Making Computer Science Exciting for Children – Kinderuniversität

Petra is teaching at the primary school in Satteldorf. As there is no University close by we decided to have a university afternoon at school. The idea behind this (in German Kinderuniversität) is to get young children excited for scientific topics and show that research is fun. The lecture should make them curious and motivate them to ask fundamental questions.

My lecture was on principles and technologies for communication (in German) and we looked fundamentally at what information is, how it relates to probabilities, how to encode information, and what devices people used and use for communication. For me this was a very exciting experience and also showed that we (as a discipline Computer Science) should probably look more into didactic and how to communicate fundamentals of our subject in school. So far many students associated computer science with using PowerPoint :-( but there are interesting starting points, e.g. a German book on algorithms for school children [1].

[1] Vöcking, B.; Alt, H.; Dietzfelbinger, M.; Reischuk, R.; Scheideler, C.; Vollmer, H.; Wagner, D. (Ed.). Taschenbuch der Algorithmen. 2008, ISBN: 978-3-540-76393-2

Making Computer Science Exciting for Children – Kinderuniversität

Petra is teaching at the primary school in Satteldorf. As there is no University close by we decided to have a university afternoon at school. The idea behind this (in German Kinderuniversität) is to get young children excited for scientific topics and show that research is fun. The lecture should make them curious and motivate them to ask fundamental questions.

My lecture was on principles and technologies for communication (in German) and we looked fundamentally at what information is, how it relates to probabilities, how to encode information, and what devices people used and use for communication. For me this was a very exciting experience and also showed that we (as a discipline Computer Science) should probably look more into didactic and how to communicate fundamentals of our subject in school. So far many students associated computer science with using PowerPoint :-( but there are interesting starting points, e.g. a German book on algorithms for school children [1].

[1] Vöcking, B.; Alt, H.; Dietzfelbinger, M.; Reischuk, R.; Scheideler, C.; Vollmer, H.; Wagner, D. (Ed.). Taschenbuch der Algorithmen. 2008, ISBN: 978-3-540-76393-2

>Making Computer Science Exciting for Children – Kinderuniversität

>Petra is teaching at the primary school in Satteldorf. As there is no University close by we decided to have a university afternoon at school. The idea behind this (in German Kinderuniversität) is to get young children excited for scientific topics and show that research is fun. The lecture should make them curious and motivate them to ask fundamental questions.

My lecture was on principles and technologies for communication (in German) and we looked fundamentally at what information is, how it relates to probabilities, how to encode information, and what devices people used and use for communication. For me this was a very exciting experience and also showed that we (as a discipline Computer Science) should probably look more into didactic and how to communicate fundamentals of our subject in school. So far many students associated computer science with using PowerPoint :-( but there are interesting starting points, e.g. a German book on algorithms for school children [1].

[1] Vöcking, B.; Alt, H.; Dietzfelbinger, M.; Reischuk, R.; Scheideler, C.; Vollmer, H.; Wagner, D. (Ed.). Taschenbuch der Algorithmen. 2008, ISBN: 978-3-540-76393-2

Aaron Quigley will become director of HITLab Australia

Aaron announced that he is going to be the founding director of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory Australia and Professor at the University of Tasmania. After HITLab in Washington and New Zealand this is the third one. It is quite a challenge- but he is the person for it!

What can one say? Congratulations and a quote from Mark Twan: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

PS: Found myself checking two things: (1) where Tasmania is and (2) when I have my next sabbatical …

Aaron Quigley will become director of HITLab Australia

Aaron announced that he is going to be the founding director of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory Australia and Professor at the University of Tasmania. After HITLab in Washington and New Zealand this is the third one. It is quite a challenge- but he is the person for it!

What can one say? Congratulations and a quote from Mark Twan: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

PS: Found myself checking two things: (1) where Tasmania is and (2) when I have my next sabbatical …

>Aaron Quigley will become director of HITLab Australia

>Aaron announced that he is going to be the founding director of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory Australia and Professor at the University of Tasmania. After HITLab in Washington and New Zealand this is the third one. It is quite a challenge- but he is the person for it!

