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.: Keynote Speakers and invited speakers

Dr. Abdolhossein Sarrafzadeh
Associate Professor and Head of Department of Computing
Unitec Institute of Technology,New Zealand
Title: Emerging and future medical applications of computational intelligence
Computing is one of the fastest growing and fastest changing disciplines. These changes have had profound effects on various areas of practice including medicine. In recent years a wide variety of new areas within this field of computing have emerged. These include cloud computing,business Intelligence,business process modeling,services computing,data centers,data mining,smart cities and planet,and cyber-security. The same has taken place in various subfields of computing including the area of computational intelligence. In this presentation,emerging technologies impacting on medical practices and education will be discussed.
Several areas in the field of computational intelligence which have the potential to impact medical practices and education are computer vision,gesture based interfaces,natural language processing,assistive technologies and games in health,intelligent and affective tutoring systems and life like agents. I will present these areas of technology and the novel relevant work I have undertaken with teams at Unitec,Massey University,and Auckland University in New Zealand including games for diabetic and ADHD children,Dr Eve and IBM's Dr Watson,a telemedicine chair,robots in healthcare and eldercare as well as machine vision and gesture recognition technologies that promise to revolutionize medical practices and education in the coming years.
Dr Abdolhossein Sarrafzadeh has a PhD in Computing,and over 17 years of academic and industrial experience in the area of computational intelligence. He is an experienced academic,researcher and academic leader. He is currently Head of Department of Computing at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland New Zealand. The department has over 1200 students,47 academic staff members and offers 12 programs from certificate to doctorate in computing.
Dr Sarrafzadeh is internationally known for his work in the areas of computational intelligence,adaptive user interfaces,software engineering and machine translation. In recent years,Dr. Sarrafzadeh has developed one of the world’s first real-time facial expression and gesture recognition systems. Dr. Sarrafzadeh also developed a novel vision based targeted advertising system which has been patented in New Zealand and overseas. His pioneering research work has had significant impact and has gained publicity with a number of radio and major Newspaper interviews including interviews with CBS Evening News,TV3,World TV,National Radio,NewzTalkZB  and others as well as numerous international media articles including the Le Monde in France,the Dominion Post and the Herald.
Dr Sarrafzadeh has served on the editorial board of journals and program and organizing committees of numerous international conferences. He is a popular invited speaker. His research has attracted research funding,produced over 120 publications and over 40 Masters and PhD completions.

Dr. Atsusi Hirumi
Associate Professor and Co-Chair Instructional Technology University of Central Florida
Instructional Technology University of Central Florida
Title: Gamifying Virtual Patient through InterPLAY: A Grounded Approach to Medical Simulation Research & Development
The potential of virtual patients (VPs) for enhancing medical education has been well documented (c.f., Cook,Erwin & Triola,2010; Ellaway et al.,2009). But despite its potential,VPs have not been widely infused into medical school curriculum (Huang & Chandler,2007). Cost and design issues along with insufficient research and theory are inhibiting wide-spread adoption and implementation (Cook & Triola,2009; Issenberg et al.,2005). Experiential learning,often used as the theoretical foundation for the design of virtual patient simulations,also fails to address the role of human emotions and imagination during the learning process. For the Keynote presentation,Dr. Hirumi will discuss his work with Medical School faculty and faculty,staff and students in Modelling and Simulation,and Instructional Design and Technology at the University of Central Florida to address design issues by gamifying VPs through InterPLAY-an innovative instructional theory that integrates key conventions of interactive entertainment with universal principles of experiential learning to enhance learner engagement and performance. Participants will see how story,game and play are being applied to evoke emotions,spark imagination,and facilitate learning during interactions with VPs. Participants will also discuss the importance of grounding research and the development of VP stimulations on theories of human learning,increase their knowledge of game-based learning and learner-centered instructional strategies,and see how design studies,a relative new research paradigm advocated by experts in instructional design,may advance medical education tools and technology.
Dr. Hirumi is an Associate Professor of Instructional Design & Technology at the University of Central Florida. He earned his PhD in Instructional Systems from Florida State University,his MA in Educational Technology from San Diego State University,and his BS in Biology from Purdue University with secondary science teacher certification. Over the past 20 years,he has centered his research,teaching,and service on the design of online and hybrid learning environments. He has worked with universities,K12 school districts,medical institutions,and the military across the United States,Canada,Mexico,Brazil and the Middle East to establish online training and degree programs. His research now focuses on applying story,game and play to evoke human emotions and spark imagination to enhance experiential learning. Dr. Hirumi has published 28 refereed journal articles,20 book chapters,and has made over 100 presentations at international,national and state conferences on related topics. He also recently edited a book on Playing Games in Schools and has a three book series on Grounded Designs for Online and Hybrid Learning currently in press. Awards include the Army Training dL Maverick Award for leadership in distance learning,the Texas Distance Learning Association award for Commitment to Excellence and Innovation,the University of Houston Star Faculty Award,the Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Practitioner Award,the ENRON Award for Innovation,and he is a two time winner of the WebCT Exemplary Online Course Award.


