Proyecto TangibleIdeas: Buscando EPOs

Hemos preparado una propuesta de proyecto de investigación para presentar al ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnologia. El proyecto se titula TangibleIdeas y su objetivo es:

“La finalidad de este proyecto es el desarrollo, y su posterior evaluación, del sistema que hemos denominado “TangibleIdeas”. TangibleIdeas es un entorno que permitirá el desarrollo de sesiones de generación de ideas grupales utilizando dispositivos multitouch. Tangible ideas permitirá a un grupo de participantes generar ideas de una manera intuitiva utilizando dos tipos de dispositivos multitouch: superficies horizontales tabletops (Figura 1), y dispositivos personales tablets (Figura 2). Para ambos tipos de dispositivos se investigará y propondrá mecanismos de interacción multitouch que faciliten la generación de nuevas ideas a través de la composición de ideas, la modificación de ideas, la exploración y navegación de bancos de ideas, etc. Los dispositivos serán evaluado en diferentes escenarios: por grupos presenciales que utilicen solamente una mesa multitouch (Figura 1), o por grupos presenciales que utilicen múltiples dispositivos personales compartiendo datos a través de un servidor (Figura 2). La composición adecuada de los grupos será investigada para proponer mecanismos de formación de grupos y mecanismos de networking entre los participantes del grupo y participantes online.”

Una descripción más extensa de sus objetivos esta en la web del grupo: Si os interesan los posibles resultados del proyecto, os animamos a que seais EPOs Entes Promotores Observadores, y nos envies una carta de apoyo al proyecto, sin ningun compromiso (evidentemente este tipo de apoyos puntuan a la hora de valorar nuestro proyecto para obtener financiación). Nosotros nos comprometemos a enseñaros los resultados del proyecto para poder iniciar algún tipo de transferencia tecnológica.


Evaluation of Computer Tools for Idea Generation and Team Formation in Project-Based Learning

Hemos publicado en la revista Computers and Education (IF=2.059) el resultado del proyecto Ideación2.0.

El articulo completo esta en:

Cito las parrafos y figuras más importantes:


The main objective of this research was to validate the effectiveness of Wikideas and Creativity Connector tools to stimulate the generation of ideas and originality by university students organized into groups according to their indexes of creativity and affinity. Another goal of the study was to evaluate the classroom climate created by these tools and the method “Think Actively in a Social Context” (TASC) proposed by Wallace and Adams (1993) and framed within project-based learning (PBL). The research was conducted with a sample of 34 students in the third year of a Computer Engineering degree, which, during a period of 15 weeks, required them to design and implement an innovative distributed application project. The procedure consisted of the implementation of the eight phases of the TASC method integrated to the Wikideas and Creativity Connector tools. The information provided by the tools, interviews and questionnaires administered to students was used to analyze our hypothesis. The results show that the tools helped the students to generate, evaluate and select the most relevant ideas and to form teams for project execution. They also revealed that teams with high indexes of creativity and affinity (type α) achieved the best grades in academic performance and project originality. Furthermore, research data show that Wikideas and Creativity Connector along with the TASC approach created a positive classroom climate for students. Based on this work, several suggestions can be extracted on the use of the tools and the TASC method for project-based learning.

2.1. Wikideas

Wikideas facilitates the generation of ideas in nominal groups and small groups, as well as the evaluation of ideas in brainstorming networks generated by the Creativity Connector tool. It is a Web-based interactive tool based in the WakkaWiki software, which provides functionality beyond other electronic brainstorming systems (Prante, Magerkurth, & Streitz, 2002). It is very easy to use because every idea is transformed into a Wiki page and has four main functions: generating, communicating, analyzing, and assessing information.

1. Generating ideas. This task is performed in a digital private space, in which each user can develop, express, and store his/her new ideas as private Wiki pages containing a detailed description of the idea and can be revised as many times as necessary to improve it.

2. Communicating ideas. Information saved in the above-mentioned private space can be published anonymously so that other users can have access to them. This task is carried out in the following way. After clicking on the information a user wishes to share, the user drags and drops it onto a panel of public ideas as indicated by an icon that symbolizes shared idea. From then on, the information can be viewed by other application users.

