Luca Mari's Seminar and Workshops

BEAR Seminar: An Overview Of The Current Status Of Measurement Science: From The Standpoint Of The International Vocabulary Of Metrology (VIM)

BEAR Seminar by Luca Mari at the Graduate School of Education - UC Berkeley:The International Vocabulary of Metrology – Basic and General Concepts and Associated Terms (VIM) (JGCM 200:2012) is produced by the Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology (JCGM), which currently gathers eight international organizations working in the field of metrology and aimed at addressing the general metrological needs of science, technology, and society through the development of guidance documents (together with the VIM, the Evaluation of measurement data – Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement (GUM) (JCGM 100:2008). A comparison of the three editions of the VIM (published in 1984, 1993, 2007 respectively) highlights that measurement science is a moving target, and some of its foundational topics, such as the concepts of quantity, measurement result, and measurand, have significantly changed even in a relatively short time. With reference to some cogent examples, the seminar will emphasize the current understanding of measurement as a knowledge-based, pragmatic process, in which models play a primary role.

Workshop 1: Models of measurement: the general structure

Workshop by Luca Mari at the Graduate School of Education - UC Berkeley: Measurement is laden with stereotypes, rooted in its long history and diverse fields of adoption. The consequence is that even the basic terminology (e.g., quantity, scale, accuracy, calibration, ...) is often ambiguous, or least context-dependent. The workshop introduces a background ontology of measurement, from which a basic epistemological characterization is proposed: measurement as a both conceptual and experimental process implementing a property value assignment able to produce information on a predefined property with a specified and provable level of objectivity and intersubjectivity.

Workshop 2: Models of measurement: measuring systems and metrological infrastructure.


Workshop by Luca Mari at the Graduate School of Education - UC Berkeley: Building upon the proposed epistemological characterization, the workshop focuses on the structural features of measuring systems, front-ends of a metrological infrastructure and tools designed and operated so to guarantee a required minimum level of objectivity and intersubjectivity for the conveyed information. This highlights the twofold nature of measurement, an information acquisition and representation process in which the role of models is unavoidable, even though possibly left implicit in the simplest cases.

Workshop 3: An overview on measurement uncertainty: from the standpoint of the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM).

Workshop by Luca Mari at the Graduate School of Education - UC Berkeley: The concept of measurement uncertainty offers some new connotations with respect to the traditional way the quality of measurement results has been represented, in a more and more encompassing path from ontology (true value and error), to epistemology (degree of belief), to pragmatics (target measurement uncertainty). The workshop presents a conceptual framework in which measurement uncertainty is interpreted as an overall property, synthesizing both instrumental and definitional contributions.

Workshop 4: Is the body of knowledge on measurement worth to be a ‘science’, and what may be the scope of a measurement science?.

Workshop by Luca Mari at the Graduate School of Education - UC Berkeley: Measurement is commonly considered a critical but only instrumental process: the body of knowledge related to measurement appears the juxtaposition of multiple contributions, from physics (or chemistry, biology, psychology, economy, ...), to systems theory and control theory, signal theory and statistics, but also information theory and computer science, philosophy of science and ontology. In perspective, also political science and ethics might be progressively interested in measurement and its social implications. Is there a distinctive, common ground for a science of measurement in the diversity of these topics? The workshop aims at introducing the discussion and proposing some reflections on the actual status of science of such a body of knowledge.