Physical Computing Workshop

At the University of Washington’s CS4HS 2011 this summer, I taught a workshop on Physical Computing.

Participants, mostly high school math and science teachers, had a chance to learn about and experiment hands-on with Arduino and Processing, two open-source platforms for teaching computing. Processing is a software system for easily creating images, graphics, and animations. Arduino is an inexpensive integrated hardware and software prototyping platform for creating electronics-based interactive systems.

More info on the workshop here: UW CS4HS 2011.

Arduino Workshop & Science Fair

This summer, I taught a workshop for employees of Valve Software, the entertainment software and technology company in Belleveue, Washington, makers of several of the world’s most award-winning games.

They learned to use Arduino microcontroller hardware and software to explore the basics of physical computing. Then they each designed and made their own Arduino-based projects.

We dubbed the last session a “Science Fair,” because the participants showed off their awesome projects to the rest of the company and guests. See a video that Jeri Ellsworth made at the Science Fair of the Valve Arduino Projects below.

More info on the workshop here: Valve Arduino Workshop & Science Fair.

Launching was long overdue — a place for information about my professional activities as an educator, technologist, and designer.

The image at left is a schematic of how the Golden Section, a rectangle with very special properties, is constructed geometrically. The ratio of the lengths of the two sides is a number known as the Greek letter Φ (Phi). Mathematically, it is equal to (1 + √5) / 2. It is related to the famous Fibonacci Series of numbers [1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, …] and has many wonderful properties that connect it to nature, art, and design.

But that’s another story: Phi.