and linkages. OLabs with its animations, videos and simulations is an interactive, immersive approach for practicing science experiments. The blended e-learning environment was tested by systematically developing a concept map for the concept “Photosynthesis” and by successfully integrating it into the OLabs environment. Our blended approach to concept understanding has interesting implications for the teacher who is engaged in training programs.

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2014 Book Chapter Prema Nedungadi, L, J., and Raman, R., “Considering Misconceptions in Automatic Essay Scoring with A-TEST - Amrita Test Evaluation and Scoring Tool”, in e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries: 5th International Conference, AFRICOMM 2013, Blantyre, Malawi, November 25-27, 2013, Revised Selected Papers, Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2014, pp. 271–281.
Publication Type: Conference Paper
Year of Publication Publication Type Title
2015 Conference Paper Prema Nedungadi, Haridas, M., and Raman, R., “Blending concept maps with online labs (OLabs): Case study with biological science”, in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 2015, vol. 10-13-August-2015, pp. 186-190.[Abstract]

Experimental learning combined with theoretical learning enhances the conceptual understanding of a subject. Therefore, the Online Labs (OLabs) that hosts science experiments was developed. OLabs uses interactive simulations with theory, procedure, animations, videos, assessments and reference material. Our study blended OLabs with concept maps to examine if it enhances students' learning in Biology. Concept mapping is a framework that provides a deeper knowledge of a subject by understanding the relationships among concepts. The study was quasi-experimental; pre-test, post-test and a satisfaction survey was used as measurement instruments. The study sample was 54 students from a school in Haripad, Kerala, India. The students were randomly grouped into a control and an experimental group. The experimental group that used concept maps as a learning aid scored slightly higher, suggesting blending concept maps can lead to a deeper understanding of the subject. Gender difference did not significantly affect the scores. © 2015 ACM.

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2015 Conference Paper Ha Haripriya, DeviSree, Rb, Pooja, Db, and Prema Nedungadi, “A Comparative Performance Analysis of Self Organizing Maps on Weight Initializations Using different Strategies”, in Proceedings - 2015 5th International Conference on Advances in Computing and Communications, ICACC 2015, 2015, pp. 434-438.[Abstract]

Self Organizing Maps perform clustering of data based on unsupervised learning. It is of concern that initialization of the weight vector contributes significantly to the performance of SOM and since real world datasets being high-dimensional, the complexity of SOM tend to increase tremendously leading to increased time consumption as well. Our work focuses on the analysis of different weight initialization strategies and various dimensionality reduction measures with the intent to make SOM flexible for handling high-dimensional datasets. We use two methods of comparison, one on projected space and another before projection. The datasets used are real world datasets taken from UCI repository. © 2015 IEEE.

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2014 Conference Paper Prema Nedungadi, L, J., and Raman, R., “Considering Misconceptions in Automatic Essay Scoring with A-TEST - Amrita Test Evaluation & Scoring Tool”, in AFRICOMM 2013, Springer Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST) , 2014.[Abstract]

<p>In large classrooms with limited teacher time, there is a need for automatic evaluation of text answers and real-time personalized feedback during the learning process. In this paper, we discuss Amrita Test Evaluation &amp; Scoring Tool (A-TEST), a text evaluation and scoring tool that learns from course materials and from human-rater scored text answers and also directly from teacher input. We use latent semantic analysis (LSA) to identify the key concepts. While most AES systems use LSA to compare students’ responses with a set of ideal essays, this ignores learning the common misconceptions that students may have about a topic. A-TEST also uses LSA to learn misconceptions from the lowest scoring essays using this as a factor for scoring. ‘A-TEST’ was evaluated using two datasets of 1400 and 1800 pre-scored text answers that were manually scored by two teachers. The scoring accuracy and kappa scores between the derived ‘A-TEST’ model and the human raters were comparable to those between the human raters.</p>

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2014 Conference Paper J. Bhaskar, Sruthi, K., and Prema Nedungadi, “Enhanced sentiment analysis of informal textual communication in social media by considering objective words and intensifiers”, in IEEE International Conference on Recent Advances and Innovations in Engineering (ICRAIE), 2014, Jaipur, 2014.[Abstract]

