Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bren Hall Building Dedication

The new Computer Science Building, Donald Bren Hall, was dedicated yesterday and as part of the dedication there was an open house for the public. Several demonstrations were set up around the building while some projects were represented by posters. Our project had two posters: one in the poster room in the Informatics Department and one in the Technology Garden room.

A couple folks came by to chat in the poster room, but the Room complete with poster in the hall-facing window proved to be the big draw. I'm convinced that if the room had been fully set up that we would have gotten a big crowd. Almost everyone was very enthusiasitic and thought it was a great idea or was at least intrigued by it. There were a couple folks who just could not take the idea seriously, but I suppose that is inevitable.

I did get a chance to get the patter down for the project. Talking to folks did help me to focus on what was new and important about this project, and what could be misunderstood. A couple folks thought that we were designing sensors and others thought we were trying to automate plant care. The latter point was especially interesting, because in some ways what we're doing is antithetical to automated plant care. Instead of trying to remove the human element and reduce the dependency on human interviention we are trying to enhance, and build awareness of, the interactions between plants and people. Hmm. This could be good fodder for the CHI paper!

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