My grad school is organizing a conference next summer on e-learning – technology enhanced learning for those from across the ocean. You might think “yawn! yet another conference!”, but this one is special:

To begin with, it is focused on interdisciplinary approaches. My session looks at an interesting question we face both in recommender systems and e-learning: What does actually happen when we put adaptive or learning systems into place? Example: What if the sheer presence of a recommendation pushes people to like an item. And that fact is then fed into the “smart” system which will then predict similar items on the (often hidden) assumption that the user’s taste is independent of the recommender system. This clearly is a cross-disciplinary issue, and one of the more simple one we want to address. If you think of adding “smart” systems to a teaching context, people might start to learn from the learners, mediated through the system. We will focus on the question whether that is a smart idea and if so, how it shall be implemented. The other sessions have similar striking questions answerable only by a group of researchers from different fields.

Second, the conference will be different in style. Only few presentations and much focussed discussion. That is because of a simple observation: We want to bring people together to work on questions that do not have a presentable solution just yet. The high hopes are to change that during the conference.

So, if that all sounds great to you, a researcher, Phd student or practicioner from any of the involved fields, head over to the website and learn how to apply for the conference. Hope to see you there!