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Dear DesignX'er

As we discussed on the last DesignX, we are a community of scholars and our interaction, esp. DesignX but also CDR is what we make of it. Let us try to initiate a culture of being involved and taking on responsibility. In this sense I have taken the liberty to set up a table indicating every active and in-residence members of DesignX (defined by being in the DesignX-Lab list, please ask if you want to be added/removed/changed to DesignX-Broadcast) AND his or her current commitment to DesignX and CDR. Find the current state of the arts in the table below ...

MOST IMPORTANT AND URGENT, WE NEED folks to sponsor DesignX events next quarter ... don't forget to reserve a pre defense slot to practice!

PS We have $50-75 for drinks and food available, please contact Anneliese.

... there are may projects where DesignX/CDR could need a hand, interior design, IKEA runs, Wiki, audio/video, and much more, please have a chat with me, I assure you we'll find something fitting every character and calendar.

Please change/correct/add/delete stuff - it's a wiki guys ... Thanks for your support!!!


DesignX Wed Meetings Spring Quarter 2011

Please, sign up and describe Who, What, maybe Where etc.

March 30ies - 1700, Designing-Education Lab "visiting" DesignX, Professor Sheri D. Sheppard and her research group present their latest activities. (Martin)

April 6th - BBQ at Greg's backyard... BBQ, booze and a film screening (Greg organizing, Mark paying of course)

April 13th - Dr. Sonja Zillner, Corporate Technology at Siemens, Munich, Germany

April 20th - Talks and Conversations about "Life after CDR" with 

  • Philipp Skogstad, Technology & Innovation Platform, Chairman Projects at SAP Labs,
  • Vinod Baya, Director, Center for Technology & Innovation at PricewaterhouseCoopers and 
  • Andrew J. Milne, Ph.D., CEO of Tidebreak

April 27th - Professor Mark Cutkosky "Applying principles from biology to the design and operation of robots"
Collaboration between biologists and engineers has resulted in a new generation of bio-inspired robots. Drawing inspiration from the locomotion and manipulation strategies seen in animals, these robots are faster, more versatile, more robust and easier to control than their predecessors. The design process begins with identifying exemplars from nature that excel at a particular task such as climbing vertical surfaces, or acquiring and manipulating objects. The next step is to hypothesize design principles that underlie the animals’ success. These design principles represent an abstraction of the complex structures and behaviors observed in animal models. The design principles guide the development of robots, which take advantage of recent developments in rapid prototyping technology to create tuned multi-material structures with embedded sensors and actuators that exhibit the desired characteristics and behavior. Testing and evaluating the robots reveals where the design principles should be refined or augmented. The resulting insights are valuable to both roboticists and biologists to deepen their understanding about what is important, and why. The bio-inspired design process will be illustrated with some recent mobile robots and with ongoing work on bio-inspired hands for mobile manipulation.

May 04th - Gabriel Aldaz (Martin)

Many advanced hearing aids are programmed with sophisticated algorithms that automatically select the best available settings (for example, in “calm” or “noisy” environments). However, hearing aids have very limited sensor inputs: They rely entirely on their two on-board microphones to collect information about the user’s sound environment, and therefore don’t always work optimally. This study examines the concept of a context-aware hearing system, which in the future could consist of two hearing aids and a smartphone. The system attempts to automatically select the best available settings at all times by gathering and analyzing additional data from the smartphone's sensors.

May 11th - Ken Yasuhara: "Undergraduate perceptions of and approaches to engineering design: Selected findings from the Academic Pathways Study"

Abstract: The Academic Pathways Study (APS) is part of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), an NSF-funded research center that began in 2003. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered from multiple cohorts of undergraduate engineering students in the U.S., using a multi-method approach including surveys, structured and semi-structured interviews, and written design tasks. The two largest threads of APS research involve a large, national survey of over 4,200 participants at 21 institutions (the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey, or APPLES) and the Longitudinal Cohort, consisting of a group of 160 undergraduates at four varied institutions who participated from their first through fourth years. This talk will present a subset of findings and methods from different components of the research on student perceptions of engineering design and their approaches to engineering design problems, including consideration of context and confidence to engage in design.

Bio: Ken Yasuhara was a research team member for the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education’s Academic Pathways Study and is currently a research scientist at the University of Washington’s Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching. His research and teaching interests include engineering design, major choice, gender equity, and professional portfolios.