3. Analyzing ideas. Published information can be commented on and examined by other users, who can then formulate questions anonymously. Then in a low-risk environment, the author can answer these questions in the corresponding Wiki page, either redefining the idea or adding a pertinent observation. The ideas that have been commented on by other users are marked on the “idea generator” panel so that their creator can respond to the comments.

4. Assessing ideas. Using a Likert scale that range from 1 (very small interest) to 5 (very high interest). Each user can pick up to a pre-specified number of ideas that he or she considers the most interesting.

Before team groups are created, ideas, comments and ratings are shown to other participants without any reference to its author; when final project teams are formed, names of authors appear alongside ideas, comments and ratings. All information relevant to each function can be visualized in its corresponding panel. Figure 1 shows the interface of the initial Web page of this tool, which can be used to access the panels of each functions mentioned above.

2.2. Creativity Connector

Creativity Connector is a social network tool that connects users who wish to participate in common projects. It is implemented using graph algorithms and a collaborative filtering system. This tool is integrated with Wikideas and uses the information generated by its users to relate and bring together participants. The first main function of Creativity Connector is to create a brainstorming network whose nodes are users of Wikideas, which are connected to N other participants. This network is used to show each participant’s ideas only to those participants who have a link in that network. The second main function is to form creative affinity teams. Creativity Connector performs both functions automatically and presents results networks and teams graphically as shown in Figure 2, in which 9 groups can be observed according to different indexes from affinity (major thickness of the lines represent major index of affinity). The class instructor can inspect the resulting teams and manually make some adjustments. The implementation of these functions is defined in the following way.

Brainstorming network creation. After idea generation sessions, the tool calculates the creativity indices of participants using the number of ideas proposed by each participant and the amount of development each participant has done for each idea by measuring the length of the description of each idea. Then the tool assigns to each participant a numerical value proportional to both quantities. The tool creates a brainstorming network connecting each participant with N users that have a similar value of creativity. In practice, each user is connected to N/2 participants with a higher creativity index and N/2 participants with a lower creativity index. This network is used to show each participant’ ideas only to those participants who have a link in that user’s network.

Formation of creative teams. To form creative teams, Creativity Connector makes use of the rating values assigned by each user to different ideas in Wikideas. With these values, the tool calculates the affinity between participants so that two participants who have similarly rated the same ideas will have a high affinity (Resnick & Varian, 1997). These pair-wise affinities are used to establish related teams in terms of the sum of pair-wise affinities between the members of the team. Team affinities are used to form teams for project development. These teams are selected from all possible combinations of teams. First, the team with the highest affinity among its participants is stipulated and then users in that team are removed from the pool of users used to form teams. This process continues until all participants are assigned to a team.

Figure 2. The graphical user interface of Creativity Connector to visualize affinities of brainstorming networks and teams generated automatically

3.         Purpose of the study

On the basis of the theoretical and empirical framework discussed previously, this work’s main objective was to validate the Wikideas and Creativity Connector tools’ ability to sustain the production of ideas, originality and formation of teams for project-based learning. The following three hypotheses were formulated.

First, Wikideas and Creativity Connector tools will support generation of creative ideas and originality by university students in a project-based learning course. With this goal in mind, several new functions beyond standard EBS systems (Prante et al., 2005) have being designed: 1) maintaining anonymity of ideas, comments and ratings, 2) calculating creativity and affinity indexes of participants and 3) the configuration of a network of brainstorming peers to limit the number of ideas that each subject can see and evaluate.

Second, teams formed by subjects with high indexes of creativity and high indexes of affinity between them (type α) would obtain better results in originality and academic achievement than those teams with low indexes of creativity and high indexes of affinity (type β), high indexes of creativity and low indexes of affinity (type γ) and low indexes of creativity and low indexes of affinity (type δ). This hypothesis was proposed because, according to the literature reviewed, the complex tasks that are involved in a challenge to the members of a team require high levels of creativity and a strong intrinsic motivation (Bantel, 1994; Bowers, Pharmer, & Salas, 2000; Uzzi & Spiro, 2005). We guessed that the planning and implementation of an innovative distributed application project is a difficult task for students in their third year. Teams will be created by Creativity Connector using participants’ creativity and affinity indexes obtained in idea generation and evaluation sessions.

