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Colloquium - Eisenberg

Shop Class for the Next Century: Integrating Computers and Handicrafts
Department of Computer Science

Much of the popular rhetoric surrounding educational technology emphasizes the advantages of the virtual (and hence intangible) world over physical reality: we thus see the advent of virtual classrooms, laboratories, and science museums. Effective education in science and mathematics, however, is rich in physical experience -- experience with mathematical manipulatives and puzzles, with scientific toys and kits, with craft materials of all sorts.

In this talk, I discuss the ways in which computational media can alter and enrich the culture of "educational handicrafts". As a motivating example, I will focus on experiences in developing HyperGami, a programmable application for the creation of paper polyhedral models and sculptures. Using HyperGami as a source of interesting issues, I will describe additional recent work integrating computers with craft materials other than paper; and I will show several examples suggesting new directions for programmable scientific toys.

Refreshments will be served immediately before the talk at 3:30pm.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)