Students enrolled in LBS’ Master of Business Information Management and Systems (MBIMS) got the chance to work on a real-world project for the subject Business Intelligence Project Analysis and Design (BUS5BPD). Their task was to design a Digital Twin Inspection Tool project for the Australian Marine and Ship Services.
Even though the scenario was fictional, the industry partners were very real. Students had to design the Digital Twin Inspection Tool to be an inspection application for Deloitte, compatible with Apple technology. Both Deloitte and Apple have been closely involved with the subject through guest lectures but also by mentoring the teams.
At the end of the semester LBS and Deloitte organised an awards night where the best five teams presented their project and received an award. Awards were handed out for the most complete design, the most innovative design, the very simple design and the most logical design.
The next step
After designing the application during BUS5BDP, the award winning projects are going to be developed and tested during the subject Business Intelligence Project Implementation (BUS5BPI). Both subjects are so-called capstone subjects, and in this case, twin capstone MBIMS subjects. Capstone subjects provide the student with opportunities to demonstrate their capacity to integrate the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their degree and apply them to a real-world problem. Usually the industry partners are only involved in BUS5BDP, but both Deloitte and Apple have already indicated that they want to be part of BUS5BPI as well. If one or more Digital Twin Inspection Tool applications would be fully developed, tested and implemented, that would mean a unique outcome for a Capstone subject at La Trobe University.
LBS researcher Dr Seyed Mohammed SadeghKhaksar was recently interviewed by Channel 9 News Melbourne on his research with social robot Matilda.
Matilda was originally co-created by LBS’ Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovations (RECCSI) in partnership with Japan’s NEC Corporation and Kyoto University. Matilda is a communication robot with emotional intelligence. Matilda can recognise human voices and faces, detect emotions, read and recite text, dance and play music. It can read a person’s feelings by the tone in their voice and interact accordingly. Matilda was previously used successfully in aged care research. Early this year, RECCSI teamed up with Waratah Special Developmental School to trial Matilda as a classroom companion.
Matilda in the classroom
The current research aims to investigate how social robots like Matilda can emotionally and socially engage students with special needs (e.g. children with autism), enable them with personalised services and empower them to live more independently in classrooms. Matilda’s personalised services could be used to create a more effective teaching environment and provide tailored support to teachers and students. Dr Khaksar is the Research Project Manager and said that “this study is about assisting both teachers and students, especially those who have special needs, who face particular challenges in their learning environments.”
According to Dr Khaksar, the results are positive. “As soon as the kids see Matilda in the classroom, their faces light up and they become more interested and engaged”. Matilda is patient, non-judgemental and interactive which allows students to form a bond with it. “The robot can speak to students, read and act out characters in books, as well as set tasks. But it can also tirelessly repeat things hundreds of times if necessary”. Matilda is not only enabling students to develop better communication, but also social and cognitive skills.
RECCSI Research Manager and Associate Professor Debbie Chu said this type of technology is in high demand. “La Trobe is at the forefront in creating solutions for social innovation. Our hope is that La Trobe’s robotic technology, which delivers emotional assistance and companionship over physical services, will be employed widely across Australia”.
LBS recently organised the highly successful Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum (#18IFAF) in collaboration with NORTHLink. Besides providing interesting masterclasses and insightful presentations and key notes, the event also provided work experience for two participants from Latrobe Lifeskills.
Latrobe Lifeskills provides support to people with disability. They are a Registered Training Organisation (TOID 20791) that provides nationally recognised courses and community engagement activities for young people living with disability. Participants of Latrobe Lifeskills engage in meaningful activities and relationships, whilst participating as fully as possible at La Trobe University and the broader community.
Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum
During #18IFAF, Vasi and Jackson, were given the opportunity to assist with packing delegate bags, preparing delegate name badges and lanyards. Both participants greeted people as they arrived on registration day, handed out delegate bags and name badges/lanyards.
According to Tammy Matthews-Prosser, Latrobe Lifeskills Participant Support Manager, these opportunities are invaluable to participants as they offer genuine experience in an employment and community setting.
“Vasi and Jackson grew with confidence and pride wearing their La Trobe Business School t-shirts with the opportunity to meet and greet delegates. They were diligent, efficient, friendly and great ambassadors for both Latrobe Lifeskills and La Trobe University”. – Tammy Matthews-Prosser.
Several LBS staff have been recognised for their excellent teaching and research during the La Trobe University Staff Awards 2018.
Teaching and Learning Awards
Two staff members received a citation for outstanding contributions to student learning. Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh received the citation for transforming a university-wide subject, Leadership: What Matters (MGT3LWM), to inspire leadership capacities in undergraduate third year students.
Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh
Dr Petrus Usmanij received a citation for providing innovative learning and teaching of real business context in capstone subjects through experiential learning and real-life problem solving.
Dr Petrus Usmanij
Research Excellence Awards
Dr Daswin De Silva received the Excellence in Research Award (Mid-Career Researcher). The award is in recognition of Daswin’s outstanding contribution to La Trobe University through his work in the La Trobe Business School contributing to digital disruption, significant research income, high impact, collaborative publications and research supervision and leadership.
Dr Daswin De Silva
LBS congratulates Jasvir, Petrus and Daswin on their impressive achievements!