Sentiment analysis is a valuable knowledge resource to understand collective sentiments from the Web and helps make better informed decisions. Sentiments may be positive, negative or objective and the method of assigning sentiment weights to terms and sentences are important factors in determining the accuracy of the sentiment classification. We use standard methods such as Natural Language Processing, Support Vector Machines and SentiWordNet lexical resource. Our work aims at improving the sentiment classification by modifying the sentiment values returned by SentiWordNet for intensifiers based on the context to the semantic of the words related to the intensifier. We also reassign some of the objective words to either positive or negative sentiment. We test our sentiment classification method with product reviews of digital cameras gathered from Amazon and ebay and shows that our method improves the prediction accuracy.

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2014 Conference Paper Prema Nedungadi and Remya, M. S., “Predicting Students’ Performance on Intelligent Tutoring System-Personalized Clustered BKT (PC-BKT) Model”, in 44th Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2014 (IN PRESS), Madrid, Spain, 2014.[Abstract]

An Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) supplements traditional learning methods and is used for personalized learning purposes that range from exploring simple examples to understanding intricate problems. The Bayesian Knowledge Tracing (BKT) model is an established method for student modeling. A recent enhancement to the BKT model is the BKT-PPS (Prior Per Student) which introduces a prior learnt for each student. Although this method demonstrates improved prediction results compared to the others, there are several aspects that limit its usefulness; (a) for a student, the prior learning is common for all skills, however in reality, it varies for each skill (b) Different students have varying learning capabilities; therefore these students cannot be considered as a homogenous group. In this paper, we aim to improve the prediction of student performance using an enhanced BKT model called the PC-BKT (Personalized & Clustered) with individual priors for each student and skill, and dynamic clustering of students based on changing learning ability. We evaluate the predictions in terms of future performance within ASSISTments intelligent tutoring dataset using over 240,000 log data and show that our models increase the accuracy of student prediction in both the general and the cold start problem.

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2014 Conference Paper R. Raman, Kv, Ub, V Smrithi Rekha, and Prema Nedungadi, “Using WebGL to implement a glass lens in Online Labs”, in 2014 7th International Conference on Contemporary Computing, IC3 2014, 2014, pp. 50-55.[Abstract]

Online Labs are revolutionizing education by offering access to content anytime and from any place. The OLabs project has had a deep impact on learning capabilities of students by providing an integrated environment that includes videos, animations, simulations and textual content. It has also helped to substitute teachers wherever there have been gaps. OLabs offers an excellent platform for the improvement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education which has been the focus of several countries in recent times. The current content in OLabs is 2 dimensional. 2D content comes with its own limitations of low accuracy and low realism and hence moving to browser based 3D representations is important to offer an enriching experience to the learner. WebGL offers the powerful capability of rendering 2D as well as 3D content in any browser without the need to install additional applications or components. With the advent of WebGL, writing 3D applications have become simpler since most details are abstracted from the programmer. New features are added almost every week in WebGL by the community making it rich and powerful. In this paper we present our work on implementing, in 3D, a convex lens experiment in OLabs Physics using WebGL and dynamic cube mapping. We propose to extend this work to more experiments in Physics and Chemistry, demonstrate it to students and measure their learning. © 2014 IEEE.

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2014 Conference Paper R. Raman, Vachhrajani, H., P Shivdas, A., and Prema Nedungadi, “Low cost tablets as disruptive educational innovation: modeling its diffusion within Indian K12 system”, in Innovations in Technology Conference (InnoTek), 2014 IEEE, 2014.[Abstract]

