2016 week 49 in review


Work

We hosted some visitors from MRU, to give a tour of the TI and talk about active learning and pedagogy and eat some pie. MRU is doing some really interesting things, and we need to work more closely with them…

I did some testing with a prof and TA, trying out connecting Raspberry Pi dev kits to the fancy 50" displays in the learning studios. Worked like a charm. Her course next semester is going to be kind of awesome, with students hacking hardware and software to build sensors and convert input into music and visualizations.

Our D2L account reps came for a visit, and we talked about how we're using the various bits of D2L. We're going to take a closer look at the Wiggio integration, which could provide ad hoc community tools that fill the gap by not allowing people to go out and use random third-party internets.

Video hosting. Slow progress. I think something is going to start happening on that soon…

PhD

I was fortunate to attend another presentation by Adam Bradley, on "Producing the Interdisciplinary Thesis" - his work involves building software tools to enable more effective close reading of poetry, and he talked about how he connected various components of the humanities and computer science. Sounds rather relevant to my work… The big takeaways were around the concept of bridging humanistic and computational, of enabling cognitive offloading and memory augmentation in order to amplify intensely individual and personal interpretations of a poem. The exact opposite end of the spectrum from the Big Data Will Reveal The Truthâ„¢ camp. I like it. The other takeaway was "break off small pieces - don't build the entire telescope at once." Which segues into…

I basically blew up my research plan and am starting to rebuild it from almost-scratch. That's part of the process, and definitely an important thing to do in the early days of a PhD. I don't want to lock into something so early, and need to be able to rethink things as I learn. Otherwise, it's just an exercise in project management, not research.

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