Phase I

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These images are taken from the Fast Forward and DARPA exhibits at The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I used the Windows Snipping Tool, Pixlr, an iPhone, and the interactive museum map to create these images.

Computers, as we traditionally think of them, are invisible in all three images. Yet all three show how computing technology can solve problems and foster human interaction with the world in interesting and unexpected ways. The first image is of The Reactable, a device which allows multiple users to create sound and light patterns by sliding and twisting objects on an illuminated table; the second, the Mariposa, is an art installation in which users’ shadows inspire the lifelike movements of computer-generated butterflies; finally, the third picture shows a wearable exoskeleton which complements and extends the natural capabilities of the human body, increasing endurance and limiting injury.

In the spirit of these images, one of the key tasks in my class tasks will be to imagine computing everywhere. My ImagineIT project, Programming The World, demands that creative purpose, utility, and connection to the wider world are the first considerations in undertaking any technology project. The iterative Stanford Design Model puts user requirements both first and last, as the first step is empathy for user needs, and the last step is testing and returning to user needs again. “Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague,”says statistician John Tukey, “than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise”. My hope is that by viewing computing with as wide a lens as possible and giving our technology projects a strong public purpose that student access, agency, and ownership will increase.

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