Third, Wikideas and Creativity Connector tools adequately integrated into the project-based method called “Think Actively in a Social Context (TASC)” will create a positive classroom climate that will help them to achieve the aims of the academic course and to create an original project. This environment will influence favorably the intrinsic motivation of the students, their teamwork and their learning.

4.         Method

4.1.      Participants

The subjects of this study were 34 students from the Public University of Navarre Software Engineering Degree Program enrolled in the third-year course entitled “Advanced Operating Systems” during a semester-long (15 weeks) period for the academic year 2009-2010. The student’s mean age was 20.3 years and the standard deviation was 1.1. In addition, 30% of participants were female and 70% were male. Eleven project groups were formed, each of which had three members except one with four.

4.2.      Procedure

The procedure consisted of the implementation of the 8 phases of the method TASC proposed by Wallace and Adams (1993). Figure 3 shows the sequence of the phases, the tools used, the form of work, and the duration of every phase. The following are descriptions of the tasks that the teacher and the students performed in the different phases.

1. Gathering and organizing. On the first day of class, the teacher explained to the students the following points: (a) the purpose of the course entitled “Advanced Operating Systems”, (b) the importance of creative development for the engineering profession, (c) the use of two tools, Wikideas and Creativity Connector, which would help in achieving the course objectives, (d) the method that was used in the course called “Thinking Actively in a Social Context, TASC” that also would help them in creativity, (e) how learning in the course would be evaluated, and (f) that to achieve these goals, they should work responsibly, both individually and as a group. Then the teacher conducted some brainstorming exercises about several topics, for example, “how can you use a Web search engine?” to familiarize to students with this technique. They had to undertake these reflexive and creative tasks using materials provided by the teacher and Internet information sources such as Wikipedia and Google.

2. Setting goals. In the spaces provided by Wikideas, the students, with the help of the teacher, defined the course goal, which was “the design and performance of a creative software product that was a distributed application composed of at least four different subsystems: a Web robot, a processing server, a storage module, and a Web server”. In addition, they also fixed the evaluation criteria that they would use to assess the obtained results, namely, the student’s active participation in both individual and group activities, implementation of a new project that could have some usefulness outside of the class, and defense of that project in front of the class.

3. Generating ideas. The students, individually, proposed ideas about possible projects using the “generate ideas” function of Wikideas. After this step, the Creativity Connector tool was used to create a brainstorming network so that students could see ideas from eight different students.

4. Evaluation of ideas. In this phase, students communicated their ideas to their classmates anonymously and analyzed their classmate’s ideas using a score of 1 to 5. Then the Creativity Connector tool used those ratings to form three-person project groups according to affinity. After this phase, the teacher conducted the first interviews of the study.

5. Developing the Project. Organized in groups according to their creativity indexes and interests, the students monitored the execution of their project, always taking into account the fact that it should display clear signs of originality. During this stage, each group met with the teacher weekly to report on their work, to clarify doubts and to specify the tasks to complete for the next meeting. To carry out this task, to communicate with the classmates, to exchange files, and so on, students also used other tools, such as Wikis, e-mail, and Blogs.

6. Assessment. The students reflected upon their own work and their participation in a small group. Then they sent their conclusions to the members of their group. Later, working together, they drafted a comprehensive assessment of their workgroup.

7. Presenting the projects. In various class meetings, each group defended its project in front of the class, underlining its achievements with regard to creativity. They also compared their results with those of other groups and commented on the help provided by the computer tools and the limitations observed in the execution of the project. This phase allowed other students to see what their course mates had done and to provide feedback to them where necessary. The groups carried out this activity using additional tools, such as Video Editing and Presentation software, which allowed them to present their work in a professional manner.

8. Learning from experience. The students reflected on how to transfer their learning to society and businesses. They commented in detail on the aspects of the project and the tools that should be improved in future experiences and on the significant changes achieved in their creative competencies. In the end, students responded individually to the questionnaire.

During all of these procedures, the teacher’s task was to provide guidance and to set up some criteria to help the students complete their projects. They would also come to the teacher for advice on technical as well as design problems. This provided the teacher with the opportunity to monitor their progress and to make sure no team was left behind. Some class lectures were converted to consultation periods for both the students and the teacher to gather feedback from one another. The role of the teacher was that of a facilitator.

