Doctoral colloquium in Tampere

For the second time we organized an international doctoral colloquium on HCI – mainly with students from Germany and Finland. This year it was hosted at the University of Tampere. 10 students in different stages of their PhD presented their work and ideas. The first one was in Oulu.

Besides many scientific and technological topics we discussed the process of doing a PhD. I shared my experience of doing a PhD based on an extened version of Jakob Badram’s fish model as well as with the PI-presentation model.

The fish: basically you start with a topic and it widens over time – till at some point you have to focus – and when you have focused and found the specific contribution you have to widen again a bit to cover the things you need for making it a coherent PhD-thesis. This applies to the technical skill set of the student as well as to the research topic. Pertti added a personal sanity graph – from the beginning when you think of how difficult a PhD is, to the middle were you think you know it all and everyone else in the research community has no clue, to the (hopefully) final stage where you get a objective view on your PhD (where you realize you made a contribution you can be proud of – but it is probably not going to change the whole world). It seemed that most people who have done a PhD in CS can relate to this graph…

Doctoral colloquium in Tampere

For the second time we organized an international doctoral colloquium on HCI – mainly with students from Germany and Finland. This year it was hosted at the University of Tampere. 10 students in different stages of their PhD presented their work and ideas. The first one was in Oulu.

Besides many scientific and technological topics we discussed the process of doing a PhD. I shared my experience of doing a PhD based on an extened version of Jakob Badram’s fish model as well as with the PI-presentation model.

The fish: basically you start with a topic and it widens over time – till at some point you have to focus – and when you have focused and found the specific contribution you have to widen again a bit to cover the things you need for making it a coherent PhD-thesis. This applies to the technical skill set of the student as well as to the research topic. Pertti added a personal sanity graph – from the beginning when you think of how difficult a PhD is, to the middle were you think you know it all and everyone else in the research community has no clue, to the (hopefully) final stage where you get a objective view on your PhD (where you realize you made a contribution you can be proud of – but it is probably not going to change the whole world). It seemed that most people who have done a PhD in CS can relate to this graph…

>Doctoral colloquium in Tampere

>For the second time we organized an international doctoral colloquium on HCI – mainly with students from Germany and Finland. This year it was hosted at the University of Tampere. 10 students in different stages of their PhD presented their work and ideas. The first one was in Oulu.

Besides many scientific and technological topics we discussed the process of doing a PhD. I shared my experience of doing a PhD based on an extened version of Jakob Badram’s fish model as well as with the PI-presentation model.

The fish: basically you start with a topic and it widens over time – till at some point you have to focus – and when you have focused and found the specific contribution you have to widen again a bit to cover the things you need for making it a coherent PhD-thesis. This applies to the technical skill set of the student as well as to the research topic. Pertti added a personal sanity graph – from the beginning when you think of how difficult a PhD is, to the middle were you think you know it all and everyone else in the research community has no clue, to the (hopefully) final stage where you get a objective view on your PhD (where you realize you made a contribution you can be proud of – but it is probably not going to change the whole world). It seemed that most people who have done a PhD in CS can relate to this graph…

Creativity Workshop at NRC Tampere

Creativity is a key issue of creating novel applications and interaction methods and techniques. Over two days we ran a hands on prototyping workshop on physical user interaction. We setup teams of 3 people, each team including at least one person with design and one with programming skills. Within about 5 hours the teams had to create a multiplayer interactive game – using a mouse or several mice as basic sensors. We discussed how novelty and the learning curve of interaction technologies relate to physical interaction. The results of the workshop were most impressive… and I think some of them could be really pushed further.
In 2008 there was an interesting issue of Interactions Magazine on innovation. The cover article by Dubberly provides a good conceptual models of innovation [1]. In my lecture on HCI I tyically also introduce the TRIZ (“The theory of solving inventor’s problems”) methodology, introduced by the Soviet engineer and researcher Genrich Altshuller. TRIZ is interesting to me, as it is in contrast to many other creativity approaches,a systemtic (algorithmic) approach for generating innovative ideas and solutions for problem solving. However I am not sure how well it works in the real world…
During the workshop our approach was very practical. We did also a speed invention exercise – the task was to create 3 game concepts (related to physical penny games) within 10 minutes. The results were pretty impressive – perhaps someone has the time to implement them.

And being in Finland we got the real sauna experience – inside +79°C and then outside into the snow -23° – this is cool (in the very literal sense!).

[1] Dubberly, H. 2008. Toward a model of innovation. interactions 15, 1 (Jan. 2008), 28-36. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/133

Creativity Workshop at NRC Tampere

Creativity is a key issue of creating novel applications and interaction methods and techniques. Over two days we ran a hands on prototyping workshop on physical user interaction. We setup teams of 3 people, each team including at least one person with design and one with programming skills. Within about 5 hours the teams had to create a multiplayer interactive game – using a mouse or several mice as basic sensors. We discussed how novelty and the learning curve of interaction technologies relate to physical interaction. The results of the workshop were most impressive… and I think some of them could be really pushed further.
In 2008 there was an interesting issue of Interactions Magazine on innovation. The cover article by Dubberly provides a good conceptual models of innovation [1]. In my lecture on HCI I tyically also introduce the TRIZ (“The theory of solving inventor’s problems”) methodology, introduced by the Soviet engineer and researcher Genrich Altshuller. TRIZ is interesting to me, as it is in contrast to many other creativity approaches,a systemtic (algorithmic) approach for generating innovative ideas and solutions for problem solving. However I am not sure how well it works in the real world…
During the workshop our approach was very practical. We did also a speed invention exercise – the task was to create 3 game concepts (related to physical penny games) within 10 minutes. The results were pretty impressive – perhaps someone has the time to implement them.

