Amazing visit to the special collections of the University of St Andrews

Yesterday was a busy day. We have been working with the University of St Andrews Library and the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) to put together some seminars (first, second) on the use of interactive technology in libraries and museums, and to get some exciting collaborations started. We were lucky to have very interesting speakers and, as a treat, we got to take a tour of the Special Collections. Daryl Green and Maia Sheridan showed us some amazing artifacts that we are hoping we can help make available to more people through interactive technologies in new and exciting ways. The photos show some of the amazing books (although they have all sorts of interesting artefacts). I’ll leave it to you to go to the library and found out which ones these are, but some of the stuff we saw has existed for more than 900 years!!

This is one of the perks of working in an institution with 600 years of history. If you like this stuff, you should not miss  the  blog of the Special Collections.

 

Umer graduating…

Today, Umer Rashid (almost Dr. Umer Rashid) came to my office to give me a copy of his PhD thesis: Cross-display Attention Switching in Mobile Interaction with Large Displays.

Great moment of pride and satisfaction for a job well done… Now it is time for Umer to leave the nest and show the world his best researcher skills. Good luck in Lincoln!

PhD Studentship on Perceptual Gaze-contingent Displays at St Andrews (with me)

I’m looking for a student to work with me in St Andrews for the next few years (fully funded). The topic is gaze-contingent displays. I’m looking for someone with a Computer Science background that has an interest in perception and visualization, and a big curiosity about human perception and what we can do to enhance it. Please, visit the studentship offer, and send me an e-mail if you are interested! (deadlines for the studentship are soon, so don’t delay!!).

Friday 6th, event with the Library (Shawna’s visit)

The title is: Interaction and Visualisation Technologies in the Library – Open Session, and the idea is to bring together the people at the university that might benefit from data and visualisation support in the library. We’ll have the privilege of listening to Shawna Sadler, who I have worked with in Calgary.

This is the main page of the event.

Mathias Frisch Defence (VIVA) in Magdeburg

This week I had the honor to attend the defence of Mathias Frisch, student of Raimund Dachselt at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg (now moving to the new lab in Dresden). I was very happy to review such excellent work, (in a committee that includes Prof. Reiterer, from Konstanz) but also to take part in the traditions of doctoral graduation. I think that it is very valuable that a doctoral graduation is approached as a festivity, and loaded with symbols of what it means to be a scholar. These include the new doctor having to wear a very heavy chain (that represents the loads awaiting in his future career),

wearing a hat representing the knowledge of the candidate (physically and literally),

being taken on a pageant through the city, escorted by a troupe of people in medieval outfits (I guess to let the town folk know that there is a new doctor around),

having to drink an “unusual” concoction (in this case tomato juice + coffee + salt and pepper),

as well as later on having to go through the “real exam”, in which the supervisor has to show knowledge and commitment for the candidate in multiple odd ways.

In any case, it was a wonderful day for me, full of good HCI, fun and food. Congratulations Mathias!!

New Alberta Contemporaries Exhibition Showcases work by Lindsay MacDonald (+ J. Brosz + S. Carpendale + me)

The New Alberta Contemporaries 06.15 to 08.29.2012

The new Alberta Contemporaries is the inaugural exhibition of the Esker Foundation, in Calgary. The Esker foundation is the largest privately funded, non-commercial art gallery in Calgary, and Lindsay MacDonald -who I had the pleasure of working with- got invited to exhibit our collaborative piece (with John Brosz) which features an elevator that knows where you are looking at. This means that besides the prize that she already got, she also got to give an artist talk at an amazing venue.

I was not able to attend the inauguration party, but I am incredibly happy to see Lindsay get a little bit of the attention that she deserves. I am really happy to have been able to collaborate with such talented people.

If you happen to be in Calgary, you might want to check the exhibition; it’s there until August 29th and it is free and open to the public.

Launch of the Centre for Geoinformatics at the University of St Andrews, 27 June 2012

Our great colleagues at the Centre for Geoinformatics at the University of St Andrews are launching their research institute in style, with a day-workshop with a distinctively multi-disciplinary flavour. It is a free one-day event with international speakers.  See all the details here, and let them know that you want to come here before June 8th.