Figure 3: The phases of the TASC method, tools used, form of work, and duration of the phases

6.         Discussion

In this study, we intended to validate the effectiveness of Wikideas and Creativity Connector tools to support idea generation and originality in university students organized into different project teams, taking into account their levels of creativity and affinity. The study also aimed at evaluating whether the classroom climate created by the two tools and the project-based learning (PBL) method called “Thinking Actively in a Social Context” was appropriate to carry out an innovative project and, consequently, to achieve the goals of the course.

6.1.      Idea Generation

The results suggest that the tools promoted both the generation of ideas in students and originality in the development of a software project, which consisted of a distributed application composed of a Web robot, a processing server, a storage module and a Web server. This statement is based on information provided by the tools, the questionnaire and the project accomplished.

First. The tools helped students in the production of ideas, in the visualization of a large number of ideas of the other students (M = 65), in the assessment of some of the ideas (M = 11), and in the selection of the best idea for subsequent implementation in a project. The students expressed that in relation to this discrepancy between the number of ideas they had accessed and the number of ideas selected by them, many of the ideas of their colleagues were either very similar or seemed too difficult to implement. These tasks were performed by students in private and public digital spaces in conditions of anonymity, allowing them to choose the ideas of their colleagues that seemed to be the best regardless of their friendship. In this context, a student said, “At first the task was difficult, but gradually, with the help of the tools, the ideas flow in my mind and immediately wrote them in the generate ideas panel with great ease.”

Second. The results of the questionnaire revealed that students had highly positive perceptions of the support they received from the tools for generating ideas, communicating their own ideas to others, evaluating the ideas of other students and developing all project stages.

Third. The assessment carried out by researchers on the originality of the project also supports the assumption that the tools helped students to execute their tasks with a degree of originality, a level of complexity and some interesting applicability in society. The contribution of the above three sources allows us to assert that the first hypothesis of the study was confirmed.

These results point in the same direction as other studies that have researched creativity and creativity support by computer tools (Florida, 2002, 2005, Jang, 2009, Johnson et al., 2002, Li, 2002, Shneiderman, 2007), although they surpassed some previous findings. For example, the traditional brainstorming phase ends with the generation of new ideas (Chidambaram & Tung, 2005; Dornburg et al., 2009; Michinov & Primois, 2005). In contrast, our study participants also had to design and implement a project with the best ideas selected; this resulted in students discussing whether ideas could be implement when they could see each other’s ideas, instead of generating more ideas as is reported in studies which consider brainstorming as an end in itself. Being able to determine the number of ideas a user has to visualize and evaluate without interfering with his creative process, is another advantage offered by our tools. However, the best mechanism still remains in debate. We conducted a pilot study testing other configurations of tools so that participants could see a different number of ideas. In the current version, they could see the ideas of eight companions; however, both studies only evaluated a small number of them. We hope to provide to the scientific community more definitive data about this in future publications. Moreover, the tools we developed automatically calculate indices of creativity and affinity; to our knowledge, this has not been provided by other tools, which are used to evaluate the productivity of a subject and establish project teams. As a consequence, our tools have resulted, as stated by Shneiderman (2002), in students working collaboratively and expressing individual and social creativity in new ways.

6.1.      Team Formation

Wikideas and Creativity Connector formed four types of project teams, which consisted of the following groups: (1) subjects with high levels of creativity and affinity (type α), (2) subjects with low levels of creativity and high levels of affinity (type β), (3) subjects with high creativity and low levels of affinity (type γ) and (4) subjects with low levels of creativity and affinity (type δ). Of these categories, we postulated that type α would be better in originality and academic achievement than other categories. The data of Table 1 and the results of the survey and questionnaire, support our second hypothesis. That is, students with high levels of creativity and affinity were able to propose a more innovative project, implemented the components recommended by the instructor, sought the practicality of the idea and presented the project before their peers well.