And being in Finland we got the real sauna experience – inside +79°C and then outside into the snow -23° – this is cool (in the very literal sense!).

[1] Dubberly, H. 2008. Toward a model of innovation. interactions 15, 1 (Jan. 2008), 28-36. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/133

>Creativity Workshop at NRC Tampere

>Creativity is a key issue of creating novel applications and interaction methods and techniques. Over two days we ran a hands on prototyping workshop on physical user interaction. We setup teams of 3 people, each team including at least one person with design and one with programming skills. Within about 5 hours the teams had to create a multiplayer interactive game – using a mouse or several mice as basic sensors. We discussed how novelty and the learning curve of interaction technologies relate to physical interaction. The results of the workshop were most impressive… and I think some of them could be really pushed further.
In 2008 there was an interesting issue of Interactions Magazine on innovation. The cover article by Dubberly provides a good conceptual models of innovation [1]. In my lecture on HCI I tyically also introduce the TRIZ (“The theory of solving inventor’s problems”) methodology, introduced by the Soviet engineer and researcher Genrich Altshuller. TRIZ is interesting to me, as it is in contrast to many other creativity approaches,a systemtic (algorithmic) approach for generating innovative ideas and solutions for problem solving. However I am not sure how well it works in the real world…
During the workshop our approach was very practical. We did also a speed invention exercise – the task was to create 3 game concepts (related to physical penny games) within 10 minutes. The results were pretty impressive – perhaps someone has the time to implement them.

And being in Finland we got the real sauna experience – inside +79°C and then outside into the snow -23° – this is cool (in the very literal sense!).

[1] Dubberly, H. 2008. Toward a model of innovation. interactions 15, 1 (Jan. 2008), 28-36. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/133

Talk at demola, Finnish Ubicomp program

Jari Ikonen from the Finnish Ubicomp program contacted me last week – interestingly because I shared on this blog the information that I will be in Tampere – and it worked out that we met.

He showed and explained me the demola approach. I find this concept of teaching, training and innovation very exciting. In short demola offers space for students to work on challenging problems that are real and creates opportunities opportunities. Basically companies offer tasks/project to works on. Teams of students (potentially from different universities and fields) will work together to solve it as part of their studies – but the students also will own the IPR. I think that creates interesting teams in realistic settings and has probably a great potential for creating start-ups. Perhaps we should look at this model closer and see how we could create something similar…

As always when meeting interesting people time was too short… I gave an ad-hoc talk based on previous slides on “Mobile & Ubiquitous Computing and Beyond: Mobile Communication changed the world – what else do we need?” and we had a short but very interesting discussion.

Talk at demola, Finnish Ubicomp program

Jari Ikonen from the Finnish Ubicomp program contacted me last week – interestingly because I shared on this blog the information that I will be in Tampere – and it worked out that we met.

He showed and explained me the demola approach. I find this concept of teaching, training and innovation very exciting. In short demola offers space for students to work on challenging problems that are real and creates opportunities opportunities. Basically companies offer tasks/project to works on. Teams of students (potentially from different universities and fields) will work together to solve it as part of their studies – but the students also will own the IPR. I think that creates interesting teams in realistic settings and has probably a great potential for creating start-ups. Perhaps we should look at this model closer and see how we could create something similar…

As always when meeting interesting people time was too short… I gave an ad-hoc talk based on previous slides on “Mobile & Ubiquitous Computing and Beyond: Mobile Communication changed the world – what else do we need?” and we had a short but very interesting discussion.

>Talk at demola, Finnish Ubicomp program

>Jari Ikonen from the Finnish Ubicomp program contacted me last week – interestingly because I shared on this blog the information that I will be in Tampere – and it worked out that we met.

He showed and explained me the demola approach. I find this concept of teaching, training and innovation very exciting. In short demola offers space for students to work on challenging problems that are real and creates opportunities opportunities. Basically companies offer tasks/project to works on. Teams of students (potentially from different universities and fields) will work together to solve it as part of their studies – but the students also will own the IPR. I think that creates interesting teams in realistic settings and has probably a great potential for creating start-ups. Perhaps we should look at this model closer and see how we could create something similar…

As always when meeting interesting people time was too short… I gave an ad-hoc talk based on previous slides on “Mobile & Ubiquitous Computing and Beyond: Mobile Communication changed the world – what else do we need?” and we had a short but very interesting discussion.

Finally a simple explanation of social software

Social software and media is getting hugely popular and there are many longer explanations in CSCW and CHI why this works and what are the basic drivers. I saw a t-shirt that explains it in a single picture :-)

It may over generalize but there is some truth in it – and given the recent figures on the prevalence of ADHA it seems to be a driving business in the future…