Posts Tagged ‘AI’

Amanda Takes a Stab at SXSW - March 5th, 2007

amanda will hate me for this

LUCI grad student, Amanda Williams has accomplished her first *real* grad student milestone to graduation, an interview with Wired:

Wired News: Tech Expos Take a Stab at Sex

“At SXSW Interactive, the Sex and Computational Technology panel reflects the mix of disciplines involved in developing the next generation of sex tech: social analysts, sex educators and engineers. The moderator, Amanda Williams, is a Ph.D. student at the University of California at Irvine studying interactive and collaborative technology.

“(The field of) human-computer interaction has a long tradition of depicting users as a brain, an eye and a finger that can click a mouse,” she says. “(But) what about bodies? How about the ways we observe other people’s bodies? And how does this play into how we work with technology and collaborate?”

For Williams, research into what she calls “tangible interfaces” revolves around incorporating social, emotional and bodily aspects of life into our experiences with technology. And it’s not surprising that while designing various systems that do so, “every now and then we’d inadvertently run into a sex thing.”

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Posted: 3/5/07 8:00 am PDT by Add Your Comment
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Sean Higgins – Island of Relative Stability - March 4th, 2007


Sean Higgins – Island of Relative Stability – sixspace
“Sixspace is proud to present the debut Los Angeles solo exhibition by Sean Higgins, Island of Relative Stability. …

With this interest in creating remote landscapes filtered by perception, memory, or even filtered by some form of technology, certain scientific concepts can become the catalyst for Higgins to think about an imagery place. The terms “island of relative stability” is derived from a theoretical concept in nuclear physics that refers to the science of smashing together two elements to see if they stick enough to create a new, heavier element. This concept is a mere jumping off point for this exhibition as the artist correlates this idea of a theoretical, temporary space so similar to the mythical landscapes he creates in his work. The islands and landscapes in Higgins’ work are imaginary places represent a theoretical result – how does one get to and from this fictional place? How long does this place last? What rules govern it? Am I in the right place and can I make up my own rules?”

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Posted: 3/4/07 7:47 pm PDT by Make the First Comment
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Social Software: Practice and Theory - February 27th, 2007

The Informatics Seminar is held on Fridays at 3:00pm in ICS2 136 followed by a social hour at 4:00pm. This week’s social hour will also be a chance to meet with faculty candidate Tapan Parikh. Please join us!

This week’s Informatics Seminar speaker will be Professor Werner Beuschel.

Abstract: Recent system developments in the realm of Social Software and
Web x.0 created high hopes in many application areas. But is there a way
from the buzz to concepts? In this talk I will seek an answer focusing on
the potenzial of Social Software to support informal learning processes
within a curriculum. But before we try to develop new practices of
learning through Social Software we should explore our understanding of
the terms in order to gain common ground for devising and evaluating
concepts. This leads us to the question whether there actually is a
research field above and beyond the current collection of applications
like Weblogs, Podcasts, Wikis or social networking systems. The answer I
want to develop provides a perspective in terms of a media view. With
any analytical approach we should also be reminded of the interdependency
between theoretical understanding and subsequent findings. Some examples
of professional social networking systems, originating in Germany, are
used to illustrate the media perspective. A variety of student projects
under development then serves to explore issues and dilemmas of informal
learning concepts. Among the systems are a Web-based frame for
personalizable homepages, a review system for students’ homework, and
the Europe-wide project “Directly to the Chancellor”.

Biography: Werner is professor of information management at the
University of Applied Sciences in Brandenburg, Germany. He acquired
his Ph.D. in computer science in 1987 from the Technical University of
Berlin. Most recently he was on the board of directors for the 5-year
federal project “Virtual University of Applied Sciences”. More than
600 students are now enrolled in its various online-curricula. Ever
since working at ICS as a post-doc, Werner was a regular visitor many
times, currently staying with the department of Informatics during
winter and spring. His research interests are CSCL, Social Software,
and Collaborative Virtual Environments.

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Posted: 2/27/07 10:07 am PDT by Make the First Comment
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Augmenting Learning and Augmenting Reality:Handheld Simulation Games for Learning - February 12th, 2007

The Informatics Seminar is held on Friday at 3:00pm. This week, in lieu of our regular social hour at 4:00pm, there will be a faculty+staff+ grad-student reception/mixer — the very first in the new building, from 4-5:30pm in the 6th floor conference room of Bren Hall. Snacks and assorted (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) beverages will be served. Please join us.

Eric Klopfer
Director, Teacher Education Program, MIT

“Handheld computers have incredible potential for aiding learning in a time when people must tackle complex problems and acquire information in just-in-time fashion. These portable connected computers can provide information when it is needed and where it is needed. But their design and form factor also make them an ideal platform for learning games. The fastest-growing, and soon most-prevalent, gaming platforms are not the new Playstation, Xbox or Wii, but handheld consoles and mobile devices. Rather than cramming desktop applications onto these small devices, it is important to create games that play to the strengths of this platform – portability, context sensitivity, connectivity, and ubiquity. These games can use the physical and social context of the player as integral components, creating a rich playing and learning environment. This talk explores two forms of handheld games created by the MIT Teacher Education Program – participatory simulations (e.g., our new application Palmagotchi) and augmented reality, including how they are used in schools, training, and informal learning environments.