What can one say? Congratulations and a quote from Mark Twan: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

PS: Found myself checking two things: (1) where Tasmania is and (2) when I have my next sabbatical …

Linking the activities in the physical world to actions in the digital/virtual

Currently we have an assignment in our Pervasive Computing class that asks students to design and develop a system where actions are associated with artifacts. Technically students should develop a web based solution using RFID. Apropos RFID, … if you look for a good introduction on RFID read Roy Want’s IEEE Pervasive Magazin paper [1].

We use the hardware from http://nabaztag.com/ (Ztamp:s and Mir:ror) as the focus is on the concept and application and not on the underlying technology. To ease development Florian and Ali have developed a little system that offers WebCallBacks (students can register a URL and that is called when a tag is read).

Linking by tagging of objects has been well explored, e.g. [2] and [3], and I think it is about time that this technologies will make an impact in the consumer market – the technology gets cheap enough now (and perhaps one of our students has a great idea).

Some years back (in the last millennium) a company tried to push linking of paper adverts and digital content with the CueCat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat) – I was impressed and inspired at that time but in my view it had two major weaknesses: (1) technically too early and (2) encoding of serial numbers instead of URLs. The RadioShack catalog and the Wired Magazine that included codes showed the potential – but it was too cumbersome as it was restricted to the PC …

We did some work on the topic, too around that time – at RFID reader integrated in a glove – which resulted in a Poster at ISWC [4] and a patent [5].

[1] Want, R. 2006. An Introduction to RFID Technology. IEEE Pervasive Computing 5, 1 (Jan. 2006), 25. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2006.2

[2] Harrison, B. L., Fishkin, K. P., Gujar, A., Portnov, D., and Want, R. 1999. Bridging physical and virtual worlds with tagged documents, objects and locations. In CHI ’99 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 15 – 20, 1999). CHI ’99. ACM, New York, NY, 29-30. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/632716.632738

[3] Ljungstrand, P. and Holmquist, L. E. 1999. WebStickers: using physical objects as WWW bookmarks. In CHI ’99 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 15 – 20, 1999). CHI ’99. ACM, New York, NY, 332-333. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/632716.632916

[4] Schmidt, A., Gellersen, H., and Merz, C. 2000. Enabling Implicit Human Computer Interaction: A Wearable RFID-Tag Reader. In Proceedings of the 4th IEEE international Symposium on Wearable Computers (October 18 – 21, 2000). ISWC. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 193. (Poster as large PNG)

[5] US Patent 6614351 – Computerized system for automatically monitoring processing of objects. September 2, 2003. http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6614351/description.html

Linking the activities in the physical world to actions in the digital/virtual

Currently we have an assignment in our Pervasive Computing class that asks students to design and develop a system where actions are associated with artifacts. Technically students should develop a web based solution using RFID. Apropos RFID, … if you look for a good introduction on RFID read Roy Want’s IEEE Pervasive Magazin paper [1].

We use the hardware from http://nabaztag.com/ (Ztamp:s and Mir:ror) as the focus is on the concept and application and not on the underlying technology. To ease development Florian and Ali have developed a little system that offers WebCallBacks (students can register a URL and that is called when a tag is read).

Linking by tagging of objects has been well explored, e.g. [2] and [3], and I think it is about time that this technologies will make an impact in the consumer market – the technology gets cheap enough now (and perhaps one of our students has a great idea).

Some years back (in the last millennium) a company tried to push linking of paper adverts and digital content with the CueCat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat) – I was impressed and inspired at that time but in my view it had two major weaknesses: (1) technically too early and (2) encoding of serial numbers instead of URLs. The RadioShack catalog and the Wired Magazine that included codes showed the potential – but it was too cumbersome as it was restricted to the PC …

We did some work on the topic, too around that time – at RFID reader integrated in a glove – which resulted in a Poster at ISWC [4] and a patent [5].

