2021 Activity Report vol.1:Osaka Institute of Technology

Activity Report of Open Application Program 2021 vol.1 (Online)

International PBL Program Hosted Together with Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT) of Thammasat University in Thailand

Report from the Osaka Institute of Technology

With support from the Sakura Science Exchange Program, the Faculty of Information Science and Technology at the Osaka Institute of Technology conducted the International PBL Program with Sirindhorn International Institute of the Technology (SIIT) of Thammasat University in Thailand online. The final presentations were held on September 4. The program has been held since 2014, and this year marks the program’s seventh anniversary (not held in the 2020 fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

This year’s International PBL was a large scale program with roughly 100 participants.

The theme this year, which integrates items related to robotic control called Real World Game Programming offered in past programs and image data processing related items called Image Processing Programming, involved the creation of a program and simulation that satisfied the following conditions.

  • Automatically controlling a robot in a virtual space on an online simulator and manipulating the robot to visit multiple checkpoints set up in the virtual space
  • Playing interactive games wherein processing is carried out based on body movements and facial expressions caught on a web camera at each checkpoint

The length of the program was set relatively long and the approximately two-month-long period included a preliminary learning session for deepening communication and improving basic skills.

During the preliminary learning session (July 1 to August 27), students studied programming by making full use of online tools known as oVice, Slack, and GitHub that were prepared by the instructors and worked on a cultural exchange assignment to create videos introducing food recommendations from both countries. Videos on various dishes covering familiar cuisine from both countries such as sukiyaki, takoyaki, pad krapow (stir-fried pork), and panang curry to unusual local foods such as kattopo and a horseshoe crab dish were created and were very interesting.

During the actual program period (August 28 to September 4), students worked on a theme assignment using the friendships developed and skills mastered in the preliminary learning session and created posters and videos. On the first day, an opening ceremony was held that included greetings by Dr. Pruettha Nanakorn, Director of SIIT, and Professor Tsukamoto Katsutoshi, the Dean of the Faculty of Information Science and Technology of our institute. On the last day, a Final Competition where students presented their final submissions and a closing ceremony that included an awards presentation and closing remarks with reviews on the program and students’ work were held.

The Final Competition took place in two parts. The first part was a poster session where the participants were able to freely view the student videos and posters on oVice, while the second part featured 7-minute oral presentations by each group to announce their results. In addition to moving the robot simulator, the groups presented very elaborate and high-level work in which individual groups respectively added a wide variety of unique features such as narration and stories, mini games, rock-paper-scissors, gesture-based computing as well as obstacle elimination by looking at the obstacles. The 91 participants including guest instructors and students enjoyed the event immensely. Following the conclusion of the Final Competition, the rankings were decided in a vote by participants. In addition to certificates of achievement that will be sent to the top teams at a later date, certificates of completion are scheduled to be given to all participants.

Student giving an online presentation of their work
Instructors also provided commentary online

Despite being the first time the event was held online, both universities were able to receive answers “I strongly agree" or "I agree" in response to the question "Did you enjoy International PBL?" from 90% of the respondents in a survey. In addition, questions such as "Were you interested in each other's country (even more)?" and "Do you want to participate in overseas research support, etc. and visit each other's university?" received many positive answers. There were also many comments such as "I wanted to do the program in person." It is our sincere hope that the program will be conducted in person very soon. However, participating students at both universities were able to benefit from the extremely content-rich international exchange opportunity even though it was online.

<Participating student breakdown>

Faculty of Information Science and Technology students: 18, SIIT students: 30

<Support graduate school students>

Graduate School of Information Science and Technology students: 8

<Others>

SIIT graduate with internship experience at the Osaka Institute of Technology: 1

<Academic supervisors>

- Department of Information and Computer Science

Assistant Professor Jinno Takao, Assistant Professor Kotani Naoki

- Department of Information Systems

Associate Professor Igaki Hiroshi, Associate Professor Kamakura Yoshiyuki, Assistant Professor Honda Kiyoshi

- Department of Media Science

Professor Hirayama Makoto, Associate Professor Miyawaki Kenzaburo, Assistant Professor Muraki Yuta

- Department of Network Design

Assistant Professor Sugikawa Satoshi

<SIIT Instructors>

Dr. Waree Kongprawechnon, Dr. Toshiaki Kondo, Dr. Seksan Laitrakun, Dr. Somrudee Deepaisarn