School of Information Sciences

Digital Libraries Colloquium Series

Sponsored by the School of Computer Science-Carnegie Mellon University, the School of Information Sciences-University of Pittsburgh, the University Library System-University of Pittsburgh, the University Libraries-Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Ananda Gunawardena

"Adaptive Book - A Textbook Management Platform for Interaction, Collaboration and Analysis"


Abstract: Today’s e-books are mostly digital versions of their printed counterparts. Although copyright laws, conversion costs and other constraints may play a role in this trend, we argue that a digital textbook must be much more than a PDF version of a printed book if they are to be useful. The Adaptive Book Project at Carnegie Mellon University is an attempt to look at a digital book as a "platform" that can facilitate interaction, collaboration and analysis. Designed using several HCI studies and by employing novel algorithms for reading analysis, Adaptive Book Technology seems to provide a rich platform for interactive textbooks. In this talk, I will discuss how the Adaptive Book platform facilitates content authoring, aggregation, book management, interaction, collaboration and more importantly reading analysis. I will demonstrate the functionality of this new platform and show how various interactive, collaborative and analysis tools can extend the functionality of a digital book beyond what it is capable of today.


Bio: Ananda Gunawardena is an Associate Teaching Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He received a B.Sc. with special honors Degree in Mathematics from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and the M.S. degree in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Applied Linear Algebra from Ohio University and studied in the Master of Software Engineering program at University of Texas at Austin. Dr.Gunawardena’s research interests include computational Mathematics, and applications of Human Computer Interaction and Data mining to create usable, smart and Adaptive Educational Software. He is also interested in mobile computing and has done considerable amount of work in pen-computing and in particular work related to Tablet PC’s.

He is the co-author of two college level textbooks in Computational Linear Algebra published by Springer-Verlag and Thomson-Brooks Cole and is the author or co-author of over 35 research articles and book chapters. His textbooks have been translated into several foreign languages. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Hewlett Foundation, HP Inc. and Microsoft Corporation.

His many honors include: leadership in Technology Award from HP in 2005, Service Award from Jesse Jones institute and ACM Appreciation Award from the ACM Houston Chapter and Exceptional Achievement Award from Sri Lanka Foundation (the highest honor given to an expatriate Sri Lankan) in 2006. He serves on the advisory board of the School of Computer Science at University of Colombo, Wireless Neighborhoods of Pittsburgh and on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Information, Information Technology and Organizations and the advisory board of several Pittsburgh companies.

He is the founder of TextCentric, Inc and serves as its Chairman and Chief Scientist. TextCentric provides XML based book authoring, customization and publishing software for large and small publishers, and TextCentric’s propriety Adaptive Content Technology(ACT) is used by the largest publishing group in US, the Pearson Custom Publishing as their main custom textbook publishing technology.


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