Badrul H. Khan
Professor of e-learning,an international leading expert in e-learning and blended-learning design and implementation
He served as the founding Director of the Educational Technology Leadership (ETL) graduate cohort program at The George Washington University. He also served as the founding Director of the Educational Technology (ET) graduate program at the University of Texas,Brownsville. He served as an Instructional Developer and Evaluation Specialist in the School of Medicine at Indiana University,Indianapolis. He received a B.A. in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University,Bloomington,USA.
While growing up in Chittagong,Bangladesh during the 1970s,Badrul Khan used to dream about having access to well-designed learning resources available only to students in industrial countries. In the '70s it was unthinkable to have equal access to those resources. In the '90s,with the emergence of the World Wide Web,Khan's dream of equal access to quality learning resources became a reality. His desire for broadly available distributed learning systems and his scholarly grounding in the field of educational systems design and technology have enabled him to present a total vision for educational and training possibilities of the new worldwide communications technologies.
Through his teaching and publishing,Professor Khan has been instrumental in creating a coherent framework for Web-based instruction,training,and learning. In his first book, Web-Based Instruction,he took a leadership role in defining the critical dimensions of this new field of inquiry and practice at all levels of education. Reflecting its enormous acceptance worldwide, Web-Based Instruction has become a bestseller and has been adopted by over 350 colleges and universities worldwide. His second book Web-Based Training is a landmark book that covers all aspects of Internet's World Wide Web for training at all levels.
He continues to advance the discourse in the field of distance learning. His contribution to the field of open and distributed learning is recognized throughout the world. As a result,hisManaging E-Learning Strategies and E-Learning Quick Checklist books are published in several languages by several publishers located around the world. His 2007 book Flexible Learning in an Information Society includes case studies,design models,strategies,and critical issues encompassing the multiple dimensions of his E-Learning Framework. His publication plan is to author/edit eight different books using the eight dimensions of his e-learning framework. The books User Interface Design for Virtual Environments: Challenges and Advances and Learning on Demand: ADL and Future of e-Learning are part of the plan.
A sought-after keynote speaker on e-learning and blended-learning,Khan is past President (1999-2000) of the International Division of the Association for Educational and Communication Technology (AECT). He delivered keynote addresses at the various distance learning conferences in the USA and abroad. He was one of the select few experts invited to a symposium on virtual education organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). He served as a consultant/advisor to distance education and educational technology related projects at the World Bank,Asian Development Bank,US Federal departments,including Department of Education,Department of Defense,Department of Transportation,Department of Energy,Department of Labor,and Department of Health and Human Services; Ministry of Education in several countries,and academic institutions and corporations in the USA and abroad.
He interviews visionary leaders around the world who implemented technology based education in their regions or institutions for a regular column of the Educational Technologymagazine entitled Interviews with Badrul Khan. He is a contributing editor of Educational Technology (USA),He previously served as a consulting editor of The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (Canada) and The Arab Journal of Open Learning (Yemen),a member of the editorial advisory board of the eLearning Digest (UAE),a member of the editorial board of Distance Education (Australia),a member of the editorial board of Review of Education at Distance (Brazil),a member of editorial advisory board of Media and Technology for Human Resource Development (India),a member of the scientific committee of Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society (Italy),a member of the advisory board ofInternational Journal of Learning Technology (UK),and a member of the advisory board of Indian Journal of Training & Development (India).

