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robertogreco : compsci   28

Optimize What? • Commune
"Silicon Valley is full of the stupidest geniuses you’ll ever meet. The problem begins in the classrooms where computer science is taught."



"In higher education and research, the situation is similar, if further removed from the harsh realities of technocapitalism. Computer science in the academy is a minefield of contradictions: a Stanford undergraduate may attend class and learn how to extract information from users during the day, then later attend an evening meeting of the student organization CS+Social Good, where they will build a website for a local nonprofit. Meanwhile, a researcher who attended last year’s Conference on Economics and Computation would have sat through a talk on maximizing ad revenue, then perhaps participated the next morning in a new workshop on “mechanism design for social good.”

It is in this climate that we, too, must construct our vision for computer science and its applications. We might as well start from scratch: in a recent article for Tribune, Wendy Liu calls to “abolish Silicon Valley.” By this she means not the naive rejection of high technology, but the transformation of the industry into one funded, owned, and controlled by workers and the broader society—a people’s technology sector.

Silicon Valley, however, does not exist in an intellectual vacuum; it depends on a certain type of computer science discipline. Therefore, a people’s remake of the Valley will require a people’s computer science. Can we envision this? Today, computer science departments don’t just generate capitalist realism—they are themselves ruled by it. Only those research topics that carry implications for profit extraction or military applications are deemed worthy of investigation. There is no escaping the reach of this intellectual-cultural regime; even the most aloof theoreticians feel the need to justify their work by lining their paper introductions and grant proposals with spurious connections to the latest industry fads. Those who are more idealistic or indignant (or tenured) insist that the academy carve out space for “useless” research as well. However, this dichotomy between “industry applications” and “pure research” ignores the material reality that research funding comes largely from corporate behemoths and defense agencies, and that contemporary computer science is a political enterprise regardless of its wishful apolitical intentions.

In place of this suffocating ideological fog, what we must construct is a notion of communist realism in science: that only projects in direct or indirect service to people and planet will have any hope of being funded, of receiving the esteem of the research community, or even of being considered intellectually interesting. What would a communist computer science look like? Can we imagine researchers devising algorithms for participatory economic planning? Machine learning for estimating socially necessary labor time? Decentralized protocols for coordinating supply chains between communes?

Allin Cottrell and Paul Cockshott, two of the few contemporary academics who tackle problems of computational economics in non-market settings, had this to say in a 1993 paper:
Our investigations enable us to identify one component of the problem (with economic planning): the material conditions (computational technology) for effective socialist planning of a complex peacetime economy were not realized before, say, the mid-1980s. If we are right, the most notorious features of the Soviet economy (chronically incoherent plans, recurrent shortages and surpluses, lack of responsiveness to consumer demand), while in part the result of misguided policies, were to some degree inevitable consequences of the attempt to operate a system of central planning before its time. The irony is obvious: socialism was being rejected at the very moment when it was becoming a real possibility.


Politically, much has changed since these words were written. The takeaway for contemporary readers is not necessarily that we should devote ourselves to central planning once more; rather, it’s that our moment carries a unique mixture of ideological impasse and emancipatory potential, ironically both driven in large part by technological development. The cold science of computation seems to declare that social progress is over—there can only be technological progress. Yet if we manage to wrest control of technology from Silicon Valley and the Ivory Tower, the possibilities for postcapitalist society are seemingly endless. The twenty-first-century tech workers’ movement, a hopeful vehicle for delivering us towards such prospects, is nascent—but it is increasingly a force to be reckoned with, and, at the risk of getting carried away, we should start imagining the future we wish to inhabit. It’s time we began conceptualizing, and perhaps prototyping, computation and information in a workers’ world. It’s time to start conceiving of a new left-wing science."
engineering  problemsolving  capitalism  computers  politics  technology  jimmywu  2019  optimization  efficiency  allincottrell  paulcockshott  siliconvalley  techosolutionism  technocapitalism  computation  wendyliu  compsci  ideology 
29 days ago by robertogreco
Welcome to Unfold Studio — Unfold Studio 0.4.1 documentation
"Unfold Studio is an online community for interactive storytelling powered by a programming language called Ink. Interactive storytelling brings together the power of programming with the ability of stories to represent and explore our lived realities. Free and open-source, Unfold Studio was developed as part of my PhD research on youth computational literacy practices.

Unfold Studio is used in schools, clubs, and by many individual writers. Interactive storytelling can be a way to integrate Computer Science into English, Social Studies, or other subjects. It can also be an excellent way to introduce Computer Science as a subject relevant to questions of identity, culture, and social justice. (We are currently doing research with a school which uses Unfold Studio for several months as part of its core CS curriculum.)

This documentation is meant for several audiences. If you need help using Unfold Studio or writing interactive stories, see the User Guide. (If you’re impatient, try the Quickstart.) If you are interested in using Unfold Studio with students, see Teaching Guide. And if you’re interested in Unfold Studio’s back story or research on transliteracies, CS education, etc. please see Research. We welcome questions, feedback, and random ideas. Please see Contact to get in touch.

The documentation is also available in PDF form in case you prefer to read it that way or want to print out any pages (such as the worksheets in the Teaching Guide section) for classroom use.

