Promoting Undergraduate Education with Agent Based Laboratory

Promoting Undergraduate Education with Agent Based Laboratory

Hong Lin (University of Houston-Downtown, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-150-6.ch008
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Agent-oriented design has become one of the most active areas in the field of software engineering. The agent concept provides a focal point for accountability and responsibility for coping with the complexity of software systems both during design and execution (Yu, 2001). It is deemed that software engineering challenges in developing large scale distributed systems can be overcome by an agent-based approach (Paquette, 2001). In this approach, a distributed system can be modeled as a set of autonomous, cooperating agents that communicate intelligently with one another, automate or semi-automate functional operations, and interact with human users at the right time with the right information.
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With the fast innovation of computer and communication technologies, computer curriculum is being adapted to accommodate teaching modules that enhance teaching effectiveness by utilizing frontier technologies. For example, the Department of Computer Science, University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), is building Information Technology (IT) option, which consists of courses in modern computer technologies defined by the current industrial desires, in its Computer Science degree program, to respond the increasing need for effective convey of the knowledge of current technology to students to equip them for a career in the modern fast-changing computer industry. One of the most important parts of this project is designing labs that can be performed through the Internets. Our first step is implementing lab packages for our parallel computing and computer networking courses in a grid that encompass lab facilities centered at a Beowulf cluster. We will then extend our lab environment to include other CS and Mathematical courses.

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