[1] Want, R. 2006. An Introduction to RFID Technology. IEEE Pervasive Computing 5, 1 (Jan. 2006), 25. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2006.2

[2] Harrison, B. L., Fishkin, K. P., Gujar, A., Portnov, D., and Want, R. 1999. Bridging physical and virtual worlds with tagged documents, objects and locations. In CHI ’99 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 15 – 20, 1999). CHI ’99. ACM, New York, NY, 29-30. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/632716.632738

[3] Ljungstrand, P. and Holmquist, L. E. 1999. WebStickers: using physical objects as WWW bookmarks. In CHI ’99 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 15 – 20, 1999). CHI ’99. ACM, New York, NY, 332-333. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/632716.632916

[4] Schmidt, A., Gellersen, H., and Merz, C. 2000. Enabling Implicit Human Computer Interaction: A Wearable RFID-Tag Reader. In Proceedings of the 4th IEEE international Symposium on Wearable Computers (October 18 – 21, 2000). ISWC. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 193. (Poster as large PNG)

[5] US Patent 6614351 – Computerized system for automatically monitoring processing of objects. September 2, 2003. http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6614351/description.html

>Linking the activities in the physical world to actions in the digital/virtual

>Currently we have an assignment in our Pervasive Computing class that asks students to design and develop a system where actions are associated with artifacts. Technically students should develop a web based solution using RFID. Apropos RFID, … if you look for a good introduction on RFID read Roy Want’s IEEE Pervasive Magazin paper [1].

We use the hardware from http://nabaztag.com/ (Ztamp:s and Mir:ror) as the focus is on the concept and application and not on the underlying technology. To ease development Florian and Ali have developed a little system that offers WebCallBacks (students can register a URL and that is called when a tag is read).

Linking by tagging of objects has been well explored, e.g. [2] and [3], and I think it is about time that this technologies will make an impact in the consumer market – the technology gets cheap enough now (and perhaps one of our students has a great idea).

Some years back (in the last millennium) a company tried to push linking of paper adverts and digital content with the CueCat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat) – I was impressed and inspired at that time but in my view it had two major weaknesses: (1) technically too early and (2) encoding of serial numbers instead of URLs. The RadioShack catalog and the Wired Magazine that included codes showed the potential – but it was too cumbersome as it was restricted to the PC …

We did some work on the topic, too around that time – at RFID reader integrated in a glove – which resulted in a Poster at ISWC [4] and a patent [5].

[1] Want, R. 2006. An Introduction to RFID Technology. IEEE Pervasive Computing 5, 1 (Jan. 2006), 25. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MPRV.2006.2

[2] Harrison, B. L., Fishkin, K. P., Gujar, A., Portnov, D., and Want, R. 1999. Bridging physical and virtual worlds with tagged documents, objects and locations. In CHI ’99 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 15 – 20, 1999). CHI ’99. ACM, New York, NY, 29-30. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/632716.632738

[3] Ljungstrand, P. and Holmquist, L. E. 1999. WebStickers: using physical objects as WWW bookmarks. In CHI ’99 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 15 – 20, 1999). CHI ’99. ACM, New York, NY, 332-333. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/632716.632916

[4] Schmidt, A., Gellersen, H., and Merz, C. 2000. Enabling Implicit Human Computer Interaction: A Wearable RFID-Tag Reader. In Proceedings of the 4th IEEE international Symposium on Wearable Computers (October 18 – 21, 2000). ISWC. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 193. (Poster as large PNG)

[5] US Patent 6614351 – Computerized system for automatically monitoring processing of objects. September 2, 2003. http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6614351/description.html

Human Computer Confluence – Information Day in Brussels

By the end of the month FET Open will launch the call for the proactive initiative on Human Computer Confluence. The term is new and hopefully it will really lead to new ideas. Today was already an information day on the upcoming proactive initiatives. I arrived the evening before and it is always a treat to talk a walk in the city.

The presentations were not really surprising and also the short intros by the participants remained very generic. Seeing the call that is now finalized and having been at the consultation meetings it seems to me that the focus is rather broad for a proactive initiative… but with many people wanting a piece of the cake this seems inevitable.

I presented a short idea of “breaking space and time boundaries” – the idea is related to a previous post on predicting the future. The main idea is that with massive sensing (by a large number of people) and with uniform access to this information – independ of time and space – we will be able to create a different view of our realty. We think of putting a consortium together for an IP. Interested? Then give me a call.