-Chris Proctor
PhD candidate, Stanford Graduate School of Education
Unfold Studio creator and lead researcher"
chrisproctor  if  interactivefiction  storytelling  ink  opensource  free  onlinetoolkit  compsci  education  identity  culture  socialjustice  unfoldstudio  transliteracies  multiliteracies  coding  programming  writing  twine  classideas  via:hayim  teaching 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Lauren Ipsum
"A story about com­put­er sci­ence and other im­prob­able th­ings.

Laurie is lost in User­land. She knows where she is, or where she's going, but maybe not at the same time. The only way out is through Jargon-infested swamps, gates guar­ded by per­fect logic, and the per­ils of break­fast time at the Philosop­her's Diner. With just her wits and the help of a li­zard who thinks he's a di­nosaur, Laurie has to find her own way home.

“In­spir­ing students to be­come the de­velop­ers, en­gine­ers, and in­novators who will create sol­u­tions to some of the Nation's toug­hest chal­lenges."
— The White House"
carlosbueno  books  education  kids  classideas  fiction  compsci  computerscience  programming  children  toread 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Robin Hunicke Wants to Change Video Games, But She Can’t Do It Alone | VICE | United Kingdom
""As a developer, it's my job to evangelise the games that I think are different, that are doing new things. And when they come out, I want everyone I know to know about them. But it'd be really awesome if we could somehow give away space, or create platforms of promotion, that were just about innovation."

Robin Hunicke knows a thing or two about going against what the gaming public might perceive as the stylistic grain, the marketable middle-ground, sales-numbers safe spaces of play. Having worked on MySims and Boom Blox at Electronic Arts, the San Francisco-based game designer (and professor of game design, at the University of California, Santa Cruz) moved to thatgamecompany, where she produced Journey. Perhaps you heard of it, as it was kind of a big deal.

Journey was a critical and commercial success that arrived without much in the way of how-it-works precedent, playing like nothing most that picked it up had seen before. A multiplayer game in which human-to-human interactions were all but stripped away. A short experience, coming in at under 90 minutes from start to finish, but with lasting, memory-making resonance. A story told only one way, yet left open to all manner of individual interpretation. Journey earned rave reviews and collected all manner of industry awards (dominating the 2013 Game Developers Choice Awards), and broke PlayStation Network sales records."



"Quite where Woorld fits in the wider gaming landscape, though, is hard to get a handle on. This is a new tool, a new toy, for new technology, coming through at a time when augmented reality is enjoying a spell of popularity courtesy of Pokémon Go; but without that kind of massive IP to drive its marketing, merely the wonderfully colourful and somewhat surreal visuals that Takahashi's fans have come to expect, it's not like the game is about to follow in said record-setter's monstrous footsteps. And Robin sees this problem of visibility, of public accessibility and appetite for something left of the expected, not just as a headache for Funomena, but everyone making games outside of the triple-A sphere.

"There are a lot of very different games out there, but as an industry we're not so good at presenting that in our marketing, and our PR, and the stories that we write. And that's what really carries this medium forward – how people perceive it. How many games get covered that are radically different from whatever else is around? How many of them are featured on the front of the online stores? How many are appearing in top ten lists? When your top ten lists are based on sales, and sales are influenced by marketing budgets, you're only rarely going to see a Papers, Please or That Dragon, Cancer, or Firewatch or even The Witness, right up there amongst the most popular games. And I think it's on us to change that.

"Wouldn't it be great if anyone could make the next Minecraft, or the next Journey, or the next Papers, Please? If independently made games keep growing in popularity, and we keep on expanding the marketplace – because there are a lot of people right now who don't play indie games at all – then that'd be amazing. Let's do that."

One way of doing that would be for distribution channels to place greater emphasis on highlighting experiences that are so far from the norm. "Why not have an innovation tab in online stores?" she asks, rhetorically. "Maybe the labels we're using are out of date. What are they, like, twenty, thirty years old?"

Those labels don't just mean "action", "adventure", "puzzle" or "sports"; Robin's talking about the language that flows through every way that the gaming industry presents itself, how it reflects and addresses issues that eat away at its insides.

"I've been to the White House on this initiative called Computer Science For All, and I try to volunteer for it whenever I can. That's full of fantastic people, and the last time I was there I met with the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Megan Smith, and she was talking about Maria Klawe's work at Harvey Mudd, and she's been promoting an idea that when people come into the college, as programmers, they get divided into two groups: people who've already programmed a lot, and people who haven't at all.

"So you have experts, and beginners – two safe communities. It's not about gender, or race, or class – it's about how much experience you have. Then, in both of those groups, unconscious bias is being removed from the learning cycle. In this exercise, you will help the robot move rocks into a pile. That's one version. In this exercise, you will help the robot move the groceries from the kart into the boot of the car. The same exercise, essentially. Then in this exercise, you'll help the girls from Frozen move these snow bricks over here so they can build a castle. Same exact programming. Separate the frame from the exercise, separate the communities into beginner and expert, and they're at parity in six years.