The world of today is not looking for innovations that are mere incremental but those that are disruptive. Aakash, the Low Cost Tablet (LCT) initiative by Indian govt. was launched in 2011 amidst dominance by the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Samsung etc. Single most objective of this initiative was affordable ICT learning tool for the 220+ million students. LCT like Aakash can be seen as a disruptive innovation from the as they are simple to use, cheap, low performing, targeted at low portion of mainstream market and focused on social sectors like education, health to increase access and equity. Within Rogers theory of Diffusion of Innovation, we propose a framework for innovation attributes that can significantly predict student and teacher behavior intentions and motivations towards LCT for use in classrooms. Authors investigate the innovation attributes for adoption of LCT in a social group comprising of (N=121) potential-adopter students and teachers from India. The results revealed that motivations for adopting LCT are strongly associated with innovation attributes like relative advantage, compatibility, ease of use, peer influence, perceived enjoyment and perceived usefulness. Overall, both teachers and students expressed positive attitude towards using LCT as it enhanced their digital literacy skills. Bigger question is to identify what kind of new teacher training program, models and approaches and learning environment are required for successful adoption of educational innovation like LCT. Findings contribute to the design of new pedagogical models that maximizes learning potential of LCTs for K12 education.

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2014 Conference Paper K. Dr. Achuthan, S., F., Prema Nedungadi, Raman, R., and l., B., “Improving Perception of Invisible Phenomena in UG Physics Education Using ICT”, in International Conference on Information and Communication Technology (IEEE Xplore), 2014.[Abstract]

Experimental learning plays paramount role in Physics education. Experimental physics requires phenomenological investigations in several cases and this includes understanding visible and invisible heuristic procedures to discern underlying concepts. This study investigates the invisible yet evident occurrences of physical phenomena that are difficult to grasp from a learner's perspective. In this work the contribution of compounded effects of using computational techniques, multimedia enhanced simulations and interactive animations to draw the learner's attention to those physically undiscernable aspects of physics experiments is presented. The study has investigated three physics experiments by engineering students (N= 42) and the methodology focused on differentiating the learning outcomes between classroom teaching, laboratory experimentation and virtual laboratories. The students were divided into two batches. Visual and conceptual understanding was quantified by assessments that included their visual and conceptual understanding. Our study not only revealed severe limitations in learning invisible phenomena based on traditional classroom methods but also empirically validated the positive impact on learning outcomes when the classroom method is combined with Virtual Labs approach. More »»
2014 Conference Paper Prema Nedungadi, Jayakumar, A., and Raman, R., “Low cost tablet enhanced pedagogy for early grade reading: Indian context”, in IEEE Region 10 Humanitarian Technology Conference (R10-HTC), Chennai, 2014.[Abstract]

In our research we have designed pedagogy for Low Cost Tablets (LCT) to enhance early grade reading in multi-grade classrooms in rural areas of India. The use of LCT helps meet the challenge of education in areas where there is a lack of qualified tutors and shortage of computing resources. The program has been implemented with (N=38) students in tribal areas of Kerala. Reading was the most common problem with the primary children, while mathematics and reading comprehension was a major challenge for children who were in middle school. Our pilot study students were able to learn faster on their own without requiring formal training due to the ease of use and the touch based interface of LCT, and they liked the idea of repeating lessons as many times as they wished. Teachers were trained in the use of LCT for assessment and early intervention and effective ways to bring up the reading skills of the students. Our findings confirm that LCT is powerful motivator in education and has a huge potential to address the issue of school dropouts. Our proposed pedagogy for LCT and findings will be of interest to educational policy makers who are looking at LCT options such as Aakash tablets to improve literacy levels among early grade learners.

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2013 Conference Paper R. Raman, Dr. Achuthan, K., Prema Nedungadi, and Ramesh, M., “Modeling Diffusion of Blended Labs for Science Experiments among Undergraduate Engineering Student”, in AFRICOMM 2013, Springer Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST), 2013.[Abstract]

While there is large body of work examining efficacy of Virtual Labs in engineering education, studies to date have lacked modeling Blended Labs (BL) – mix of Virtual Labs (VL) and Physical Labs (PL) for science experimentation at the university engineering level. Using Rogers theory of perceived attributes, this paper provides a research framework that identifies the attributes for BL adoption in a social group comprising of (N=246) potential adopter undergraduate engineering students. Using Bass model the study also accounts for the interinfluence of related group of potential adopter faculties who are likely to exert positive influence on students. The results revealed that acceptance of BL as an innovation and its learning outcomes are strongly associated with innovation attributes like Relative Advantage, Compatibility, Ease of Use, Department and Faculty support. Learning outcomes are very positive under BL when compared to PL, though within BL, ordering of PL and VL was not significant. For certain innovation attributes gender differences were significant. Overall students expressed much more positive attitude to adopt BL model for learning than using only PL.

