1st International UBI Summer School 2010: Workshops

A: Real World Context-Aware Systems

Instructor: Professor Anind Dey, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
This workshop will discuss the design and development of context-aware systems. It will engage participants in building their own context-aware systems with a variety of mobile phone and fixed environment sensors. Participants will be exposed to behavioral/anthropological methods in selecting systems to build, to a variety of software tools for building applications and to a variety of methods for evaluating these systems. In the workshop, we will discuss the details for building context-aware systems in domains such as healthcare, mobile computing, and transportation. We will also investigate a number of aspects of context-aware systems related to the usability and experiences in using these systems: intelligibility, the role of machine learning, end user control, end user feedback, etc.



B: Urban Informatics and Sustainable Cities


Professor Marcus Foth, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Dr. Jaz Choi, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Patrick Hofmann, Google Australia

One way to build more sustainable cities through network technologies is to start with monitoring the level and usage of resources as well as encourage citizens to participate in sustainable everyday practices. This workshop focuses on three fundamental areas of sustainable cities through urban informatics and ubiquitous computing:

  • Environment: climate change adaptation
  • Health: Food practices and cultures
  • Civic engagement: citizen participation and interaction

In particular, the workshop seeks to come up with locally (Oulu) specific ‘mash-up’ solutions that enhance the interactions of citizens with the physical city using data from various sources such as sensor networks. Students will work in groups to research, analyze, design, and develop local mash-ups. The workshop is designed to help students gain understanding of sustainability in a techno-social context, such as how the existing data can be effectively utilized, how to gather new data, and how to design efficient and engaging computer-human interactions. Further issues of consideration include access to and privacy of information and spaces, cultural specificities, and transdisciplinary research.



C: Urban Social Networks Analysis

Instructor: Professor Vassilis Kostakos, University of Madeira, Portugal
This workshop will introduce students to the analysis of urban social networks. These are networks of encounter and co-presence that exist in a city. Although people's movement in the city and encounters with others may appear to be random, this is far from the truth. In this workshop we will present an overview of this topic, and give students the necessary skills to capture and analyze such networks. The students will get acquainted with the necessary software, will experience first-hand data collection in the city centre, and will get a chance to carry out their own analyses of the City of Oulu. Finally, the students will explore the new kinds of applications that these analyses enable, such as "Urban Facebook".



D: Creating and Sharing Artistic Experiences with Ubiquitous Technology

Instructor: Jürgen Scheible, Aalto University, Finland
This workshop investigates new ways of deploying ubiquitous technologies for creating and sharing artistic experiences in the context of a city. We want to create new types of digital art making in public space and discover novel possibilities for interacting with the urban environment through multimodal interfaces. The aim is to design and build tools and applications for artistic expression by utilizing the latest mobile technologies, public displays as well as small and large-scale projections. The city of Oulu and the "Open Ubiquitous Oulu" urban computing test bed will serve as our playground for generating ideas and for testing our prototype solutions. The students will first get an introduction into the latest features of smartphones programming and then learn how to use ‘Pygame’ and the programming language ‘Python’ and ‘Processing’ to program multimedia, web and server applications quickly. Further they will learn how to use these technologies for building multimodal interfaces and tools for art making. With an iterative rapid prototyping process we will then build applications based on students ideas and have them fully working by the end of the week ready for final presentation and demonstration.



E: IP-based Wireless Sensor Networks

Instructor: Zach Shelby, Head of Research, Sensinode, Finland
Internet Protocol technology is quickly becoming critical for low-power wireless sensor network applications e.g. for the smart grid, building automation and logistics. In this workshop Zach Shelby gives a hands-on introduction to this exciting new application of IP technology and the recent IPv6 over Low-Power Area Network (6LoWPAN) standard based on his new book "6LoWPAN: The Wireless Embedded Internet". During the workshop students will learn and try the basics of 6LoWPAN networking, application protocol and embedded web services, and will design and prototype their own applications using the latest commercial technology.



F: Interactive Textures – rethinking materiality?

Instructor: Professor Mikael Wiberg, Umeå University, Sweden
In this workshop we will take a point of departure in current research and development within the field of ubiquitous computing. More specifically, we will work through current research within the fields of tangible user interfaces (TUIs), interactive architecture, and applications of new dynamic and computational materials in our everyday lives. The workshop will heavily focus on the notion of texture as a tool to rethink materiality in the context of unified digital and physical materials. We will work trough this notion through the scaffolding concepts of composition, connections, competition and compromises as to develop our language for talking specifically about the intersection of the physical and the digital. Following from that, this workshop focuses on the design implications given this framework and how it can be useful for understanding and rethinking materiality in any digital design project related to the “material turn” in interaction design.