Advances in Describing and Managing Our Environment

Advances in Describing and Managing Our Environment

Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 57
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5753-2.ch001
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This chapter examines links between the developments in selected technologies and our ways of teaching and learning. The focus is on some domains that are developing especially fast. A postulate follows that including knowledge about developments in science and current tools into the school curricula requires immediate attention. Enhancing the curricula with information about dynamically developing branches of science would likely exert a profound effect on making informed, successful decisions about future careers of students. The following text is about a novel approach to visual way of learning and instruction about processes and products. The visual approach relates to learning about natural processes and the current ways we capture their essence. Learning about advances in science requires application of graphical ways of presentation; the use of internet and digital media by instructors, professionals, and students; and making knowledge visualization an integral part of the learning process.
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The following debate aims to bring about, with the use of graphical display, better understanding of things and conditions around us. First, the text examines how our senses are amplified by technologies, and how it enhances the exchange of ideas and knowledge. The visual approach is discussed as a way of learning and instruction, as it relates to natural processes and the current ways we capture their essence. Scientists are working on finding computational solutions that improve our ability to control our external and internal environment. Advances in technologies are often biology-inspired: for example, we apply echolocation, ultrasound imaging, and gather thermally conveyed information.

We observe, study, and often mimic nature for our individual and industrial solutions. Perhaps the best idea to find new ideas, stories, and solutions is to observe nature. Natural processes and their products are dynamic, intertwined, but often hard to follow. However, they are inspiring, challenging, and they may solve many problems. The products are easier to depict than the processes, because matter maybe easier to grasp than energy. Now we can see the world in a nanoscale due to advances in microscopy and spectroscopy. We can learn and teach about structures measuring nanometers or microns: liquid crystals, soft matter, nanoshells, and carbon nanotubes. Nanophotonic techniques serve in biomedical and clinical research, cancer treatment, clinical neuroscience, tissue engineering, drug delivery, and diagnostics.

The mobile internet, automation, and artificial intelligence power up our actions, industry, and economy (Mims, 2018). According to Christopher Mims, “the first three industrial revolutions were driven by coal, and steam, then electricity and the automobile, then computing.” After centuries of paper-based communication, digital media are now sharing, transferring, and documenting our data and thoughts. President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto (2018) stated, “Mexico is one of the only nations whose constitution recognizes the right of its people to a broadband internet connection,” which may be the DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), fiber-optic, cable, and satellite connection. As stated by Klaus Schwab (2017, 2018), previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power (one may also say it also liberated, at least partly, animals from humankind), made mass production possible, and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This fourth industrial revolution provides new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital, and biological worlds. Learning and teaching about fast progressing areas is an essential and urgent imperative. The 5th-generation wireless systems – 5G networks accelerate the growth and expansion of telecommunication, redefine and accelerate industries.

Below selected domains are described that are developing especially fast. It is considered to be of significance to include knowledge about developments in science and current tools into the school curricula. Such curriculum would likely have a profound effect on making informed, successful decisions about future careers of students. A novel approach to visual way of learning about processes and products relates to the graphical way the matter and processes are presented. Internet is widely used by instructors, professionals, and students, while digital media function as learning environment. Knowledge visualization, as an integral part of the learning process, supports comprehending concepts in computing, sciences, design, media communication, film, advertising, and marketing. The emphasis is on recognizing how these fields create prospects of finding jobs, which might allow students to fulfill themselves. Figure 1 presents a work Levels and Layers.

Figure 1.

Anna Ursyn, levels and layers

(© 2014, A. Ursyn).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information: Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction, a collection of facts or data.

Information Visualization: Interactive, visual, spatial representations of abstract data, both numerical and other such as text of geographic representations, to amplify cognition and derive new insights. It is often characterized as representation plus interaction. Data presented as information visualization may be interactive, numerical, verbal, and graphical.

Visualization: The communication of information with graphical representations. Interactive visual representations of abstract data use easy-to-recognize objects connected through well-defined relations.

Information Aesthetics: A cross-disciplinary link between information visualization and visualization art.

Haptic: Relates to the sense of touch; the senses of touch and proprioception enable the perception and manipulation of objects.

Graphic: An image represented by a graph or relating to graphics. Graphic display is often generated by a computer.

Texture: A general characteristic for a substance or a material. Texture exists all around us. It can be either actual (natural, invented, or manufactured) or simulated (made to look rough, smooth, hard or soft, or like a natural texture). Simulated textures are made to represent real textures such as a smooth arm or rough rock formation. But they are not actual textures, and if you touch the picture you feel only the paint, or the pen or pencil marks.

