You are here: Home / Portfolio / People / Bob Lewis

Bob Lewis

Bob employed me in 1980 to join the Computers in the Curriculum Project at Chelsea College in the University of London

1989 Bob Lewis.jpg

Reflection: Bob's analysis of the reasons for lack of progress in artificial intelligence was prophetic and helped me to avoid spending too much time investigating intelligent tutoring at a time when it was under serious consideration and instead encouraged me to focus on the decision-making and responsibility of learners in using the computer as a tool.

Although Bob was my director for only one year, he made a great impact on me in my first year as a researcher working in higher education. He was an inspirational, technically-minded, hands-on person who could also reflect and theorise the issues we faced very effectively. His approach to managing the team was empowering, but also he had clear ideas of the action research process we should be engaged in.

He impressed me with his early grasp of the problems of interoperability and his determination to solve them. He also clearly analysed the challenges of artificial intelligence, pointing out that the difficulty of modelling the mind was immense and not likely to be solved soon and that our computer resources were not technically advanced enough to match the complexity of such a model (as might be speculated).

Bob invited me to collaborate with him after he left Computers in the Curriculum, in teaching on residential courses and, most enjoyably, on an international UNESCO summer school in Yugoslavia.

(Words: 258 )

Lewis Carroll describes a fictional map that had:

"the scale of a mile to the mile."

A character notes some practical difficulties with such a map and states that:

"we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well."
— Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, Lewis Carroll, 1893