Undergrad (grad) research?

(From an email to a student…)

I’m being selfish next semester and only taking folks on in two capacities:

A) I am trying to assemble a group of folks to help think about computing within the school and department. Some possibilities:

  1. Revamping, redesigning, adding to the Web site
  2. Establishing research blogs / k-logs for use among the faculty and grad students
  3. Creating scheduling systems that actually work for the faculty (no one’s using the Lotus calendar)
  4. A number of potential applications for tracking grad students, etc., among faculty
  5. Looking at moving beyond the first few steps Liz has taken with UBLearns to better network undergrads, and to include things like class requests, etc.
  6. Surveying the grad TAs about how better to meet their computing needs
  7. Specing a Wi-Fi network for the 3rd floor: think cheap and mobile
  8. Getting my bio off the web and doing one for someone else in the dept
  9. A review site for elective courses for and by students (grad and/or undergrad)
  10. A survey of other schools around the world to see what cool ideas we can steal… er, borrow
  11. Other possibilities (fairly open ended)

B) I’ve had a back-burner project that I want to start collecting notes on. It will be a history of wearable technologies. This includes the obvious (wristwatches, eyeglasses, sidearms), and the not-so-obvious. I am looking for someone to help do some of the library work on this. Some of it may include more recent devices, but I am thinking a long history here, starting with ancient wearables.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted 12/5/2002 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    >> What about the Amazon referral link for textbooks, or whatever it is called? The spring semester starts in a little over one month :(
    >> Barbara M. and I are still planning “how to write” workshops for the undergrads. I’d like to have all the materials we create/use up on the web, but also face-to-face sessions too.
    >> Grad computing needs: is it possible to have/require technology training for incoming students? We have all that pretty software in the Informatics lab, and I seriously wonder how many people actually take advantage of it.
    >> Is there are reason the COM dept website is never updated? The page with all (some) of the grad students listed only has an area for our email addresses – not home pages, and not any information about what we are working on/interests.

  2. Posted 12/5/2002 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    >> What about the Amazon referral link for textbooks, or whatever it is called? The spring semester starts in a little over one month :(

    I’ll talk with Annette about that in the morning. The issue hanging it up is, of course, how the money will be handled. There is a solution to this that I won’t mention here, but I have mentioned to the faculty.

    >> Barbara M. and I are still planning “how to write” workshops for the undergrads. I’d like to have all the materials we create/use up on the web, but also face-to-face sessions too.

    Very cool. I am happy to help out in whatever way I can.

    >> Grad computing needs: is it possible to have/require technology training for incoming students? We have all that pretty software in the Informatics lab, and I seriously wonder how many people actually take advantage of it.

    We will have a requirement for the MI students (perhaps starting next year?) in terms of knowledge. This will start with a fairly low bar, which will be ratched up as the undergrad informatics courses come on-line. There will be a new course next year on “how to be a graduate student” that should have a component on technology. Basically, all of the stuff that isn’t really part of a theory survey (writing & research, ethics, forms of literature, conferences & publication, etc.) will be covered in this new course. But that training will most likely, again, be pretty basic.

    Jia Lin has done some 3d modelling. We’re thinking of playing with Lightwave next semester.

    >> Is there are reason the COM dept website is never updated? The page with all (some) of the grad students listed only has an area for our email addresses – not home pages, and not any information about what we are working on/interests.

    A small subset of the graduate students have web pages. I was on the committee that made the recommendations for maintaining that site. Unfortunately, those recommendations have been all but ignored, and the responsibility has been parsed out to those without a direct investment in the site. The reasons for this, as is always the case, are chiefly about money. Everyone has good intentions, but money is time, and no one has free time.

    My hope is that many hands will make light work. Bringing the web up to snuff will be a big part of what the group does. We have a part of one GA (Raymond) and hopefully some interested grads and undergrads.

    The web site is amazingly important, and while it looks good to the casual observer, I think we need to redesign it. A proper design means thinking first, and establishing clear goals, and that’s one of the things I hope we can work on next semester.

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