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2013 Conference Paper Prema Nedungadi, Raman, R., and McGregor, M., “Enhanced STEM learning with Online Labs: Empirical study comparing physical labs, tablets and desktops”, in Frontiers in Education Conference, 2013 IEEE, 2013.[Abstract]

<p>India's educational challenge includes a large school going population, shortage of science teachers and lack of science labs in many schools. To counter this challenge, the Online Labs (OLabs) pedagogy is designed as a complete learning environment with tutorials, theory, procedure, animations, videos and simulations while the assessment includes conceptual, experimental, procedural and reporting skills. We discuss two separate empirical studies using OLabs to study the performance gains, student attitudes and preferences while using physical labs, desktops and tablets. The first study was at a school that compared students who learnt individually with OLabs on desktops, to students who learnt with the traditional teacher led physical labs. The second study was at a science camp and compared OLabs on desktops to OLabs that were context adapted for android tablets. There were significant differences between the physical labs and the self study mode using OLabs on desktops, but no significant differences between OLabs on desktops compared to OLabs on tablets.</p>

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2011 Conference Paper K. Dr. Achuthan, Sreelatha, K. S., Surendran, S., Dr. Diwakar, S., Prema Nedungadi, Humphreys, S., Sreekala, C. O., Pillai, Z. S., Raman, R., Deepthi, A., Gangadharan, R., Appukuttan, S., Ranganatha, J., Sambhudevan, S., and Mahesh, S., “The VALUE @ Amrita Virtual Labs Project: Using Web Technology to Provide Virtual Laboratory Access to Students”, in Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2011 IEEE, 2011, pp. 117-121.[Abstract]

In response to the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT) Initiative, the Virtual and Accessible Laboratories Universalizing Education (VALUE @ Amrita) Virtual Labs Project was initiated to provide laboratory-learning experiences to college and university students across India who may not have access to adequate laboratory facilities or equipment. These virtual laboratories require only a broadband Internet connection and standard web browser. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University (Amrita University) is part of a consortium of twelve institutions building over two hundred virtual labs covering nine key disciplines in science and engineering. This National Mission project hopes to reach out to India's millions of engineering and science students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Virtual Labs Project is providing virtual laboratory experiments that directly support the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) model curricula for engineering and sciences undergraduate and postgraduate programs. More »»
2011 Conference Paper Prema Nedungadi, Raman, R., Dr. Achuthan, K., and Dr. Diwakar, S., “Collaborative & Accessibility Platform for Distributed Virtual Labs”, in in press, IAJC-ASEE Joint International Conference on Engineering and Technology, Hartford, USA, 2011.
2011 Conference Paper Prema Nedungadi, Raman, R., Dr. Achuthan, K., and Dr. Diwakar, S., “Virtual Labs Collaborative & Accessibility Platform (VLCAP)”, in Proceedings of The 2011 IAJC-ASEE International Conference , 2011.[Abstract]

India has embarked on a National Mission project to build over 150 Virtual Labs (VL) targeting over 1450 experiments mapped to the under graduate and postgraduate curriculum. Due to the lack of user centric tools and mechanisms for VL authors, it became crucial to architect a Virtual Labs Collaborative and Accessibility Platform (VLCAP) for use by the large scientific community building multi-disciplinary VL.With multi-tier, scalable architecture at its core, the technology platform allows VL builders to focus on particular logic of their experiments. The axiomatic design of the user interfaces built into the various modules including VL workbench, collaborative content management, repositories and so on assists in functional use of the elements while reducing the overall development time of VL by individual users. Integration of common tasks in user management, such as single sign-on, role based access control etc. enhances flexibility without compromising on security. More »»
2010 Conference Paper R. Raman and Prema Nedungadi, “Performance improvements in schools with Adaptive Learning and Assessment”, in ICDLE 2010 - 2010 4th International Conference on Distance Learning and Education, Proceedings, San Juan, PR, 2010, pp. 10-14.[Abstract]