"So let's do that across gaming – separate the gender and the cultural status of developers from their work, and from the way we write about it, and the financing, and the relationship of scale from our evaluation of its innovative qualities, and use better vocabulary. We do all that, and in ten years, we'll have moved very far away from the problems of having to discuss things like gender imbalance in the industry, and towards a situation where our values – the things that we value – are reflected in the things that we write, and the way that we give awards, and the way that we promote.

"I think it's just about living the values that we want to live, and saying the things that we want to focus on, rather than reacting to older labels that may or may not be appropriate. There's always going to be room for great art, and room for new experiences. And, if you invest in those experiences, the chances are that one in ten, or one in twenty, will deliver a really big return, on a level with a game like The Witness, or Journey. But it's impossible for one, small person to really know how we proceed."

Impossible at an individual level, maybe, but Robin's words are essential food for thought for what could, or should, happen on a united front. During our time together I ask for her opinion on how to bring more women into the making and marketing of video games – but as she so neatly elucidates in her answer to me, I'm really speaking to the wrong person. And in many ways, video gaming is constantly asking the wrong questions to the wrong people.

Want to get more women into games? Go and speak to the guys that hold the keys to those positions, not the women knocking on the doors. Want to see more innovative, independent games being played alongside the big-budget shooters and sports sims? Consider why those cover-grabbing games are enjoying such heightened visibility, and if you need to add to their oxygen of hype at the expense of something genuinely new. We could all be better at supporting games-makers who want to progress this medium in all the right ways – through sharing, through inventing, through fun, rather than rinsing and repeating what's known to "work". Robin Hunicke is just one of many people wanting to encourage change in the way we work within and relate to video games, but it's exciting to imagine what'll happen when all of the voices around hers, singing equally inspiring songs, do band together."
robinhunicke  games  gaming  videogames  gamedev  2016  funomena  thatgamecompany  jenovachen  keitatakahashi  computers  compsci  education  learning  play  gender 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Robin Hunicke's extraordinary journey • Eurogamer.net
"Hunicke's path to this moment was unorthodox and unexpected. She grew up near the mountains in Saratoga Springs, New York, close to Vermont. Her mother taught maths and weaved. Her father was a nuclear engineer. They lived on a street alongside 20 or so other families, all with children of similar ages. In the summer Hunicke and her friends would build forts in the forest, and race twig boats in the frothing river. In the winter there were board-games and NES. It was a playful, often idyllic childhood, she recalls. Each summer during high school, Hunicke would be sent to art camp, where she'd paint and build.

One year Hunicke and her father built a grandfather clock. It had been, rather befittingly, her grandfather's project originally. He built the base from African red hardwood then, upon realising the scale of the job, shipped the materials to his son and granddaughter to finish. Hunicke's father ordered the clock mechanism from Germany. The finished clock still lives at her father's house. Every time she returns home she listen to the rounded tock of the mechanism. "It fills me with joy," she says. "I love the experience of seeing something you've made come to life."

Video games were a natural fit for Hunicke's nascent interests, combining her mathematical talent ("At night, when I couldn't get to sleep, I'd count the leaves on a branch out side of my bedroom window," she recalls. "I'd multiply that by the number of branches I estimated the tree to have, and that figure by the number of trees in our yard, then our road, then our town, then our State") and her artistic sensibilities. But she has a magpie temperament. "I was interested in everything", she says. "So when I went to college I made up my major, a combination of fine art, film studies, women's studies and computer science." While at the University of Chicago Hunicke's aptitude for computers earned her a job at a police station where she would schedule the officers on a database system. "I soon discovered that was less fun than working on the computer lab at college so I got a new job managing the Mac lab there." As Hunicke learned more and more computer languages her focus narrowed. She began studying for a doctorate in artificial intelligence.

Video games had, up to this point, played only a supporting role in Hunicke's life. Her first love was M.U.L.E., the Commodore 64 game in which players compete against each other and the computer in a bid for survival, which she'd play at a friend's house when she was 12. "I loved trying to outwit each other and the game at the same time," she recalls. It was only when Hunicke started her PhD in AI, and became interested in adaptive difficulty in video games, specifically Half-Life, that she began hanging out with game-makers."



""I needed a break," she says. Perhaps, but the peak she faced in Bhutan mirrored other towering questions in her life. Was she going to stay in Los Angeles? Was she going to stay in her current relationship? Was she going to continue making games? While ascending the mountain Hunicke met other English-speaking climbers who were also taking a step back to examine their goals and challenges. "It made me realise we are all on a similar journey," she says. "That helped me with imposter syndrome." As she came over the top of the mountain, a burden lifted, she says. Then, when she arrived in Los Angeles, she received a message from an old friend, Jenova Chen: would she like to be lead designer on his new project, a game about a pilgrimage to a mountain where, en route, you meet people who fleetingly join you. "It felt right," she says.

When Hunicke joined thatgamecompany she was the sixth employee. The team was working from a "closet-sized room" and had just completed a prototype of the game, which would later be named Journey, in Flash, in which players were represented as coloured dots. "I supervised the first four player playtest," Hunicke recalls. "We brought people in through different doors so nobody knew it was a multiplayer game. Then we brought them together to discuss what they'd seen. These were just coloured dots that could only move or, if the player hit the space bar, say 'hey!', but people immediately would project emotions and personalities onto the dots they were playing with, calling them the 'mean' one, or the 'helpful' one. That's when I knew the idea was special.""



"Takashi and Hunicke make for a harmonious paring. Both designers have a background in arts and crafts and Hunicke's new studio Funomena, founded in 2012 with her former colleague Martin Middleton, is filled with sand, clay, pipe-cleaners, wire toys and so on. "We often model stuff by hand before putting them in our games," she says. Funomena is currently working on three games, one of which, Wattam, is being directed by Takahashi. Wattam, for which a release date has not yet been announced, reflects the foundations of Hunicke's childhood: playfulness, creativity, collaboration. "Keita's view on childhood and play is similar to mine," she says. "People should make things. We want this game to be more about you as a player than about us as the designers, artists and musicians behind it."

Games that encourage this kind of playfulness rather than than seek to force a specific message are at the core of Hunicke's interest. While she holds up Papers, Please and Cart Life as prime examples of what games can achieve she wants her work to have looser interpretations. "I know people who make films who feel their film has a single interpretation," she says. "But they are rare. The majority of people who write or make films and art are just trying to get something out of them. When it's in the world it's there for everybody to draw what they will from the work. Besides, you can't control the context. For example, art that's made in this moment around Brexit could have a very different interpretation in ten years depending on what happens to Britain's fortunes."

For today's context with its climate of fear and uncertainty, of strongmen on the rise, of nations baring teeth, playfulness is, Hunicke believes, a necessity. "We've been spending a lot of time thinking about mechanics and systems as an industry," he says. "Doing something a little more open is important right now for this difficult, sad and important time. We're having conversations about all of the forces that inform how we behave, and how we sustain our planet. They are crucial conversations. But that needs the counterbalance of playfulness. All of the games I'm working on at the moment are about interacting with others in purely playful ways. I hope they encourage people to help one another, not for what they can get out of it, but just for the sake of it.""
robinhunicke  games  gaming  videogames  gamedev  2016  funomena  thatgamecompany  jenovachen  keitatakahashi  childhood  computers  compsci  education  learning  play 
august 2016 by robertogreco
From AI to IA: How AI and architecture created interactivity - YouTube
"The architecture of digital systems isn't just a metaphor. It developed out of a 50-year collaborative relationship between architects and designers, on one side, and technologists in AI, cybernetics, and computer science, on the other. In this talk at the O'Reilly Design Conference in 2016, Molly Steenson traces that history of interaction, tying it to contemporary lessons aimed at designing for a complex world."
mollysteenson  2016  ai  artificialintelligence  douglasenglebart  symbiosis  augmentation  christopheralexander  nicholasnegroponte  richardsaulwurman  architecture  physical  digital  mitmedialab  history  mitarchitecturemachinegroup  technology  compsci  computerscience  cybernetics  interaction  structures  computing  design  complexity  frederickbrooks  computers  interactivity  activity  metaphor  marvinminsky  heuristics  problemsolving  kent  wardcunningham  gangoffour  objectorientedprogramming  apatternlanguage  wikis  agilesoftwaredevelopment  software  patterns  users  digitalspace  interactiondesign  terrywinograd  xeroxparc  petermccolough  medialab 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Eyeo 2014 - Leah Buechley on Vimeo
"Thinking About Making – An examination of what we mean by making (MAKEing) these days. What gets made? Who makes? Why does making matter?"



[uninscusive covers of Make Magazine and composition of Google employment]

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

"I'm really tired of setting up structures where we tell young women and young brown and black kids that they should aspire to be like rich white guys."

[RTd these back than, but never watched the video. Thanks, Sara for bringing it back up.

https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477546169329938432
https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477549826498764801 ]

[Talk with some of the same content from Leah Buechley (and a lot of defensive comments from the crowd that Buechleya addresses well):
http://edstream.stanford.edu/Video/Play/883b61dd951d4d3f90abeec65eead2911d
https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-10-29-make-ing-more-diverse-makers ]
leahbuechley  making  makermovement  critique  equality  gender  race  2014  via:ablerism  privilege  wealth  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  democratization  inequality  makemagazine  money  age  education  electronics  robots  robotics  rockets  technology  compsci  computerscience  computing  computers  canon  language  work  inclusivity  funding  google  intel  macarthurfoundation  opportunity  power  influence  movements  engineering  lowriders  pottery  craft  culture  universality  marketing  inclusion 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Radical Computer Science — )
"It was such an honor and pleasure exploring the limits of computation with you all this semester. You are all brilliant, talented, and brave people. Together, we all asked and answered questions that most computer science and art programs avoid for a variety of reasons. That was only possible because of your consistent hard work and presence, and I thank you for that.

Endings are just beginnings. As Zan said on our last day together, we’re still in the cave painting era of programming languages. What little actual magic is inside these tools has been revealed to you, and you’ve wielded it well. All that’s left is to think about people, thought, society, politics, and how all those manifest themselves as code, and how code steers them in return. The important questions are human questions, not technical ones.

This blog will live until tumblr shuts down or the current internet stops resolving URLs, whichever comes first. Until then, you have access to the videos, homework, and articles whenever you want. I will continue to post links to this blog as I come across relevant things in my practice, and may use it in the future for a rerun of the same class. This blog is yours forever. Use it.

My final bits of advice will be in the form of a list (lisp hackers amirite):

• You can learn to do anything in this field. I mean this literally. Between online resources, academic papers, and free tools, the only things impeding your ability to code is the amount of time you have available and your drive to keep learning. This is not true of e.g. brain surgery.

• Don’t ever stop asking questions. I also mean this literally. I cannot count the number of times that “accepted wisdom” or “best practices” or “just the way it’s done” has turned out to be horseshit. Question everything. Adopt what makes sense to you, reinvent everything else.

• Don’t ever let anyone tell you your questions are anything but crucially important. Those people are toxic. There are no bad questions, only toxic people.

• Value the process of learning programming as much as (or as more than) the knowledge itself. If you can take joy in the feeling of being bad at something then slowly getting better at it, you will be unstoppable.

• Being really superhumanly good at one particular tool is overrated. It’s great to have something you are fluent in, and it’s a decent goal to have, but certainly not the be-all-and-end-all of programming. See previous point.

• Have fun and be silly. I brought this up in class but it bears repeating. If you are working on something and its not fun, take that as a sign that you should try something else.

• Be kind to one another. The world is a shitty place, and the tech world in particular tends to be racist and sexist, but you can change that just by being yourselves, being kind, and being visible. Often, code speaks louder than words, and code that generates code (compilers!) can be super loud.

• Teach someone what you know. Pass on the torch of knowledge. Its one of the most important ways you can give back, and one of the most gratifying experiences you can have.

That’s all I got.
Change the world, you crazy kids.
R"
ramneynasser  advice  art  life  programming  teaching  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  compsci  computerscience  sfpc  kindness  sharing  coding  time  bestpractices  questioning  schoolforpoeticcomputation 
december 2014 by robertogreco
How one college went from 10% female computer-science majors to 40% – Quartz
"Yes, we know there aren’t enough women in tech. Yes, we know we need to change the ratio.

One college has found the answer.

With a three-step method, Harvey Mudd College in California quadrupled its female computer science majors. The experiment started in 2006 when Maria Klawe, a computer scientist and mathematician herself, was appointed college president. That year only 10% of Harvey Mudd’s CS majors were women. The department’s professors devised a plan.

They no longer wanted to weed out the weakest students during the first week of the semester. The new goal was to lure in female students and make sure they actually enjoyed their computer science initiation in the hopes of converting them to majors. This is what they did, in three steps.

1. Semantics count

They renamed the course previously called “Introduction to programming in Java” to “Creative approaches to problem solving in science and engineering using Python.” Using words like “creative” and “problem solving” just sounded more approachable. Plus, as Klawe describes it, the coding language Python is more forgiving and practical.

As part of this first step, the professors divided the class into groups—Gold for those with no coding experience and Black, for those with some coding experience. Then they implemented Operation Eliminate the Macho Effect: guys who showed-off in class were taken aside in class and told, “You’re so passionate about the material and you’re so well prepared. I’d love to continue our conversations but let’s just do it one on one.”

Literally overnight, Harvey Mudd’s introductory CS course went from being the most despised required course to the absolute favorite, says Klawe.

But that was just the beginning.

2. Visualize success

After successfully completing the introductory class, how to ensure female students voluntarily signed up for another CS class? The female professors packed up the students and took them to the annual Grace Hopper Conference, which bills itself as a celebration of women in technology. Klawe says the conference is a place for students to visualize women in technology; humans who happened to be female who love computers. Not everyone looks like the dudes in the trailer for HBO’s Silicon Valley.

3. Make it matter

Finally, the college offered a summer of research between freshman and sophomore years so female students could apply their new skills and make something. “We had students working on things like educational games and a version of Dance Dance Revolution for the elderly. They could use computer technology to actually work on something that mattered,” says Klawe.

The three-step strategy resulted in a domino effect. Female students loved the CS introductory course. They loved going to the conference. So they took “just one more course” and they loved that.

Before they knew it, women were saying, “‘I could be a computer science major, I guess.’ And so they are!” says Klawe.

By the time the first four-year experiment was over the college had gone from 10% female computer science majors to 40% female. UC Berkeley, Duke, Northwestern have had some success with similar tactics."
education  gender  women  girls  programming  coding  compsci  computers  computerscience  harveymuddcollege  semantics  support  learning  mariaklawe  manoushzomorodi  2014  via:sha 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Colab | Creative Technologies at AUT
"Colab is the collaboratory for Design and Creative Technologies at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand.

Our aim is to encourage researchers, students and stakeholders to imagine, construct, articulate and navigate rapidly changing social, economic, technological and career environments.

We are a diverse community of creative people, working together in an environment from which new ideas emerge on a daily basis. Colab researchers come from a range of backgrounds, including art, design, computer science, animation, game design, engineering, mechatronics, architecture, business and organisational development.

Colab has also established a Faculty Labs Network within AUT, to manage and develop a number of high-end technology facilities, researching subjects ranging from textile design and production, 3D printing, to motion capture, interactive technologies and virtual worlds.

We pride ourselves on having great relationships with industry and organisational bodies throughout Auckland and abroad, and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with researchers, organisational partners, creative-thinkers, and entrepreneurs. Perhaps, even you?"
newzealand  aukland  openstudioproject  lcproject  via:chrisberthelsen  aut  art  design  compsci  computerscience  animation  gamedesign  architecture  research  makerspaces 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Philip Guo - Silent Technical Privilege
"Okay that entire paragraph was a lie. Did you believe me? If so, why? Was it because I looked like a kid programming whiz?

When that photo was taken, I didn't even know how to touch-type. My parents were just like, “Quick, pose in front of our new computer!” (Look closely. My fingers aren't even in the right position.) My parents were both humanities majors, and there wasn't a single programming book in my house. In 6th grade, I tried teaching myself BASIC for a few weeks but quit because it was too hard. The only real exposure I had to programming prior to college was taking AP Computer Science in 11th grade, taught by a math teacher who had learned the material only a month before class started. Despite its shortcomings, that class inspired me to major in Computer Science in college. But when I started freshman year at MIT, I felt a bit anxious because many of my classmates actually did have over ten years of childhood programming experience; I had less than one.

SILENT TECHNICAL PRIVILEGE
Even though I didn't grow up in a tech-savvy household and couldn't code my way out of a paper bag, I had one big thing going for me: I looked like I was good at programming. Here's me during freshman year of college:



As an Asian male student at MIT, I fit society's image of a young programmer. Thus, throughout college, nobody ever said to me:

• “Well, you only got into MIT because you're an Asian boy.”

• (while struggling with a problem set) “Well, not everyone is cut out for Computer Science; have you considered majoring in bio?”

• (after being assigned to a class project team) “How about you just design the graphics while we handle the backend? It'll be easier for everyone that way.”

• “Are you sure you know how to do this?”

Although I started off as a complete novice (like everyone once was), I never faced any micro-inequities to impede my intellectual growth. Throughout college and grad school, I gradually learned more and more via classes, research, and internships, incrementally taking on harder and harder projects, and getting better and better at programming while falling deeper and deeper in love with it. Instead of doing my ten years of deliberate practice from ages 8 to 18, I did mine from ages 18 to 28. And nobody ever got in the way of my learning – not even inadvertently – because I looked like the sort of person who would be good at such things.

Instead of facing implicit bias or stereotype threat, I had the privilege of implicit endorsement. For instance, whenever I attended technical meetings, people would assume that I knew what I was doing (regardless of whether I did or not) and treat me accordingly. If I stared at someone in silence and nodded as they were talking, they would usually assume that I understood, not that I was clueless. Nobody ever talked down to me, and I always got the benefit of the doubt in technical settings.

As a result, I was able to fake it till I made it, often landing jobs whose postings required skills I hadn't yet learned but knew that I could pick up on the spot. Most of my interviews for research assistantships and summer internships were quite casual – I looked and sounded like I knew what I was doing, so people just gave me the chance to try. And after enough rounds of practice, I actually did start knowing what I was doing. As I gained experience, I was able to land more meaningful programming jobs, which led to a virtuous cycle of further improvement.

This kind of privilege that I – and other people who looked like me – possessed was silent, manifested not in what people said, but rather in what they didn't say. We had the privilege to spend enormous amounts of time developing technical expertise without anyone's interference or implicit discouragement. Sure, we worked really hard, but our efforts directly translated into skill improvements without much loss due to interpersonal friction. Because we looked the part."
programming  technology  privilege  gender  culture  compsci  computers  2014  philipguo  bias  micro-inequities  sterotypethreat 
january 2014 by robertogreco
System Energy Efficiency Lab
"Energy consumption is a critical constraint in the design of modern computer systems. Research in SEE lab addresses energy efficiency in systems of all sizes, from sensor nodes to processors to data centers. Portable systems, such as mobile embedded systems and wireless sensor networks, typically operate with a limited energy source such as batteries. The design process for these systems is characterized by a tradeoff between high performance and low power consumption, emphasizing the need to meet performance constraints while minimizing the power consumption. Decreasing the power consumption is also an important factor in lowering the packaging and the cooling costs of embedded systems. On the other end, stationary systems also require energy efficiency due the operating costs and environmental concerns related to desktops, servers and data centers. Current data centers are increasingly limited by power and thermal capacity. The annual energy cost of a large data center can be in the range of millions of dollars, and the cooling cost is about half of the total energy cost. Energy efficient and temperature aware approaches address these large scale systems at different levels, such as the whole data center, computing clusters, servers or components such as processors, disk drives, etc.

System energy efficiency lab is part of Embedded Systems and Software group at UCSD."