Prof. Abbas Bazargan

Department of Educational Management and Planning

Faculty of Psychology and Education,University of Tehran

 Title: Quality Assessment and Accreditation in e-Learning in Medical Education: from Ideals to Reality


Quality is one of the most important concerns of e-Learning systems.  Furthermore,quality assurance of e-learning in medical education (ELME),which deals with training of human resources for providing healthcare services to the society,has a very high priority. Towards this end,in the past few years,efforts have been made by different organizations to present approaches to assessment and accreditation of the ELME systems. As an example,European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) has provided guidelines for assessing the quality of e-Learning materials. Such approaches take into account the input factors of the ELME systems and not the outputs and outcomes. In other words,the learning outcomes which are considered the most important aspects are not being assessed. Ideally,a technologically enhanced environment in medical education,such as the ELME,has a great potentiality to introduce innovation,increase efficiency and effectiveness. More specifically,facilitate deep learning and meet students’ needs. In doing so,the ELME is expected to transform the content-based approach to learner-based. This requires a change in several factors including assessment of students’ learning.  But,in developing countries,in general,the ELME is used to expand programs and increase student population,without regard to the pedagogical aspects. In other words,in the ELME systems,technology should be integrated with the pedagogical aspects so that interactive and collaborative approached lead to deep learning. Based on the above,this presentation,in the first part,elaborates on formative assessment of students through portfolio cases. Furthermore,it emphasizes the need to assess the competency of students’ communication skills,as a pre-requisite to enroll in the ELME.  Then,the need for summative assessment through multiple choice questions and also virtual patients and genuine diagnostic reasoning problem is discussed. In the next section of the presentation,efforts at the international level towards accreditation of the ELME are analyzed and their shortcomings are enumerated. We may classify approaches to assuring the quality of the ELME systems into four categories :a) quality management,b) best and good practices and benchmarking,c) certification and accreditation,d) national quality awards for best performance.  These approaches to quality assurance are analyzed and some proposals are made for capacity building in assessing and enhancing quality in the ELME systems.


Prof. Abbas Bazargan has a PhD in Educational Research,University of Pittsburgh,PA (USA).

His teaching and researching interests includes Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods in the Behavioural Sciences,Quality Assurance in Higher Education,Statistical Methods in Education,Educational Evaluation,Pedagometrics,and Entrepreneurship Education. Prof. Bazargan has served on the editorial board of journals such as The Quarterly Journal of the International Association of Universities,Paris,The Quarterly Journal of Faculty of Psych. & Ed.,University of Tehran,Quarterly Journal of Education (Institute of Education,Tehran) and Quarterly Journal of Research and Planning in Higher Education (Institute for Research and Planning in Higher Education).

His research has attracted research funding,produced many publications and Masters and PhD completions.

  Gholamali Montazer

Title: Assessment of E-learning Development in Universities of Iran and the Region



E-learning is one of the main strategies of qualitative development in educational environment especially in the field of higher education. Entering this field and use its advantages require creating infrastructure which in case of not fulfilling them in practice leads to waste investments in this area. In addition to financial damages,it can wash out the users’ trust in the advantages of this appropriate educational environment.

On the other hand in most of the cases,universities merely consider creating e-learning environment in developing hardware and software infrastructures such as websites,servers; content management software and so important required infrastructures are not considered such as:  legal issues,cultural promotion,abilities of teachers and students,managerial issues,and standardization. In fact,it is the most important reason of failure in design and implementation of e-learning system in Iran. This matter is emphasized when the necessity of fulfilling first position of the region in scientific and technological fields is considered in the national vision of 2023.

Regarding above mentioned points,the present article attempts to design a proper framework for E-Learning system development  through codifying a model for a comprehensive assessment of E-learning environment. Then,a few selected universities of Iran and  its neighbour,Turkey,have been evaluated   based of the designed model and finally,the results of assessment are presented.  


Gholam Ali Montazer received his B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the  Kh. N. Toosi University of Technology,Tehran,Iran in 1993 and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Tarbiat Modares University,Tehran,Iran in 1995 and 1999,respectively.

Currently,he is an associate professor in the department of information technology at school of engineering,Tarbiat Modares University (TMU). His areas of research include soft computing approaches such as artificial neural network (ANN),fuzzy set theory (FST) and rough set theory (RST),Evolutionary computation and their applications in pattern recognition,e-learning systems,and e-commerce envirnment.

