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SimBiotic Software

www.simbio.com
Ithaca, NY, United States

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Reed T.E.,University of Washington | Reed T.E.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Reed T.E.,Netherlands Institute of Ecology | Schindler D.E.,University of Washington | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Evolutionary adaptation affects demographic resilience to climate change but few studies have attempted to project changes in selective pressures or quantify impacts of trait responses on population dynamics and extinction risk. We used a novel individual-based model to explore potential evolutionary changes in migration timing and the consequences for population persistence in sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka in the Fraser River, Canada, under scenarios of future climate warming. Adult sockeye salmon are highly sensitive to increases in water temperature during their arduous upriver migration, raising concerns about the fate of these ecologically, culturally, and commercially important fish in a warmer future. Our results suggest that evolution of upriver migration timing could allow these salmon to avoid increasingly frequent stressful temperatures, with the odds of population persistence increasing in proportion to the trait heritability and phenotypic variance. With a simulated 2°C increase in average summer river temperatures by 2100, adult migration timing from the ocean to the river advanced by ~10 days when the heritability was 0.5, while the risk of quasi-extinction was only 17% of that faced by populations with zero evolutionary potential (i.e., heritability fixed at zero). The rates of evolution required to maintain persistence under simulated scenarios of moderate to rapid warming are plausible based on estimated heritabilities and rates of microevolution of timing traits in salmon and related species, although further empirical work is required to assess potential genetic and ecophysiological constraints on phenological adaptation. These results highlight the benefits to salmon management of maintaining evolutionary potential within populations, in addition to conserving key habitats and minimizing additional stressors where possible, as a means to build resilience to ongoing climate change. More generally, they demonstrate the importance and feasibility of considering evolutionary processes, in addition to ecology and demography, when projecting population responses to environmental change.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will attempt to develop a prototype for an online, simulation-based toolset for auto-assessing higher-order thinking skills and technological literacy. These skills are widely acknowledged as important and are included in state and federal science standards, but there are currently few effective means to assess whether students are learning them. The project will use an existing system that allows rapid prototyping of educational simulations to develop test scenarios that provide information on five categories of higher-order thinking. These scenarios will match student actions within a simulation to both correct and incorrect reasoning patterns, and can be easily modified to different contexts. Standardized tests are critically important to directing what is taught in our nation's schools. Although educational standards across the country emphasize technological literacy and higher-order thinking, state and national education tests continue to rely primarily on short-answer and selection type questions that are insufficient for measuring higher-order skills. This system aims to provide a better means with which to assess student performance in these areas at an affordable price, and will also pioneer a more flexible, customizable way of designing test items that will reduce the costs associated with the development and validation of new test items. If successful, these simulation-based testing scenarios will allow for improved evaluation of student reasoning skills and technological literacy, especially as class sizes increase and remote instruction becomes more commonplace.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project will attempt to take agent-based simulation models being written for cell biology research and write a new cell biology modeling framework to be used for teaching cell biology at the undergraduate and high school level. Research models in cell biology are too complex and computationally intensive for use in education below the graduate level. However, the visualization and ability to perform realistic experiments inherent in the agent-based modeling approach is ideal for educational uses. This project will combine the scientific expertise of one of the leading centers for cellular models with the educational expertise of one of the leading companies producing biology education software to create a series of simulation-based online teaching modules for undergraduate cell biology classes. Cell and molecular biology are core topics in biology classes at both high school and college levels and are some of the most active fields of biological research, as well as being important for medical fields. Although the topics covered in cell biology are fascinating, they are currently often taught in very passive ways. Active learning approaches are now widely acknowledged to improve students understanding and retention of many scientific concepts. This project will produce a set of active teaching materials for cell biology students, improving their understanding of cellular processes, and thus improving their ability to become our countries future researchers and medical personnel. The materials should be very attractive to an $18 million/year market in cell biology teaching materials.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Cyberlearn & Future Learn Tech | Award Amount: 1.33M | Year: 2012

This project seeks to develop a dynamic formative assessment method for use with virtual labs. The research focuses on how to constrain a virtual lab experience to be amenable to automated feedback on relatively open-ended responses students are generating while still giving students an appropriate exploratory experience. The technology innovation question is how to do that with validity and reliability. The team is focusing on how to use available artificial intelligence technologies to make it possible to provide good feedback, both to learners working in these environments and to their teachers. PIs are adding dynamic formative assessment capabilities to virtual lab experiences that are already extensively used in undergraduate and high-school biology classes.

This is an automated assessment project, focusing on assessing learner understanding and capabilities in situations where learners are exploring, having, and using ideas as they are learning STEM content and practices. There are several ways one could approach automated assessment for situations where learners are acting in a fairly unconstrained way -- design algorithms that can interpret and make inferences from free text, or find ways to design the environment in such a way that learners can explore, develop, and record as needed for deep learning but where they have a more constrained way of expressing themselves or limitations in what they can do that dont constrain the learning or engagement. This project seeks to find a sweet spot -- a happy medium where learners can explore, try things out, have ideas, refine ideas, and use ideas with significant freedom but just enough constraint for already-existing artificial intelligence algorithms to interpret what learners are doing, why they are doing it, and what they mean to express. Learning how to do this is essential to designing the learning environments of the future.

There is broad acknowledgement that more attention must be given in STEM fields to the teaching of higher-order thinking skills, including experimental design, data interpretation and evidence-based judgment. Timely formative assessment is a crucial component of such learning, but formative assessment is impossible for a teacher to do for a whole class of individuals at the time when it will have the most effect (when students are engaging in or have just finished engaging in such activities) and too labor intensive to be done regularly in large high school and introductory-level college classes. This project is therefore developing techniques for automatically providing immediate formative assessment as students are conducting simulation-based experiments and reasoning about their results. The investigation focuses on helping students learn to conduct experiments and interpret results within the discipline of biology; lessons learned will be applicable across STEM domains at the high-school and college levels.


Trademark
SimBiotic Software | Date: 2012-06-20

computer software for cell biology education.


Trademark
SimBiotic Software | Date: 2012-06-20

computer software for cell biology education.


Trademark
SimBiotic Software | Date: 2012-12-25

Downloadable computer software platform for delivering educational material comprising a custom-built database application, a client side application that replaces a browser, and web interfaces for use by students, teachers, and authors which provides interactive simulations, animations, and other interactive elements, and the ability to create virtual textbooks and complete assignments. An on-line non-downloadable computer software platform for delivering educational material comprising a custom-built database application, a client side application that replaces a browser, and web interfaces for use by students, teachers, and authors which provides interactive simulations, animations, and other interactive elements, and the ability to create virtual textbooks and complete assignments.


Trademark
SimBiotic Software | Date: 2012-12-25

A feature of a downloadable computer software platform for delivering educational content in the field of science similar to a textbook, with integrated interactive elements such as simulations, animations, and questions, for use in supplementing or replacing other types of activities and class assignments, including replacing textbook readings.


Trademark
SimBiotic Software | Date: 2011-02-18

computer software for biology education.


Trademark
SimBiotic Software | Date: 2011-02-24

computer software for biology education.

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