Eric Klopfer is the Director of the MIT Teacher Education Program ( and the Scheller Career Development Professor of Science Education and Educational Technology at MIT. The Teacher Education Program prepares MIT undergraduates to become math and science teachers. Klopfer’s research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building understanding of science and complex systems. His research explores simulations and games on desktop computers as well as handhelds. He currently runs the StarLogo ( project, a desktop platform that enables students and teachers to create computer simulations of complex systems. He is also the creator of StarLogo TNG, a new platform for helping kids create 3D simulations and games using a graphical programming language. On handhelds, Klopfer’s work includes Participatory Simulations ( ), which embed users inside of complex systems, and Augmented Reality simulations (, which create a hybrid virtual/real space for exploring intricate scenarios in real time. He is the co-director of The Education Arcade, which is advancing the development and use of games in K-12 education. Klopfer’s work combines the construction of new software tools with research and development of new pedagogical supports that support the use of these tools in the classroom. He is the co-author of the book, “Adventures in Modeling: Exploring Complex, Dynamic Systems with StarLogo,” and is working on a new book on handheld games and learning from MIT Press.

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Posted: 2/12/07 11:35 am PDT by Add Your Comment
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Congratulations Crista and Bill! - February 9th, 2007

Photo courtesy of

Congratulations to Crista and Bill on receiving a 2007 Dean’s Award:

The full list is:
Dean’s Award for Research: Padhraic Smyth
Dean’s Award for Service: Crista Lopes
Dean’s Award for Graduate Student Mentoring: Michael Franz
Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Teaching: Bill Tomlinson

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Posted: 2/9/07 8:00 am PDT by Make the First Comment
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IBM Programming Contest - February 8th, 2007

“On February 5, IBM announced the “Cell/B.E. University Challenge 07,” a
programming contest specifically created for university students and
offering cash prizes to the winners. * As IBM does not often sponsor
contests, I wanted to make sure you knew this was coming and could help
encourage participation with your partnership university. Winners of
the “Cell/B.E. University Challenge 07,” chosen by a panel of academic
and IBM technical experts, will receive prizes with a cash value ranging
from $10,000 USD for the first place winner to $2,500 USD for the fourth
place winner. ”

Click on the image on the left for details

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Posted: 2/8/07 10:50 am PDT by Make the First Comment
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Talk by John Canny: Toward Natural Human-Computer Interaction - February 7th, 2007

The talk will be held 2/9/2007 at 2:00pm at the UCI McDonnel Douglas Engineering Auditorium. There will be no Informatics seminar as a result. More details on the talk are located here:

Abstract: This talk covers several current projects at the Berkeley Institute of Design (BID) on more natural human-machine interaction. Multiview is a video-conferencing system that preserves eye contact in group situations, and closely mimics face-to-face for certain high-stakes communication tasks. We are pursuing several projects on technology for developing regions. This work covers language learning, story writing, speech interfaces and micro-finance. In this setting, “naturalness” is particularly important and strongly tied to the context of the interaction.

The remainder of the talk will discuss a general framework for natural interaction. The key again is to expose and use context. We argue that context must be studied on 3 planes (roughly time scales). One of these, the activity plane, has been reified in a prototype called CAAD that builds models of user work activity from desktop logs. The other two planes are being explored through current and inter-related projects on natural speech interfaces and story understanding.

About the Speaker: John Canny is a Professor in Computer Science at UC Berkeley, working in human-computer interaction, ubicomp and privacy. He holds the Paul and Stacy Jacobs Distinguished Professorship. His 1987 Ph.D. from MIT received the ACM dissertation award. His publications span HCI, ubiquitous computing, computer vision, robotics, cryptography, IR, and CSCW, with best paper awards in three of these areas.

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Posted: 2/7/07 8:00 am PDT by Make the First Comment
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Yahoo! Research Berkeley Internships - February 6th, 2007

From a rep at Yahoo! Research:

Yahoo! Research Berkeley, is looking for a select few summer interns
- PhD, Masters and undergrads. We have an exciting setup – working on
advanced prototypes and research problems with enough independence to
conduct interesting research, yet with close ties to Yahoo product groups to
make this research grounded in real-world needs, and have some real-world
impact. Our interests have focused around media – photos and video – with
mobile and location-aware systems playing a significant role, as well. You
can read more about the lab at .

Note that, unlike other internships, you will be able – and encouraged – to
write academic papers about your work.

We are hiring interns from several different fields and disciplines (read:
forward to your friends), including HCI, Information Retrieval, Algorithms,
and more. You can further details about the intern positions and
requirements at

To apply, send your CV to . Do it ASAP, as we will
be sending offers out very soon.

Finally, you should definitely check out for more opportunities with Yahoo!
and Yahoo! Research, other than the Berkeley lab.

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Posted: 2/6/07 6:00 am PDT by Make the First Comment
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Congratulations Tosin and Don! - February 5th, 2007

Photo courtesy of

Congratulations to Tosin and Don on receiving a CORCLR grant to travel to Africa to begin an interative design process for Nomatic*Aid

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Posted: 2/5/07 8:00 am PDT by Add Your Comment
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Congratulations Amanda! - January 31st, 2007

Photo courtesy of

Congratulations to Amanda on having a workshop paper accepted at CHI:

Transnational Thais: Global Mobilities, Cell Phones, And Collaboration
Amanda Williams
Accepted to: Workshop on Culture and Collaborative Technologies, CHI 2007

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Posted: 1/31/07 8:00 am PDT by Make the First Comment
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