Icon, Iconic Objectm or Image: An icon represents a thing or refers to something by resembling or imitating it; thus, a picture, a photograph, a mathematical expression, or an old-style telephone may be regarded as an iconic object. Thus, an iconic object has some qualities common with things it represents, by looking, sounding, feeling, tasting, or smelling alike.

Algorithms: Mathematical recipes telling how to carry out a process. They are actually mathematical equations used to create repetition. An algorithm is a procedure for solving a complicated problem by carrying out a fixed sequence of simpler, unambiguous steps. A recursive process means that an algorithm is applied multiple times to perform operations on its previous products. Such procedures are used in computer programs and in programmed learning.

Scientific Visualization: Real, abstract, or model-based objects in a digital way directly from the data. It may present the art-science cooperative learning projects and make knowledge comprehensible to a wide audience. Visualization as storytelling comprises narratives, interactive graphics, explanatory and animated graphics, and multimedia.

Sign: A conventional shape or form telling about facts, ideas, or information. It is a distinct thing that signifies another thing. Natural signs signify events caused by nature, while conventional signs may signal art, social interactions, fashion, food, interactions with technology, machines, and practically everything else.

Infographics: Tools and techniques involved in graphical representation of data, mostly in journalism, art, and storytelling.

Knowledge Visualization: Visual representations to transfer insights and create new knowledge in the process of communicating different visual formats.

Semiconductor Material: Has conductivity between a conductor (most metals, for example copper) and an insulator (such as glass). Properties of a semiconductor, its moving electrons and electron holes in a crystal lattice can be explained by quantum physics. Silicon crystals are semiconductive materials; they are used in microelectronics and photovoltaics used for direct conversion of sunlight to electricity with the use of solar panels.

Ions, Cations, and Anions: An atom or a molecule that has an electric charge is called an ion. An electric charge results from the presence of single, double, triple, or even higher negative electrons unequal to the number of positive protons in the nucleus of an atom. The removal or addition of one or more electrons changes a neutral atom into an ion. Cation is an ion or group of ions that have a positive charge. Anion is a negatively charged ion. Polyelectrolytes are large molecules with many charged groups. During electrolysis (produced in an electrolyte solution by applying an electric current) cations move toward the cathode (negative electrode) and anions migrate to an anode.

LED: The light-emitting diode is a semiconductor diode that glows when a voltage is applied.

Cognitive Load: The amount of information and its necessary processing placed on the working memory of a learner (the part of short-term memory involved in conscious perceptual and linguistic processing).

Signs, Symbols, and Icons: Are collectively called signage. Icons and symbols help compress information in a visual way. Signs take conventional shapes or forms to tell about facts, ideas, or information. Icons and symbols help compress information in a visual way. An icon represents a thing or refers to something by resembling or imitating it; thus, a picture, a photograph, a mathematical expression, or an old-style telephone may be regarded as an iconic object. Thus, an iconic object has some qualities common with things it represents, by looking, sounding, feeling, tasting, or smelling alike.

Signage: A visual graphics that displays information, for example street signs, room identification signs, or any kind of informational or regulatory signs. Signs, icons, and symbols are collectively called signage.

Data Visualization: Information abstracted in a schematic form to provide visual insights into sets of data. Data visualization enables us to go from the abstract numbers in a computer program (ones and zeros) to visual interpretation of data. Text visualization means converting textual information into graphic representation, so we can see information without having to read the data, as tables, histograms, pie or bar charts, or Cartesian coordinates.

Data: Factual information, especially organized for analysis, reasoning, or making decisions.

Spectroscopy: Records how matter interacts with or emits electromagnetic radiation. A spectroscope is designed to study matter by measuring properties of specific frequencies and wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.

Dimension: Specifies how many numbers (coordinates) are needed to determine a position of a point in space. For example, in Cartesian space three coordinates x, y, and z tell about position of a point. A point has no length, area, volume or any other dimensional attributes, so many mathematicians claim a point is 0-dimensional. However, in the Euclidian three-dimensional space, three numbers describe a point: x-horizontal axis, y-vertical axis, and z-depth. A line has one dimension because only one coordinate is needed to describe a point on it, while a surface has two dimensions. Data may be linear or multidimensional. Ben Shneiderman (1996) AU74: The in-text citation "Ben Shneiderman (1996)" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. described seven data types: one-, two-, three-dimensional data, temporal and multi-dimensional data, and also tree and network data. They may be flat, tridimensional, time-based, or virtual.

Quantum: Generally refers to energetic phenomena associated with the atomic and subatomic size scales. The term comes from quantum mechanics , the theory that interactions at this scale involve discrete and specific exchanges of energy (quanta), and that the states associated with subatomic matter (electrons, protons, leptons, etc.) are restricted to discrete states associated with spin or other novel characteristics.

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