🎉 NEWS 🎉

(April 2024) AlgeSPACE project on SIC news and university news

(Mar 2024) Our lab will offer two new seminars in SS2024 – check them out here.

(Mar 2024) We will be at the Tag der digitalen Bildung (The Digital Education Day) in Saarland!

(Feb 2024) We have launched AlgeSPACE — a collection of free interactive exercises for teaching and learning how to solve systems of equations.

(Oct 2023) New grant (with Sarah Malone) on co-designing a learning dashboard on AI in Education with university students at Saarland.

(Sep 2023) Won the PRESTO (“Sakigake”) grant! (€300K) We will work on participatory design research with school students and teachers in Germany and Japan to design an intelligent system with a focus on student agency.

(Aug 2023) Echo has joined the lab as a postdoc from ASU! Learn more about her.

(Apr 2023) Starting a new role as a Visiting Professor at Hokkaido University in Japan!

(Mar 2023) Gave a talk at CAIS in Bochum

(Feb 2023) Gave a talk at ETH Zürich (FLI Colloquia)

(Dec 2022) Launched the “Future+Learning” working group with Lis Sylvan and Sandra Cortesi @BKC Harvard

(Nov 2022) Moved to Germany to start my TT position at Saarland University!

(June 2021) Our ISLS paper was nominated for Best Design Paper!

(April 2021) We were at the ED Games Expo! Here’s our entry.

(Dec 2020) Won the Fred Mulder Open Education Practice Award!

(Nov 2020) Gave a talk at Keio Univ.

(Nov 2020) Won an AECT award!

(Nov 2020) Presented at OpenEd20

(Oct 2020) Made a tape diagram template (available under CC-BY-NC)

Seminar: Design and Development of Interactive Technologies for Teaching Complex Systems (SS 2024)


Ever wondered why geese fly in a “V” shape, why viruses spread so quickly, or what produces the ripple effect of traffic jams? Ever thought about explaining these everyday complex systems through using interactive visuals or simulations? This course is a collaborative exploration into the design and development of advanced technologies aimed at teaching complex system concepts to students or pupils. Some key components include:

  1. Exploration of Existing Simulations: Introduction to the use of simulations (e.g., agent-based models, machine learning agents) for visualizing and understanding complex systems.
  2. Hands-on experiences: Exploring the potential of embedding interactive simulations into intelligent tutoring systems (e.g., Cognitive Tutoring Authorization Tool) or other immersive learning environments (e.g., VR or AR or virtual games).
  3. Co-Design Project: The class will act as small design groups, co-creating interactive educational tools to teach complex systems.
  4. Research and Reading: Analysis and discussion of papers on the development and application of simulations and other emerging technologies in teaching complex systems, to build a foundational understanding and common goal for the co-design project.

Ideal for Students with:

  • Interest or background in computer programming, game design, UX/UI design, graphic design
  • Experience or a keen interest in science learning, education technology, and instructional design
  • A desire to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration to create educational tools
  • A motivation to explore and apply complex system concepts through interactive technologies

This course promises a unique, interdisciplinary experience, culminating in the creation of an innovative educational tool designed to make complex system concepts accessible and engaging for learners.

Lecturer:  Man “Echo” Su (mansu[at] 

The number of students: 8 from SIC, 3-4 from other departments/faculty at UdS

Location:  TBD (mostly likely to be hybrid)

Time: TBD (Probably weekly sessions starting in May till July)

Credit points: 7CP

Application/Enrollment: If you are a SIC student, please use the seminar portal to send your application with a motivation statement. If you are in other departments (e.g., EduTech), please use this form to send your application to me by April 12, 202

Tentative Grading Plan:

  • Participation and Engagement: 20%
  • Weekly Reflections and Readings: 20%
  • Mid-Seminar Project Proposal and Presentation: 20%
  • Final Project (Co-Design Interactive Educational Tool): 30%
  • Final Presentation: 10%

Tentative Schedule:

  • Week 1: Introduction to Complex Systems and Interactive Technologies
  • Week 2: Exploring Existing Simulations
  • Week 3: Fundamentals of Designing for Complex Systems
  • Week 4: Technological Foundations and Hands-on Workshops
  • Week 5: Conceptualizing the Co-Design Project
  • Week 6: Mid-Seminar Project Proposal Presentations
  • Week 7: Development Sprints and Iterative Design
  • Week 8: Finalizing Projects and Preparing Presentations
  • Week 9: Final Presentations and Reflection