Meghna Mehta, Ahmed Sabbir Arif, Apurva Gupta, Sean DeLong, Roozbeh Manshaei, Graceline Williams, Manasvi Lalwani, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Ali Mazalek. Active Pathways: Using Active Tangibles and Interactive Tabletops for Collaborative Modeling in Systems Biology. In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (ISS 2016). ACM Niagara Falls, Canada.
We present Active Pathways, an active tangible and tabletop system that aims to support collaborative discovery and learning in biochemical modeling. Our work extends ideas from embodied cognition that suggest that interactive systems that support model building by coupling actions made with the motor system to the dynamic properties of external and internal models can enhance the potential for insight and discoveries. We describe the motivation for our work and the design and development of our system. We also present the results of a user study with pairs of novice modelers, which suggest that our system is not only easy to use and learn but also successful at facilitating an understanding of complex systems and supporting collaboration.