Thursday, August 02, 2007

Summer guests

Today we had not one, but two guests here at UL. Both also gave talks (organised by Chris Exton in association with the CSCoP).

The first talk scheduled in the morning was Michael Kölling's from the University of Kent.
Titled "Greenfoot - An Interactive Platform For Introducing Programming", the talk introduced a framework Michael has developed for introducing beginning students to programming.
"Greenfoot allows starting to program with interactive graphical simulations, computer
games and other graphical scenarios. One of the main aims of Greenfoot is to create a motivating, creative, diverse entry to the learning of programming, that engages larger groups of students, including those not traditionally well represented in our degree intake.
Greenfoot uses the Java Programming Language, and was originally designed to be used as a first platform, especially at the high school level, before students then migrate to other environments. "
Michael also writes an interesting blog. What a pity Muireann was not here anymore! This could be the perfect approach for her students!

The second talk was by Alexander Troussov, the Chief Scientist of the IBM Dublin Center for Advanced Studies who initially facilitated our connection with the team we've been observing for 16 months and supported our socGSD field studies inside IBM .
The topic of the talk was "Socio-semantic computing in IBM and the EU project Nepomuk"

Alexander spoke about the launch of Lotus Connections (social software for business designed to help build social networks in the corporate environment)

According to some analysts, the release of Lotus Connections means that "the
company is serious about dominating social networking for the enterprise".

Alexander gave an introduction into the new emergent area of socio-semantic computing, and presented Galaxy -the tool for socio-semantic computing created in the IBM Dublin Software Lab, which is part of the deliverables in the FP6 project Nepomuk aiming to build a social semantic desktop (for more detail, also see Nepomuk on Bibsonomy).

(the slide belongs to a set presented at the Irish Digital Libraries Summit)
Alexander demonstrated the tool in front of the audience, showing how it manages to collect semantic information from a variety of sources.

In the afternoon, the two guests honoured us with their presence in the Interaction Design Centre, discussing their ideas and possible collaboration opportunities.

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