Students themselves recognized these in their assessments, commenting that “the fact that all members of the team had a lot of ideas and the motivation to achieve the same goal helped us to work in a coordinated way to implement the project in an original way.” It, thus, appears that the homogeneity of a team about their ideational creativity and an interest in a common goal can be an important factor to ensure the implementation of an original project, as highlighted by Bantel (1994) and Bowers et al. (2000).

Another important result achieved was that type γ project teams formed by high creativity and low affinity students also achieved very good results in originality and academic performance, which suggests that, once accepted, the members of the teams who came up with the project idea were motivated and worked responsibly and with originality in their development. These data show that students can change their interests and thus direct their efforts towards achieving new goals to compete successfully with other groups (Paulus & Brown, 2003). The tools helped these project teams to avoid spending too much time and effort in analyzing which idea they could choose to implement in their project and was considered an important advantage in the study of Yang and Cheng (2010).

Most participants said in interviews that they were satisfied with the structure of the team and only a few were a bit uncertain in working with partners who initially did not share the same interests. However, as mentioned, this feeling changed for the better with the help of the teacher and the receptive attitude of the students. Therefore, these students needed more guidance at the early stages of development of the project, but soon the team began to function properly. Similarly, the results provided by the questionnaire confirmed that the teams formed by the tools were highly accepted by students.

The data of Table 1 also indicate that tools were able to arrange teams in clearly defined categories in term of the average creativity and affinity indexes of teams. However, the resulting number of teams in each category (3 type α, 1 type β, 3 type γ and 5 type δ teams) indicates that it is difficult to form many teams with high levels of affinity and creativity among members, as was expected. Furthermore, a significant proportion of the teams with low levels of affinity and creativity among members were formed. Organizing small teams out of a large group is a complex problem that has no ideal solution if too many restrictions are applied; this is likely the scenario we confront in the case of our study. Our grouping strategy might have to be evaluated in the future, but if we can classify the resulting teams in terms of a small number of variables as we did, it is easy to provide guidance tailored to each team.

6.3.      Classroom Climate

The tools and the “Thinking Actively in a Social Context” method created a positive classroom climate for students. Indeed, the integration of both resources, tools and methods, offered continued support in implementing the project, helped them overcome the challenges in every step of the learning process, prepared them for creative action by using the tools in the steps of the method that best encouraged creativity and encouraged the interaction between the learning social context and the exercise of their cognitive processes. A classroom climate with these characteristics could contribute to all students achieving their academic objectives. As the data in Table 1 indicate, teams finished their projects with fairly high grades. Type δ teams, which were composed of low creative members with low affinity among them, performed well and passed their projects. They commented, “we have learned many things during this academic year, one of which is how to work in a team, which prepares us significantly for professional practice.” These results support our third hypothesis as well as the fact that it is also expressed by participants in the questionnaire.

These results corroborate the theories of Adams (2006), Laffey et al. (1998) and Nagel (1996) that relate PBL with an active, responsible and collaborative participation of student in learning and “learn how to learn” characteristic to the constructivist perspective. Moreover, as some researchers have emphasized (Sanz de Acedo et al., 2009, Wallace & Adams, 1993), the effect of the TASC method in creativity skills has proven to be significant. We have observed, like many researchers (Anderson, 2002; Hunder et al., 2007, Laffey et al., 1998; Yand & Cheng, 2010), that the classroom climate and method of instruction used is vital to encourage students in developing their creativity.

Visita Hasso Plattner Institute : Excelencia en docencia e investigación Informática

Las mejores universidades en todas las areas de informática son americanas, pero existen algunos ejemplos europeos de calidad excepcional tanto docente como investigadora, un un ejemplo es el Hasso Plattner Institute cerca de Berlin. Aunque me parece que el factor economico es fundamental para conseguirlo:  financiando al HPI esta la empresa SAP, el mayor productor de software del mundo, que ha “fichado” a un buen numero de invesigadores americanos.

