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<p>Qualitative physics captures the kinds of representations and reasoning techniques that people use in dealing with the physical world. Using qualitative physics, developers can create educational software that is fluent, supportive, generative, and customizable. </p> <p>Research in qualitative physics has many motivations, ranging from improving our understanding of human cognition to making new kinds of software systems for various applications. In particular, creating new kinds of educational software has been a motivation for qualitative physics since its inception. This goal is now beginning to be realized, thanks to advances in qualitative physics and computer technology. Qualitative physics provides a critical enabling technology for science and engineering education and makes possible a new type of affordable, interactive educational software--articulate software. </p> <p>The Qualitative Reasoning Group at Northwestern University's Institute for the Learning Sciences is developing architectures for articulate software. One such architecture is the articulate virtual laboratory, which helps students learn by engaging them in conceptual design tasks. We've used this architecture to create educational software for science and engineering, which we've deployed experimentally in several college courses. </p>

K. D. Forbus, "Using Qualitative Physics to Create Articulate Educational Software," in IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 12, no. , pp. 32-41, 1997.
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