Antonio Calabrese, the former head of IT for Ferrari Scuderria F1 (Martin): "The Fear Factory - Enlighten the darkness of innovation"

Bio: For over two decades, Antonio Calabrese has been learning and sharing know-how with high-profile organizations in many areas of business. Aermacchi, Instrumentation Laboratory and KPMG are just some of the enterprises Antonio partnered before becoming Ferrari Racing Head of Information Systems. At the end of 2008 Antonio founded Rippols with the mission to enable organizations to use technology as a competitive differentiator. Antonio lives on the hills outside Maranello, in Milan and worldwide. He is married to Brigitte and has two children, Ludovico and Sofia.

Some of the Antonio’s commitments and achievement:

  • 5 Formula1 Constructor’s World Championships
  • HPCwire Awards
  • 2005 Most Innovative Implementation of an HPC Application - Readers' Choice Award - Editors' Choice Award
  • 2007 Most Innovative use of HPC in Automotive - Readers’ Choice Award
  • 2008 Best use of HPC in automotive - Editors' Choice Award
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Academy for ICT Executives – Politecnico di Milano School of Management
  • Lecturer of the Master In Public and Politics Communication – Managing the Unknown - Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia Università di Pisa
  • International NLP New Code Coach certified directly by John Grinder co-founder of the discipline."

May 18th - Dr. Hilary Austen, Artistry Unleashed. Hilary is an adjunct professor and member of the dean’s advisory board of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. She received her doctorate from Stanford (in 2008) and has just released a book called Artistry Unleashed, based in large part on her dissertion, Artistry in Practice. Her theory is that life (and design) is full of enigmatic problems, and to solve these problems we need to develop our qualitative intelligence. Hilary is also practicing for an upcoming TED talk and she’d like feedback from the designX community.  A limited number of copies of her book will be available. (Mark)

May 25th -Neeraj Sonalkar, pre-defense talk "Representing moment-to-moment concept-creation in engineering design teams"

Neeajs dissertation work deals with representing moment-to-moment concept-creation in engineering design teams. He is proposing a notation based on principles from improvisation theater that enables us to visually represent ideas being developed through moment-to-moment interpersonal interactions. He discuss the patterns that are revealed in light of existing work on concept-creation and improvisation in design. The emphasis of his work is on extending the role of visualization in engineering analysis to moment-to-moment social interaction in engineering teams.

May 31st - end of Quarter BBQ in the afternoon with HPDTRP colleague (Martin)

current quarter voluntary activity for DesignX and CDR


CDR's good soul







hosting DesignX BBQ on Apr. 6th in his backyard



remote DesignX
Design Group's good soul


lost son on leave
"gold" leader


paying for Greg's BBQ, of course

directory, signs, wall art?


wiki, web & such (Hai is backup)

wiki, web & such (Noah is backup)



a friendly from BDML
prototyping public skype coffee corner at CDR



Herr "red" leader


lost son on leave



The DesignX research group has weekly meetings during the school year on Wednesday evenings from 17:15 to 18:30 Pacific Standard Time (5:15 PM to 6:30 PM) on the second floor of CDR, the Center for Design Research, on the Stanford University campus at 424 Panama Mall, Building 560. Light snacks and beverages are traditionally provided. The meetings are informal, as interaction, discussion and questions are strongly encouraged. Visitors are welcome to attend.

The goals of the weekly DesignX meeting are:

To foster a culture of more critical engagement;
To create a safe place for critical discussion;
To provide as much feedback on research as possible;
To provide opportunities to discuss methodology; and
To create a healthy, constructive research community.

Every presentation will have an assigned facilitator from the Leifer Lab. The facilitator's role is:

To ensure that areas pertinent to research are covered in the presentation. These include, primarily, the methods, the research question, the need, the data, and how it aligns with the goals set for the Center for Design Research;
To moderate the discussion so that it is critical, engaging, and on-topic; and
To work with the presenter prior to designX, to ensure that the presentation flows smoothly, and generates the most value for both the presenter and the designX audience. (Optional, yet highly recommended)

Our goal is to provide opportunities for the designX community to interact with each other. Speakers from outside the Leifer Lab are generally limited to about one-third of the slots in any given quarter.

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