En cuanto a docencia, entre otros programas, llevan la “School of Design Thinkinguna escuela de postgrado con una metodogia que vamos mucho más alla del project-based learning,  donde el objetivo de los alumnos es proponer y desarrollar innovaciones, que intentarán tengan un modelo de negocio viable.  Evidentemente no tienen una escenario físico habitual sino que se aprenden en unos espacios flexibles donde todo es posible…

Respecto a la investigación, el grupo de interacción esta dirigido por Patrick Baudisch (proveniente de MS research US) y en la visita nos enseño los proyectos que han desarrollado en el ultimo año, ultra-imaginativos y con un nivel de calidad tremendo, en cuanto a exito de publicaciones. Los más interesantes fueron:

  • el proyecto Multitoe, en el que han desarrollado una superficie horizontal con interacción a través de los pies.
  • el proyecto Lumino sirve para que una mesa multitouch detecte objetos encima de objetos, han tenido algun que otro premio, pero cuando lo usamos no me parecio demasiado util ni facil de mejorar…
  • Otro proyecto muy prometedor es el nanoTouch para interaccionar con objetos visualizadores muy pequeños, el truco consiste en tocar por la parte de atras….
  • Y tambien habia algun otro proyecto no publicado, como el “halo” que intenta estudiar el uso del espacio alrededor de un movil para interaccionar con el (no tenian una demo fisica sino una software, pero el concepto parecia util para hacer juegos diferentes).

Finalización Proyecto UlabGrid2: ¿Promoción o transferencia a sector privado?

El proyecto P2PGrid esta llegando a su fin y ya tenemos un prototipo del sistema ULabGrid2. Aparte de las correspondientes publicaciones, etc, nos preguntamos como hacer que este trabajo de investigación pueda ser utilizado por el mayor número de gente ¿tenemos que dedicarnos a hacer promoción de nuestros resultados?, o ¿puede haber alguna empresa privada interesada?… este asunto de la transferencia de technología no nos han enseñado como se hace.

Por si acaso hemos preparado un video donde se recoge su funcionamiento, y se demuestra su aplicación. El funcionamiento tecnico se puede explicar con la figura inferior, donde se muestran la parte del sistema que se ejecuta en los ordenadores de lo usuarios, conformando una red P2P, y el sistema de Facebook al que cada nodo de la red accederia para obtener información sobre que otros nodos estan disponibles en ese sistema y cuales son usuario “amigos”. Cada usuario puede acceder a las aplicaciones que se ejecutan en los nodos de sus “amigos” a través de una conexion VNC, aquellos usuarios que no tengan recursos para compartir puede acceder a un SuperPeer tipo computacion en nube.

Este es el video donde muestran las diferentes funcionalidades:

Estancia UPF: “prototipado y evaluación de un sistema de colaboración remota con interface multitouch”

He pasado los 3 ultimos meses en Barcelona en una estancia en el grupo GTI de la UPF. Esto de las estancias es algo muy peculiar del trabajo en la universidad, te vas durante x meses a otra universidad a hacer algo, y hasta que no llegas y te instalas en el despacho no sabes muy bien que vas a hacer.
Tras un par de semanas de intenso brainstorming y de repasar todo lo que sabia hacer, todo lo que podia hacer y todo lo que habia hecho el resto del mundo, llegamos a la conclusion que podia intentar hacer un “prototipado y evaluación de un sistema de colaboración remota con interface multitouch”. Como se ve en los videos lo he conseguido.
Por poner un poco en contexto el sistema, esta idea se ve en un video de promoción de microsoft titulado: vision 2019, lo anucian como un “transparent wall between two classrooms around the world”.
Pero como todas las ideas, no son 100% nuevas, ya en 1993 Ishii del Medialab MIT, en el proyecto ClearBoard se percibio de la problematica que tienen los sistemas de colaboracion remota que integran videoconferencia y acceso compartido a a las aplicaciones. En aquel momento no se contaba de la tecnologia necesaria por lo que hicieron un sistema rudimentario, pero les permitio evaluar algunos de los problemas y ventajas del concepto.

Un proyecto que abordan algunas de las problematicas de los interfaces multitouch remotos es el T3 Rapid Prototyping of High-Resolution and Remote Tabletop Applications de la univ. de Cambridge.

Ahora a escribir el paper y enviarlo a alguna conferencia.

Empezar simultaneamente.

Iweekend: montando la startup

Este fin de semana ha sido muy intenso, el objetivo del iweekend era montar una startup de internet en 2 días, algun participante comentaban que era como un “gran hermano”….

