The 12th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED-2005) is being held July 18–22, 2005, in Amsterdam, the beautiful Dutch city near the sea. AIED-2005 is the latest in an on-going series of biennial conferences in AIED dating back to the mid-1980's when the field emerged from a synthesis of artificial intelligence and education research. Since then, the field has continued to broaden and now includes research and researchers from many areas of technology and social science. The conference thus provides opportunities for the cross-fertilization of information and ideas from researchers in the many fields that make up this interdisciplinary research area, including artificial intelligence, other areas of computer science, cognitive science, education, learning sciences, educational technology, psychology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and the many domain-specific areas for which AIED systems have been designed and built.
An explicit goal of this conference was to appeal to those researchers who share the AIED perspective that true progress in learning technology requires both deep insight into technology and also deep insight into learners, learning, and the context of learning. The 2005 theme "Supporting Learning through Intelligent and Socially Informed Technology" reflects this basic duality. Clearly, this theme has resonated with e-learning researchers throughout the world, since we received a record number of submissions, from researchers with a wide variety of backgrounds, but a common purpose in exploring these deep issues.
Here are some statistics. Overall, we received 289 submissions for full papers and posters. 89 of these (31%) were accepted and published as full papers, and a further 72 as posters (25%). Full papers each have been allotted 8 pages in the Proceedings; posters have been allotted 3 pages. The conference also includes 11 interactive events, 2 panels, 12 workshops, 5 tutorials, and 28 papers in the Young Researcher's Track. Each of these has been allotted a one-page abstract in the Proceedings; the workshops, tutorials, and YRT papers also have their own Proceedings, provided at the conference itself. Also in the Proceedings are brief abstracts of the talks of the four invited speakers: Daniel Schwartz of Stanford University in the U.S.A., Antonija Mitrovic of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Justine Cassell of Northwestern University in the U.S.A., and Ton de Jong of the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
The work to put on a conference of this size is immense. We would like to thank the many, many people who have helped to make it possible. In particular we thank the members of the Local Organizing Committee, who have strived to make sure nothing is left to chance, and to keep stressing to everybody else, especially the program co-chairs, the importance of keeping on schedule! Without their concerted efforts AIED-2005 would probably have been held in 2007! As with any quality conference, the Program Committee is critical to having a strong program. Our Program Committee was under much more stress than normal, with way more papers than expected, and a shorter time than we had originally planned for reviewing. Thanks to all of the Program Committee members for doing constructive reviews under conditions of extreme pressure, and doing so more or less on time. Thanks, too, to the reviewers who were recruited by Program Committee members to help out in this critical task. The committees organizing the other events at the conference also have helped to make the conference richer and broader: Young Researcher's Track, chaired by Monique Grandbastien; Tutorials, chaired by Jacqueline Bourdeau and Peter Wiemer-Hastings; Workshops, chaired by Joe Beck and Neil Heffernen; and Interactive Events, chaired by Lo- ra Aroyo. Antoinette Muntjewerff chaired the conference Publicity committee, and the widespread interest in the 2005 conference is in no small measure due to her and her committee's activities. We also thank an advisory group of senior AIED researchers, an informal conference executive committee, who were a useful sounding board on many occasions during the conference planning. Each of the individuals serving in these various roles is acknowledged in the next few pages. Quite literally, without them this conference could not happen. Finally, we would like to thank Thomas Preuss who helped the program co-chairs through the mysteries of the Conference Master reviewing software.
For those who enjoyed the contributions in this Proceedings, we recommend considering joining the International Society for Artificial Intelligence in Education, an active scientific community that helps to forge on-going interactions among AIED researchers in between conferences. The Society not only sponsors the biennial conferences and the occasional smaller meetings, but also has a quality journal, the AIED Journal, and an informative web site: http://aied.inf.ed.ac.uk/aiedsoc.html.
We certainly hope that you all enjoy the AIED-2005 conference, and that you find it illuminating, entertaining, and stimulating. And, please also take some time to enjoy cosmopolitan Amsterdam.
Chee-Kit Looi, Program Co-Chair, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Gord McCalla, Program Co-Chair, University of Saskatchewan, Canada; Bert Bredeweg, LOC-Chair, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Joost Breuker, LOC-Chair, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Helen Pain, Conference Chair, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom