Today was (a) the third Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities and (b) the second Smart-Condo Think Tank! So I got to participate to the latter and blog about my participation in the context of the former. I managed only two entries:
I am reproducing both posts here.
The Smart-Condo Think-Tank Day
Having seen many blog posts already, I feel that I am a bit late and more than a bit irrelevant Not only that but I am also too busy talking to type a blog:-)
The Smart-Condo think-tank, the second in what I hope is a series, is going very well. There is interest and commitment from the administration, excitement from the core team, new students joining (and hopefully getting more excited by the minute), and new potential team members.
I am also terribly excited to meet people from architecture psychology and human ecology who are interested in studying and analyzing how people interact and interpret (I particularly like this word in this context) the objects in their environment. These questions are fundamentally humanistic in nature. And it seems to me that there is a fundamental duality around design (of buildings or esthetic artifacts or documents) and perception (by occupants, art lovers and readers) and emotional reaction. And as more an more of our design, construction and perception is mediated by digital media, the subject matter understood to be included under the heading of “Digital Humanities” will expand. And that sounds exciting to me!
DayOfDH almost done
The Smart-Condo Think-Tank has concluded with many good ideas exchanged and lots of plans advanced. It was among the most successful meetings of this type that I have attended; we actually got a lot of things accomplished, including
report on our progress since the last one (more than a year ago), which made us realize that we have done quite a bit of work since then;
outline our plans for the future and identify roles that potential partners can play; several participants seemed to be engaged in the discussion and I am hopeful on the potential extensions of our team; and
listen to our participants’ plans and think about what we could do to align our agenda with theirs.
What was really interesting was our demo of the Smart-Condo platform and functionalities with our Smart-Dollhouse deployment!
We have explained how the Smart Condo works quite clearly.
We have diagrams of the software architectures and process.
We have pictures of the sensors and how they are attached to furniture and appliances.
We have videos and virtual-world simulations.
And yet, when we showed the dollhouse, and let the mom-doll (and it was a mom doll, how could it not be?) cook (by sending hot air through a blow dryer to the sensor attached to the stove), and had the stove light up in the virtual world, and had the virtual-world alarm go off after a minute “warning” about the long-term heat of the stove, and had the light in the dollhouse kitchen switch on automatically to signal an alarm, there seemed to be a “aha” moment in the audience! And that was fun!
So, lesson#1: there is something seriously important going on with simulations and our pedagogy in simulation-based learning is je right thing to do.
And lesson#2: the fidelity of the simulation is important, and finding the right medium can make the difference between working and not-working!
My day was interesting and intellectually engaging and productive, all in all a lovely day, under a bright Alberta sun (we were allowed breaks out of the rather grim classroom where the meeting was held) and blue sky!
And then I went back to my office (and I got surprised at my two windows, they seem new and lovely every so often) and had a great chat with my students and a long laugh at some apparently half-baked University initiative.
Life is good!
Categoriesacademia CASCON CityOfEdmonton computer science distributed meetings Gov2.0 GRAND NCE hierarchy of engagement mentoring OpenData research Second Life semantics serious games Simulation-based Training Smart Condo software-engineering education software engineering teaching UCOSP Uncategorized Virtual Worlds web web services women
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