[Jug's page: http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~jvenkate/ ]
ucsd  energy  efficiency  engineering  compsci  systems  embeddedsystems  jagannathanvenkatesh  friends  lajolla  sandiego 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Dr. Jeannette Wing | Jon Udell's Interviews with Innovators
"For Interviews with Innovators, Jon Udell speaks with Jeannette Wing, a Carnegie Mellon computer scientists who coined the term computational thinking. Her idea is that ways of thinking and problem-solving that involve algorithms and data structures and levels of abstraction and refactoring aren't just for computer scientists, they're really for everybody."
podcasts  tolisten  jeannettewing  computationalthinking  problemsolving  algorithms  datastructures  2007  abstraction  refactoring  compsci  thinking 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab | TAGlab
"The Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAGlab) designs software, systems, and experiences that support aging through the life course."



"Who We Are
TAGlab is comprised of talented individuals with backgrounds in computer science and engineering, human-computer interaction and human factors, graphic and interface design, and psychology.

Our Projects
We work with researchers and clinicians to find ways that digital media can help people remain vigorous and independent, strengthen ties to family and community, and preserve their identity as they age.

Outreach
The TAGlab is dedicated to building partnerships in our community. Together with community-based agencies and senior organizations, we raise awareness about our research and actively investigate the technology needs of our aging population."
aging  behavior  via:spencerbeacock  utoronto  interfacedesign  psychology  design  ui  compsci  engineering 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The Heterogeneous Home
"We believe that the home is becoming a more homogeneous place. The environment is increasingly filled with “any time”, “anywhere” portable devices such as cellular phones, laptops, and MP3 players that blur the traditional boundary of the home that helps individuals to define themselves in relation to the world. These technological changes are compounded by cultural changes towards a 24-hour, always connected lifestyle and structural changes towards more homogenous “cookie cutter” domestic spaces.

We assembled an interdisciplinary research team, including members with experience in interaction design, computer science, and anthropology, to study the increasing homogeneity of domestic space and to generate a series of design proposals for creating more heterogeneous environments. Our proposals present a range of theoretical arguments, drawn from concepts in environmental psychology, as well as provocative design sketches which led to interactive prototypes. Together, these artifacts…"

[via: http://betaknowledge.tumblr.com/post/40145729050/the-heterogeneous-home-by-ben-hooker-ryan ]
benhooker  allisonwoodruff  ryanaipperspach  2007  homes  domesticenvironment  anthropology  compsci  interactiondesign  ixd  homogeneity  heterogeneity  technology  design 
january 2013 by robertogreco
fvck school by fat xxx
"Drop out of school or study english. That’s how you win at javascript."

"In his first lecture, “Artists in Colleges,” he posits that a successful integration of art into academic policy would be one which promotes unifying different branches of study into a “whole” culture. Here diverse fields like physics or mathematics would come within the purview of the painter and the physicist/mathematician would be encouraged to fully embrace nonmeasurable and extremely chaotic human elements which we commonly associate with things like poetry and art.

On the basis then of several fairly extensive observations he goes on to offer three major blocks to the development of such a culture, and to the artist’s continuing to produce serious works within the “university situation.”

Dilettantism …

The Fear of Creativity itself …

The Romantic Misconception of “The Artist” …"
generalists  specialists  authenticproblems  deschooling  unschooling  genius  creativity  highereducation  highered  us  culture  poetry  dilletante  learning  2012  compsci  interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  education  art  benshahn 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Audrey Tang - Wikipedia
"Audrey Tang (born April 18, 1981; formerly known as Autrijus Tang) is a Taiwanese free software programmer, who has been described as one of the "ten greats of Taiwanese computing."[1]

Tang showed an early interest in computers, beginning to learn Perl at age 12.[2] Two years later, Tang dropped out of high school, unable to adapt to student life.[1] By the year 2000, at the age of 19, Tang had already held positions in software companies, and worked in California's Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur.[2] In late 2005, she changed both her English and Chinese names from male to female ones and began to live her life as a woman, citing a need to "reconcile [her] outward appearance with [her] self-image".[3] Taiwan's Eastern Television reports that she has an IQ of 180.[1] She is a vocal proponent for autodidacticism[4] and individualist anarchism."
audreytang  womenincomputing  women  computing  compsci  computerscience  autodidacts  deschooling  unschooling  dropouts  via:robinsloan  programming  gender 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, condemns British education system | Technology | The Guardian
""Over the past century, the UK has stopped nurturing its polymaths. You need to bring art and science back together."…

"It was a time when the same people wrote poetry and built bridges," he said. "Lewis Carroll didn't just write one of the classic fairytales of all time. He was also a mathematics tutor at Oxford. James Clerk Maxwell was described by Einstein as among the best physicists since Newton – but was also a published poet."

Schmidt's comments echoed sentiments expressed by Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, who revealed this week that he was stepping down. "The Macintosh turned out so well because the people working on it were musicians, artists, poets and historians – who also happened to be excellent computer scientists," Jobs once told the New York Times."
ericschmidt  stevejobs  technology  science  polymaths  generalists  well-rounded  education  art  uk  2011  math  mathematics  teaching  learning  creativity  innovation  lewiscarroll  jamesclerkmaxwell  alberteinstein  isaacnewton  apple  poets  historians  newliberalarts  liberalarts  digitalhumanities  computers  computerscience  compsci 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Chrestomathy - Wikipedia
"Chrestomathy (Pronounced krɛsˈtɑːmʌθiː/kres-TA-muh-thee from the Greek words khrestos, useful, and mathein, to know) is a collection of choice literary passages, used especially as an aid in learning a foreign language.

