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4 April 2012: Greg Kress  [CDR] Imaginarium Tour

The Imaginarium is an artful recreation of a fixture of the Stanford Design Program from its early experimental days in the 1960s. It is a space to encourage creativity, alternative thinking and playful interaction. The interior of the dome is equipped for complete media immersion with hemispherical video projection, surround sound audio and even climate control. It is a tool for education, research and entertainment. Rich media and modular, sustainable engineering merge to create a unique space.

11 April 2012: Miriam Kolar [PhD Candidate, Stanford University] Archaeoacoustics and Psychoacoustics at Chavín de Huántar, Perú

Miriam will speak about the design and acoustics of the 3,000-year old Andean ceremonial center at Chavín de Huántar, Perú. An exemplary subject for archaeoacoustic investigation, Chavín provides well-preserved enclosed interior architecture known as "galleries", where acoustic measurements can be made and auditory perception tested. Site excavations have unearthed intact musical/sound-producing instruments, the Strombus galeatus marine shell aerophones/trumpets known as "pututus", which can be examined as ancient sound generators. On-site psychoacoustic experimentation probes the relationships between Chavín gallery acoustics and the perception of sound source location by human participants in these spaces.

18 April 2012: Brian Mathews [Vice President of Marketing at Ozmo Devices] Origins of Wi-Fi revealed

These days Wi-Fi is everywhere. It is a hugely successful technology. Wi-Fi originated in the 90’s at a few companies who envisioned this world of anytime, anywhere fast network access. One of those companies was Harris Semiconductor in Melbourne, Florida (now part of Intersil Corporation), developers of the world’s first Wi-Fi chipset known as Prism. Harris was not known for leading-edge chip technology or development of breakthrough new products. How was Harris able to be the leader in the early days of Wi-Fi? How did Harris manage to address the many obstacles and create the chipset that helped enable this Wi-Fi success story?

Development of the Prism chipset had several serious challenges. At that time 2.4GHz RF ICs were the domain of specialist companies utilizing Gallium Arsenide wafer technology vs. more common silicon wafers. Thus, there was an initial questioning of Harris’ capability to develop the required 2.4GHz RF chips. Also, there were critical power and space limitations inside the required PCMCIA form factor. All the chips and external circuitry were required to fit on a 1.5 inch by 2 inch circuit board, operate at a low voltage, and consume low battery current. Another major challenge was the digital “spread spectrum” baseband processor function. It had to comply with very tight size, power and cost constraints. These and many other development challenges were addressed by the Prism team assembled at Harris Semiconductor. Organizational advantages were leveraged (finding talent from other Harris divisions) and management support was critical. New manufacturing capabilities were developed. And ultimately, the Wi-Fi industry became a great success.

In this talk we will examine how some of the development challenges were addressed, not in a direct technical sense, but in how the organization rose to the challenges, investing in long-term technology development, leveraging expertise in other parts of the company, and creating an organization optimized to achieve success in this endeavor.

Download : Presentation

25 April 2012: Ranjitha Kumar [PhD Student, Stanford CS]  Machine learning techniques for enhancing design creativity

The Web provides an enormous repository of design knowledge: every page represents a concrete example of human creativity and aesthetics. Given the ready availability of Web data, how can we leverage it to help designers? This talk will outline three machine learning applications which enable new interaction mechanisms for Web design: structured prediction for rapid re-targeting, deep learning for design-based search, and probabilistic program induction for operationalizing design patterns.

2 May 2012: Bill Verplank [interaction design pioneer at Xerox, IDEO and Interval Research] Sketching Workshop: From Visual Thinking to Interaction Design 

Enjoy an hour of "follow-me" instruction in sketching. After learning (and teaching) Visual Thinking with Bob McKim, Bill has adapted his sketching instruction to the needs of "interaction designers". Start with some basic exercises in line, gesture, perspective, observation and expression (McKim), then move on to skills (tricks) useful in designing for human interaction: people, hands, actions, settings, sequences and satisfactions (Verplank). Finally, if there's time, we can do metaphors and paradigms - good sketching challenges.

9 May 2012: TBD


16 May 2012: TBD


23 May 2012: TBD


30 May 2012: TBD


6 June 2012: TBD


8 June 2012: Year-end event


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