The Openproof project at Stanford's Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) is concerned with the application of software to problems in logic. Since the early 1980's we have been developing applications in logic education which are both innovative and effective. The development of these courseware packages has in turn informed and influenced our research agenda.
We are currently engaged in a project to understand the difficulties that students encounter when learning logic. Our approach to this task is to use data mining techniques on a large corpus of student work that we have gathered through our Internet-based grading service over the past ten years. The corpus currently consists of over 5 million submissions of work from more than 110,000 individual students.
A second project involves the investigation of the logics of diagrammatic and heterogeneous reasoning. Logic has traditionally been concerned with deduction using information expressed as sentences. In this project we are concerned with developing formal and informal systems for logical reasoning with diagrams alone, and in heterogeneous contexts where diagrams and sentences are used together to represent information about a reasoning task.
John Etchemendy is the Patrick Suppes Family Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University and director of the Openproof Project at the Center for the Study of Language and Information. He is former provost of Stanford University.