This paper presents Amrita Learning, a web-based, multimedia-enabled, Adaptive Assessment and Learning System for schools. Computer-based adaptive assessments aim to use an optimal and individualized assessment path to determine the knowledge level of students. The new goal for adaptive assessment is based on educational outcomes, which describe what learners must be able to do as a result of items studied. Assessment based on outcomes creates the initial roadmap for the educational model, ensuring that students are not learning items that are already mastered. Learners and instructors can accurately determine their areas of strengths and weaknesses, and use this to determine future instruction. This paper explains the underlying principles used in the initial adaptive assessment followed by evaluation that is closely interwoven with learning. An expert module continuously adjusts the content and method of presentation based on the sequence of learner's recent responses and prior knowledge. The system maintains and updates both the individual learner profile and group profiles. Amrita Learning, targeted to school students, is built upon the principles of spiral learning with mixed presentation from multiple skill areas, thus providing continuous reinforcement in all skill-areas. The proposed competency model has been pilot tested in both city and rural area schools. In the majority of cases where students used it consistently, there were quantifiable improvements in learning levels and performance in schools. Summaries of the results and recommendations are included in this paper. More »»
2010 Conference Paper Prema Nedungadi and Raman, R., “Effectiveness of adaptive learning with interactive animations and simulations”, in ICACTE 2010 - 2010 3rd International Conference on Advanced Computer Theory and Engineering, Proceedings, Chengdu, 2010, vol. 6, pp. V640-V644.[Abstract]

We present the adaptive simulations of Amrita Learning, a web-based, interactive eLearning program that aims to create a realistic mathematics and science laboratory environment for school students to study equipments, perform simulation experiments interactively, measure or analyze results, and understand their application, It teaches abstract concepts, such as flow of electrons and magnetic fields, using highly sophisticated and interactive simulations. The adaptive simulations follow the time tested principles of Amrita Learning, a previously discussed adaptive learning system, including adaptive sequencing, presentation and feedback. This novel system enables students to work at their own pace with learning level, content and presentation individualized based on a dynamically updated student profile. While individualized simulations, animations, tutorials, and assessments enrich learning experience, simultaneous access to the content by thousands of students makes the return on investment very high. Student feedback and assessments are used to compare the adaptive simulations and animations with the traditional laboratory. Results show that while the majority of the students preferred the ease of use, adaptive feedback and additional learning options of the adaptive simulations, they missed the group discussions and extra attention from the teacher at the traditional lab. More »»
2010 Conference Paper S. Dr. Diwakar, Dr. Achuthan, K., and Prema Nedungadi, “Biotechnology virtual labs- integrating wet-lab techniques and theoretical learning for enhanced learning at universities”, in DSDE 2010 - International Conference on Data Storage and Data Engineering, Bangalore, 2010, pp. 10-14.[Abstract]

For enhanced education at the level of University courses such as those in biology or biotechnology, one of the key elements is the need of time and expertise to allow the student to familiarize laboratory techniques in par with regular theory. The Sakshat Amrita virtual biotechnology lab project focusing on virtualizing wet-lab techniques and integrating the learning experience has added a new dimension to the regular teaching courses at the University. Establishing virtual labs requires both domain knowledge and virtualizing skills via programming, animation and device-based feedback. Challenges in the biotechnology sector in setting up a laboratory that integrates both the feel and phenomenon includes the medley of multiple techniques. This paper reports one such cost-effective process used in virtualizing a real biotechnology lab at the University-level. The major challenge in setting up an effective knowledge dissemination for laboratory courses was not only the scientific approach of biotechnology, but included the virtualization aspects such as usage/design scalability, deliverability efficiency, network connectivity issues, security and speed of adaptability to incorporate and update changes into existing experiments. This paper also discusses an issue-specific case-study of a functional virtual lab in biotechnology and its many issues and challenges. © 2010 IEEE. More »»
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