Category Archives: Event

Follow INIT Lab for recent news!

I will no longer be updating this blog with recent news. Instead, to hear about the latest in my students’ research, follow the INIT Lab website!

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CISE Day at UF WiSE Girlz Spring Camp fun for all!

Recently I had the pleasure to help organize “Computer Science Day” as part of the University of Florida‘s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group’s week-long summer day camp they were hosting for local middle-school girls, sponsored by the Florida Museum of Natural History. The goal of the camp was to expose the girls to some of the awesome science going on here at UF, and, in addition to CISE, the girls got to visit Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Engineering.

For CISE Day, I advised the CISE department’s student-run organization Women in Computer Science and Engineering (WiCSE) in organizing, structuring, and staffing the day’s events. We planned events such as lab demos, outdoor CS Unplugged activities, and hands-on coding with CodingBat and Scratch. The campers were engaged and positive throughout the day, and later, WiSE staffers told us that CISE day was the favorite day of many of the campers!

You can see more information about the event from the WiSE group here, and check out our CISE Department news item here.

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Come to our iConference event on accessibility in the iSchools!

Only two days until my colleagues and I host the event we’ve been planning for the iConference 2012, a fishbowl discussion entitled “Accessibility in the iSchools: Not Just for People with Disabilities?” The final list of topics has been posted here, so check them out and join us on Wednesday if you will be at the iConference or are in the Toronto area!

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Seeking discussion topic feedback for iConference 2012 accessibility event.

My fellow organizers and I want to hear what you would like to discuss at the iConference 2012 fishbowl on accessibility research in the iSchools:

We have been getting ready for our iConference 2012 event “Accessibility in the iSchools: Not Just for People with Disabilities?” and we are excited to announce the list of possible topics we would like to discuss at the fishbowl! Do you have feedback on these topics or perhaps other topics you would like to see us address? Leave them in the comments! Before the event, we will post the final list of topics we’ve selected based on the feedback we receive on this post.

Head over to the discussion and let us know your thoughts!

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Landmark workshop a success!

In a previous post, I mentioned that my colleagues at UMBC and Landmark College and I had an AccessComputing minigrant accepted for funding to run a “Participatory Design Workshop for Accessible Apps and Games” at Landmark, a small 2-year college in Vermont that serves students with learning and cognitive disabilities.In early December, we actually had the opportunity to run the workshop and it was a great success! The purpose of the workshop was to expose Landmark students to some of the basic principles of human-computer interaction, focusing on participatory design and taking into account user needs and characteristics when designing technology. UMBC students led the participatory design sessions on mobile apps and games they were designing as part of a current course project.

Throughout the workshop, we noted that the Landmark students were very engaged and enjoyed the design activities very much. They were a group of kids with a technology-orientation (the course they were recruited from was a web design course), and heavily involved in playing video games. The apps we brought were gaming-oriented, if not full-fledged video games, and this aspect seemed to really appeal to the Landmark students. The UMBC students remarked on how much they learned about working with users in small participatory design groups as well. We look forward to maybe doing future versions of this workshop, or other collaborative activities with UMBC and Landmark students.

You can find the information on the ongoing collaboration between Landmark and UMBC, as well as specifics about the event and some of the outcomes here (stay tuned for updates!).

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iConference 2012 Accessibility event accepted!

Colleagues Amy Hurst, Shaun Kane and I have recently learned that our proposed “alternative event” on accessibility was accepted to the iConference 2012, to be held in Toronto in February! We are running it as a “fishbowl” discussion, which is a way to hold a discussion with a big group of people and allow the whole group to participate. It will be my first time experiencing a fishbowl, so I am very enthusiastic about that. The event is titled “Accessibility in the iSchools: Not Just for People with Disabilities?” and will focus on discussion of how research issues in accessibility are relevant to other research areas within the iSchool purview, and will hopefully forge new connections and collaborations among iSchool researchers interested in accessibility or access-related issues.

The event website will be located here (content coming soon!). If you are going to be at the iConference or in the Toronto area, consider attending this exciting event!

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