In philology or in the study of literature, it is a type of reader or anthology which presents a sequence of example texts, selected to demonstrate the development of language or literary style.

In computer programming, a program chrestomathy is a collection of similar programs written in various programming languages, for the purpose of demonstrating differences in syntax, semantics and idioms for each language. This term is thought[according to whom?] to have been first used by Eric S. Raymond in the Retrocomputing Museum web site. It is used by analogy to a linguistic chrestomathy."

[Found in: http://www.ftrain.com/times-inverted-index.html ]
learning  language  linguistics  words  chrestomathy  philology  programming  compsci  syntax  semantics  paulford 
may 2011 by robertogreco
12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free
"All education is self-education.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop.  We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn.

Those people who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own are the only ones who earn a real education in this world.  Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of.  Formal education or not, you’ll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education.

If you’re interested in learning something new, this article is for you.  Broken down by subject and/or category, here are several top-notch self-education resources I have bookmarked online over the past few years.

Note that some of the sources overlap between various subjects of education.  Therefore, each has been placed under a specific subject based on the majority focus of the source’s content."
education  learning  online  free  reference  homeschool  unschooling  deschooling  via:caterina  glvo  edg  srg  references  opencourseware  opencontent  law  humanities  history  classideas  science  health  lcproject  business  money  compsci  engineering  math  mathematics  english  communication  books  autodidacts  self-education  self-directedlearning  internet  web  openeducation 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Google: Exploring Computational Thinking
"Easily incorporate computational thinking into your curriculum with these classroom-ready lessons, examples, and programs. For more resources, including discussion forums and news, visit our ECT Discussion Forums."

[See also: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2010/10/exploring-computational-thinking.html ]
computerscience  computationalthinking  via:lukeneff  algebra  biology  calculus  compsci  geometry  python  programming  math  lessons  teaching  thinking  edtech  education  elearning  danmeyer  google  science  learning  glvo  edg  srg 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Summer Institute : Constructing Modern Knowledge
"minds-on institute for educators committed to creativity, collaboration and computing. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in intensive computer-rich project development with peers and a world-class faculty. Inspirational guest speakers and social events round out the fantastic event. Alfie Kohn, Deborah Meier, Dr. James Loewen and Peter Reynolds are guest speakers.

Rather than spend days listening to a series of speakers, Constructing Modern Knowledge is about action. Attendees will work and interact with educational experts concerned with maximizing the potential of every learner. ...

list of potential themes for exploration: Creativity and learning, Constructivism and constructionism, Project-based learning, 1:1 Computing, Problem solving across the curriculum, Student leadership and empowerment, Reinventing mathematics education, Computer science as a basic skill, Storytelling, School reform, Tinkering, Effective professional development, Sustaining innovation"
education  technology  summer  1:1  teaching  laptops  e-learning  conferences  events  2010  constructivism  alfiekohn  deborahmeier  math  compsci  creativity  learning  constuctionism  problemsolving  reform  schoolreform  tcsnmy  tinkering  innovation  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  1to1 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Teach Computer Science without a computer! | Computer Science Unplugged
"Computer Science Unplugged is a series of learning activities that reveals a little-known secret: computer science isn't really about computers at all!"
education  learning  programming  children  science  teaching  games  computers  compsci  algorithms  puzzles  computerscience  tcsnmy  edg  srg  coding 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Bill Kerr: taking guzdial seriously
"My plans to transition kids from scratch to python have not been particularly successful so I'm thinking of giving the Mark Guzdial approach a trial - using python to tweak multimedia

Kids find the transition from the scratch visual drag and drop to python only text based daunting, or, more likely they just get bored without the multimedia. It's a huge daily problem for practicing teachers to walk the line between engagement and rigour. The Guzdial approach would keep some visuals, sounds, movies etc. involved (as outputs) for student text based programming inputs. It might work."
python  scratch  programming  learning  teaching  education  math  compsci  tcsnmy 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: Reconsidering the Lego Robotics... [Bill Kerr makes a great point about class time in the comments.]
"robotics programs in primary and secondary schools...many have been successes, but limited successes...relative expansion of Lego robotics in schools has coincided with a virtual collapse of computer science US K-12 schools in general."
robots  robotics  computers  compsci  schools  education  learning  children  lego 
may 2008 by robertogreco
MIT Media Lab: Reality Mining
"Reality Mining defines the collection of machine-sensed environmental data pertaining to human social behavior. This new paradigm of data mining makes possible the modeling of conversation context, proximity sensing, and temporospatial location throughou

[see also: http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?ch=specialsections&sc=emerging08&id=20247]
attention  culture  technology  phones  realitymining  reality  memory  location-based  privacy  future  data  context  research  social  mobile  datamining  networks  MIT  modeling  networking  psychogeography  pervasive  context-aware  crowds  behavior  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  mobilecomputing  mobility  location  locative  compsci  psychology  socialgraph  surveillance  statistics  visualization  visual  spatial  medialab  mapping  ai  mitmedialab 
april 2008 by robertogreco

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