El viernes empezamos con un speed networking donde nos conocimos los 40 participantes: se notaba que habia gente con ganas de conocer a otros similares, y bastante gente con ganas de cambiar de trabajo y empezar de cero.

Después se presentaron 12 ideas que pudimos criticar de manera anonima, la verdad es que no hubo demasiado originalidad, rapidamente se propagaban por la sala vi twitter que tal sitio u otra ya hacia algo parecido …  parecia que algo no iba bien.

Pero al día siguiente todos mis dudas se disiparon, la gente se apunto a uno de los 4 proyectos con mejor acogida y todos nos pusimos a trabajar y aprender.

Me apunte al proyecto de, ya que parecia que en el se podrian aprender cosas a nivel de desarrollo de negocio, y tambien para poder cacharrear un poco con google maps. Los resultados son bastante cohesionados, a pesar de la falta de personal con habilidades tecnicas conseguimos un mini-prototipo funcional, se realizaron unos videos para marketing interesantes, y se desarrollo una tabla de ingresos y gastos a 5 años que parecia bastante realista. Además se hizo una presentación a dos expertos emprendedores que tuvieron que aplaudir el trabajo, aunque sus comentarios criticos eran totalmente acertados.

Y este fue el equipo (la foto es de Dani que vino desde tarragona)

Conferencia Creativity and Cognition ‘09: Herramientas y Procedimientos para Diseñadores y similares

Asisti a la conferencia Creativity and Cognition’09 para presentar el poster de “Web2.0 Tools to support Brainstorming Networks and Innovation Teams”.  No encontré muchos trabajos relacionados, habia un par más sobre brainstorming, en uno de ellos evaluaban como influye la diversidad de fuentes en los resultados del brainstorming, en el otro proponían las “librerías de casos” como instrumento para permitir a los alumnos encontrar proyectos para elaborar.

El plato fuerte de la conferencia fueron varias presentaciones en los que se hacían trabajos de campo para observar como trabajan los diseñadores con herramientas o que metodos empleaban, o se realizaban experimentos para medir la eficacia de nuevos metodos. Un ejemplo interesante fue el paper “The Efficacy of Prototyping Under Time Constraints” de S. P. Dow, K. Heddleston y S. R. Klemmer (Stanford University) donde intentaban demostrar que es más efectivo realizar iteraciones en un proyecto de diseño que no realizarlas: el curioso método experimental consistió en que dos grupos de participantes realizaran una tarea de diseño no muy complicada, la prueba del “egg-drop” que consiste en conseguir lanzar un huevo desde la mayor altura posible y conseguir que no se rompe utilizando un limitado numero de materiales: las soluciones construyen paracaídas, amortiguadores, planeadores, etc. La conclusión del estudio es que parecían mejores los resultados del grupo que realizaba iteraciones, pero encontraron que existe una tendencia a la “fijación” por la primera idea propuesta en ambas condiciones. Este resultado ya nos ha sucedido en los experimentos que hemos hecho para evaluar nuestras herramientas: los alumnos tiene fijación por una idea y la intenta desarrollar aunque se les diga que se puede mejorar de varias maneras…

Otro paper muy util fue “Creativity Factor Evaluation: Towards a Standardized Survey Metric for Creativity Support“ de E. A. Carroll y C. Latulipe de University of North Carolina y R. Fung y M. de University of Waterloo. Espero que acabemos utilizando la metrica CSI “Creativity Support Index” que propusieron.

Tambien hubo momentos menos serios, cuando nos pusimos a probar el sistema interactivo y salieron dibujos como este:

Interesante conferencia SocialCom’09: la “Initiative for Social Participation”

Acudi a la conferencia SocialCom en Vancouver para hacer dos presentaciones en el workshop “Social Computing in Education“. Fueron bastante bien y nos felicitaron por los dos trabajos, les pareció interesante que hubiera aplicaciones P2P para aprendizaje “social”.

Casualmente me encontré con un viejo conocido Josep Maria Pujol de Telefonica I+D que organizaba un workshop en “Social Mobile Web“, ya veis que Telefonica tambien se interesa por las “social applications”. En su workshop hubo una presentación bastante interesante en la habian hecho un estudio preguntando directamente a usuarios de Google Latitude sobre su utilización de esa aplicación.

