Computer science students develop ‘chatbot’ for Canada Games – The Brock News


NOTE: This is the latest in a series of Q&A stories featuring faculty members integrating the Niagara 2022 Canada Games into the courses they teach at Brock University or in research that they lead. For more information on Brock’s academic activities around the Games, visit

Naser Ezzati-Jivan is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science. His research focuses on software engineering, software debugging and performance evaluation. His teaching is closely related to these areas and covers topics such as software engineering, software performance analysis, database management and operating systems.

What is the title, code and description of your Canada Games related course?

The course I am focusing on for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games is Software Engineering II (COSC 4P02). During this course, teams of students work on a long-term development project using the methodologies learned during Software Engineering I (COSC 4P01). The course is designed to allow students to gain experience in a realistic development environment with common practices such as AGILE, while learning useful programming techniques for software development. It is offered as a fourth-year course, encouraging a diverse group of experiences as group members have selected different electives and had different work experiences, which in turn provides a more unique and realistic environment.

Describe how you incorporated Canada Games material into your course?

For this year’s COSC 4P02 project, students were tasked with developing a chatbot application for the Canada Games and Brock University. A chatbot is a type of software that allows the user to talk to it, usually through a textual interface, and receive answers to questions and comments made. For the Canada Games, this chatbot would be able to answer questions about the Games themselves, such as timing or venue questions, and provide a wealth of information about the various participating athletes and teams.

Why do you think the Canada Games are such a great opportunity for Brock students?

The Canada Games are a major event held with ties to Brock University, allowing students to work on projects with real-world applications. This gives students the opportunity to see the Games as an opening to impact their community through these events. The design of COSC 4P02 this year was done in a way to allow students to serve as software developers working for a client who requested an application with specific functionality and deadlines. This gives students a very real development experience while allowing them to learn about different technologies and integrate them as part of the development cycle. The chatbot was chosen because it can be beneficial for the Games and uses software that requires a variety of valuable programming skills, such as data scraping, database management, artificial intelligence and language processing. natural.

Do you have any suggestions on how your colleagues can use the Games to improve teaching and learning opportunities in their courses?

Other professors at Brock University can use the Canada Games in a similar way to provide real-world scenarios for students engaged in courses that could benefit from a very modern and relevant event. Project courses can benefit particularly well, as using an external event such as the Canada Games provides a very hands-on project that could be seen outside of a school setting, helping to provide an educational experience more practical. Additionally, finding meaningful ways to incorporate the Canada Games into coursework and research will allow students to learn more about the event and its significance. The Games present a unique opportunity for research in particular, as there will be a lot of data to collect, allowing data-driven projects to have a wealth of information to extract. This can include analytics, pattern analysis, machine learning, and many other types of data-driven research and development projects.

After the Games are over, how do you plan to continue using this new idea in your course?

The idea of ​​using a chatbot as the COSC 4P02 project itself may have originated for use with the Canada Summer Games; however, the merits of this type of software and its development as an educational tool may endure. This year, students had the choice of working on either a Brock University version of the chatbot or the Canada Games version, and these two chatbots had many common characteristics. We hope that we can continue to develop this chatbot, through the COSC 4P02 course, to eventually provide a wealth of information to Brock University, the surrounding Niagara region, and any future events in the region.

For more information on COSC 4P02, please contact Ezzati-Jivan at [email protected]


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