He is Editor-in-Chief of Information Engineering Quarterly and an editorial board member for the International Journal of Information Science and Management (IJISM) and Journal of Science and Technology Policy (JSTP).

He has received many national and international awards such as Kharazmi International Award (KIA) in 2005,the best academic book author for the book Nonlinear Control in 2003.ISESCO recognized him as the distinguished researcher in information technology (IT) in 2004. He is also,the winner of shaheed Rajaei 2nd best Research Award (2009) and the National Distinguished Specialist in Information Technology (2010). He was the general chair of the national conference on IT and Industry in Iran in 2005 and the general chair of the national meeting on The Most Appropriate Technologies for Iran (2010).

Dr. Mahmood Tara

MD PhD,Department of Medical lnformatics,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

Title: Modern Knowledge Artifact Design to Tailor Health Services Information toward Citizens


As health sciences and medicine moving toward citizen-centeredness and personalized medicine,the role of modern information disciplines such as consumer health informatics is being constantly boosted. These disciplines are destined to tailor health information and knowledge in such an effective way that leads to changes in people's beliefs and attitudes and results in citizens' change of health behaviours,as the goal of all health promotion activities. Today's citizens needs to find quality answers to their health ­related questions,wants to find and pick the best doctor and clinic,and to get the information regarding a healthy lifestyle.

In this speech,the lecturer will summarize different aspects of knowledge and information artifact design whose content are tailored to the information needs and wants of the target citizens. Such artifacts may include a Website or Web page,an educational multimedia package,or a health service portal. The lecture will include a discussion of what constitutes citizens' wants and needs,a review on different models of information tailoring,and a wrap-up on some possible example of health information artifacts targeting citizens.


Dr. Mahmood Tara is the director and assistant professor at the Department of Medical informatics,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS). He is a physician and health informatician,who has received his PhD in health informatics from the University of Victoria,Canada. He has always been a fan of designing computer application to improve the quality of healthcare services and medical education. He has been involved in research,teaching and the provision of health information services in health/medical informatics area since 1993,serving in a wide range of positions in Iran and Canada. He was the eo-founder and editor of the Journal of Computer in Medicine (M U MS),a team member of the national initiatives toward "the personal

health record for all Canadian citizens" (e-Health group of the National Research Council (N RC) of Canada),the founder and director of the Biomedical Informatics Department (M UMS),and the board member of the National Committee of Medical lnformatics,the Iranian Ministry of Health. Dr. Tara's research interests include Semantic Web Health Services,Ontologies and knowledge management,and consumer health informatics. He particularly interested in action research in health information provision,through which the actual process of change in health information system is designed,monitored and academically evaluated for best results.

Dr. Tara is the invited author of the premier reference book of "Ubiquitous Health and Medical Informatics: The Ubiquity 2.0 Trend and Beyond,IGI,2010" and also the invited author of the fourth edition of "The 2014 Encyclopaedia of Information Sciences and Technologies (lGI Global,USA)" on aspects of information tailoring,as the main topic of his keynote speech.

Prof. Ali Akbar Safavi

Ph.D in process system engineering

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering,Shiraz University,Shiraz,I.R. of Iran

 Title: On Some Economical Aspects of Telemedicine in Iran


Telemedicine programs could provide various health services to distanced areas using information and communication technology. Some trends toward real implementations of telemedicine have been started in Iran and various research publications have emphasized on its importance and potentials. Nevertheless,economic evaluations of telemedicine remain rare particularly in national case studies. This research gap has contributed to a lack of reliable,comparative economic data for policy makers,program administrators,and other stakeholders. Rigorous analyses of such programs could provide credible and comparative evidence of their economic viability and thus lead to the adoption and expansion of these programs. To facilitate this analysis,some guidelines are provided. Besides,results of some cost analysis from patients’ point of views are presented. We will conclude with specific recommendations for future research and program expansions.


Ali Akbar Safavi received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Shahid Chamran University,Iran,in 1987,and his M.Sc. degree in Control Engineering from the University of NSW,Australia,in 1992. His Ph.D. in Process Systems Engineering was completed at Sydney University in 1995. In 1996,he was a Postdoctoral fellow in Sydney University.  He joined Shiraz University in 1997. He is currently a Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Shiraz University in Iran. His research interests are model predictive control,wavelets,neural networks,system identification,networked based Control,and information technology. See http://home.shirazu.ac.ir/~safavi/.