En la conferencia principal, hubo algunos trabajos “faraonicos” como aquel de MIT en el que dieron a los 80 alumnos de una residencia unos telefonos moviles que logeaban todos sus usos durante un cuatrimestre, y luego estuvieron analizandolos… los resultados no eran interesantes, demasiados datos tampoco son buenos.

El plato fuerte de la conferencia fue una presentación por el incombustible Ben Shneiderman que presentó la “National Initiative for Social Participation” , además parece que es amigo de Obama y va a sacar adelante bastantes proyectos.

Entre algunas ideas que expusó estan (el resto en ):

*”National Deliberative Process” que permitiria a los ciudadanos participar “en tiempo real” en las diferentes decisiones politicas: expusieron el ejemplo de una aplicación tipo googleMaps que permitiría saber los desempleados de cada zona de una ciudad en tiempo real, para aplicar politicas “en tiempo real”.

* “Enabling Healthy Living” trata sobre las diferentes maneras de mejorar la salud a través de las redes sociales, ya existen diferente sitios donde compartir los datos clinicos, formar comunidades alreadedor de enfermedades raras,  y todo ello sin intervención de los profesionales de la medicina o la administración.

* El “Climate Collaboratorium” es una iniciativa para afrontar el cambio climatico teniendo en cuenta la opinión, recursos de todos los ciudadanos.

* ” Nation of Neighbors” que involucraría a los habitantes de cada vecindario en el mantenimiento y seguridad de las vecindarios.


¿Que tiene de raro esta foto de Vancouver? clica …

Proyecto Paralevel en Taller Interactivos? de Arteleku

Ultimamente estoy metido en la universidad en varios proyectos interesantes que ire comentando poco a poco, pero el proyecto de este verano ha sido la participación en un taller en el “centro de creación artistica” Arteleku en San Sebastian. El taller “Interactivos?” esta organizado como los talleres de MediaLab-Prado en base a un llamamiento a propuestas y otro a colaboradores para realizar proyectos artisticos con nuevas tecnologías.

Me apunte al proyecto Paralevel de Walter Langelaar, aunque habia elementos tecnológicos muy estudiados la parte conceptual parecia bastante abierta. Y asi fue, tuvimos tiempo de discutir durante más de 3 días lo que seria la instalacion interactiva, y en la otra semana acabamos de construirla, minutos antes de que se abriera al público la exposición.

La primera figura describe el esquema tecnico final, y algunas modificaciones anteriores. Utilizamos varios hardware y software de interacción: WebCam, acelerometros de la Wii, OpenFrameworks, Gamuza, PureData, Arduino, Xbee, OpenArena game engine,…

Y el video es bastante explicativo de que hicimos. En el tientero se quedaron algunas otras propuestas.

(Aunque era un proyecto 100% artistico, probablemente podria tener alguna aplicación, no he visto ningun sistema de interacción con proyecciones en el techo y sin embargo el techo es un lugar infrautilizado en casi todos los edificios, excepto los planetarios..)


Visita OpenLab en MediaLab-Prado

Entre los muchos lugares que estoy encontrando fuera de las universidad donde se “inventan” cosas el medialab-prado en Madrid es el más creativo y abierto. Tenia que ser creativo ya que es un centro surgido desde areas artisticas y promovido por artistas. Se diferencia de otros centros artisticos en que el objeto de trabajo tiene que tener una componente tecnológica importante, y vaya si la tiene. Cuando estuve hubo una presentacion de una artista residente que estaba investigando y construyendo un sistema interactivo con video proyecciones en 3D.(ver foto). Y tenian en exposición una impresora 3D construida en una impresora 3D (la impresora 3D replicante RepRap).

Su modo de funcionamiento parece exitoso, hacen varias convocatorias de proyectos a lo largo del año a las que cualquiera puede proponer proyectos  y despues colaborar en los equipos de trabajo. Además organizan talleres en los que se acaban realizando pequeños proyectos. Y los viernes tienen un OpenLab : un espacio abierto para proponer, discutir, conversar… que más se puede pedir.

Proximamente organizan en San Sebastian con Arteleku un taller Interactivos? donde se van a realizar varios proyectos de manera colaborativa, me apuntare.