Tuesday, December 18, 2007

IDC Christmas Celebrations

The IDC has celebrated the Holiday Season in style last night at the Shannon Rowing Club in Limerick City.
As usual, good food, drink, conversation and music features heavily in the proceedings!










Friday, November 30, 2007

Guests from Tip IT

Yesterday, we had a group of Creative Multimedia students from Tiperarry Institute of Technology, together with their lecturer as visitors in the IDC.

All started a few good weeks ago, with Bernard following the Jaiku channel used by Gabriela and her students (Bernard recalls jaikus about Doug Engelbart received on his mobile phone while he was walking his dog:).

After that, Gabriela finally made it to an OpenCoffee in the Absolute Hotel and met Bernard in person. Gabriela invited Bernard to give a talk on podcasting to her students, and Bernard suggested he could bring some of his students with him.

And then all happened yesterday - Bernard spoke to the UL+TippInst students about podcasting, jobs and entrepreneurship, asked his students to talk about their own work and encouraged the audience to ask questions. The students were a bit shy in the beginning, but when he invited them to have a look at his podcasting gear, most of them couldn't resist the temptation and the ice was broken. The two groups of students had the chance to mingle for a few minutes afterwards!

After the lecture, the TippInst students visited the IDC, where Liam talked to them about the Interaction Design Centre and our way of looking at technology, and Lui spoke about previous and current IDC projects. The visit finished with the grand tour and a closer look at some of our "reliques" - the Shannon Portal, the recipe pyramid...

It was an interesting exchange and I have the feeling we all learned from it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The Interaction Design Centre and the Center for Computational Musicology & Computer Music proudly present:
Date: 21st of November 2007
Time: 14:00-17:00
Venue: Kilmurry Hall, University of Limerick
All are welcome!

PTBYBO 3 will present Hellström and Bowers’ latest efforts at circuit bending and live coding (where, respectively, hardware and software are hacked before your very eyes and ears) to explore live sound/image relations in an improvised performance. The occasion will feature the Irish debuts of Ohm-My-God (an environment in which random electronic circuits are constructed) and My Little Dreamachine (a miniaturization of Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville’s hallucinogenic Dreamachine, the behaviour of which is variously sonified and visually transformed and projected). Generally, lights will flash and circuits will blip with an uncommon intensity as Hellström and Bowers work feverishly to transport all our bodies, minds and souls from the beginning of the end. A Performance To Blow Your Brains Out, surely.

A seminar discussing the techniques in PTBYBO 3 and relating them to larger issues in interaction design and the construction of new instruments for musical expression will be given by Hellström and Bowers in Kilmurry Hall, University of Limerick, the 21st of November 14:00-17:00.


John Bowers
John Bowers is currently a Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Design at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Music, University of East Anglia, UK. As an improvising musician, John is part of Tonesucker, an improvising noise metal electric guitar duo (CD Slaughterhouse available on Onoma Research), the Gentlemen of Circuitry, a quartet who play antique and homemade electronic instruments, and the electro-acoustic improvisors The Zapruda Trio (CD Live at Smallfish available on vision-of-sound), amongst other collaborations. Solo work includes The Dial: Have you been to Hilversum? (broadcast by Resonance FM, London), Do It Yourself Silence and Silence Silenced (contributed to the CD A Call for Silence, Sonic Arts Network), and Atonement for Violin Quartet (Norwich Gallery, UK), a four day long performance-installation-webcast revisiting the instrument destruction preoccupations of Fluxus artists. John is co-founder of the Onoma Research music label. A monograph specifying John's characteristic approach to music, social science research and technical affairs, Improvising Machines, is available from http://www.ariada.uea.ac.uk/ariadatexts/ariada4.

Sten-Olof Hellström
Sten-Olof has been active as a professional composer since 1984 and gained a Masters of Music in composition at University of East Anglia, England 1990. He has been employed as a researcher and composer at the Centre for User Oriented IT Design (CID), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) since 1997. As a researcher Sten-Olof has mainly worked in the field of Human Computer Interaction where he has been part of several major EU-funded long-term research projects such as eRENA and Shape. He is also very active in the field of sonification (representing data with sound). One example of current work is the construction and development of a computer interface for the visually impaired.  Sten-Olof’s main occupation and profession is as a composer working with electro-acoustic music. His music has been performed and broadcast around the world and he is also active as a performer playing live electro-acoustic music on his own and with others such as Ann Rosén, John Bowers and Simon Vincent. Sten Olof is also part of the performance group the Zapruda Trio based in England.

Questions and queries
Please contact Mikael

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Talk: "Interaction design in practice: on the construction of an interactive object"

The IDC is hosting a research talk this Friday, 9th of November: "Interaction design in practice: on the construction of an interactive object", by Dr. Cristiano Storni, University of Trento (Italy)

The talk will provide an overview of one the two case studies that I have
analyzed in my research. The case is about the birth of a new Interaction
design working prototype. The work is based on extensive observations based
on the idea to map the trajectory of events and transformations that bring
from the first instantiation of an idea to its final realization.
The presentation will focus on the methodological aspects of the research by
bringing to the fore the importance of fetishistic ethnographic accounts. It
will follow an overview of some of the new concepts and conceptual
distinctions proposed in the analysis such as: pro-ferences vs. re-ferences,
sewing practices, in-jects, thing vs. objects.
The talk is aimed at provoking conversations with audience about daily
design practices and experiences.

Cristiano Storni holds a degree in Human/computer interaction from the
University of Siena and a Ph.D in Information Systems and Organization from
the Department of Sociology and Social research (Faculty of Sociology of the
University of Trento), with a Thesis on Design practices and the
construction of objects. He has worked as senior engineer in several IST
European Projects on Information systems, Knowledge Management, E-Government
and, more recently, e-Health. E-Health and Gerontechnology is the main
research area he is currently involved with. His interests range from SSIS
(Social Studies of Information Systems), HCI, Interaction Design and
Participatory Design, to Semiotics, ANT (Actor Network Theory), STS
(Science and technology studies) and Ethnography/Ethnomethodology.
He is concerned with social, organizational, existential and human aspects
of technological innovation and design. He has presented several research
papers in national and international conferences.

Time: 10.30
Venue: CSIS meeting room, Computer Science Building, CS2037

All welcome!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Minister Éamon Ó Cuív TD visits Abaltat offices

Éamon Ó Cuív TD, Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, visited the Abaltat offices in Spiddal on Friday 19 October.

Abaltat Express features on TVB Television Broadcast 2 Minute Drill

Abaltat Express, the latest software release from Abaltat, a company started from an IDC research project, features in a www.televisionbroadcast.com 2-Minute Drill:


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Abaltat Muse wins award at IBC 2007

The company that was born out of the White Hunter/Metamusic research project in the IDC has won yet another award in IBC in Amsterdam...

Justin McCarthy, Technical Officer, was also interviewed on Radio IBC


Click on "Abaltat - Music Composition For Dummies!" to hear the podcast

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Limerick Independent


New IDC publications at ICHIM 2007

The IDC will be well represented at the International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting (ICHIM 07) in Toronto at the end of October. Two papers featuring IDC work have been accepted to the conference:
"Visitors' contributions as cultural heritage: designing for participation", by Luigina Ciolfi, Liam Bannon and Mikael Fernström, discusses the approach to designing interactive exhibitions that allow for visitors' interactive participation, such as "Re-Tracing the Past" and the "Shannon Portal".
"MUSTEL: Framing the Design of Technology-Enhanced Learning Activities for Museum Visitors" presents a novel frame to designing educational museums technologies developed by the MUSTEL group within the EU Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence. Liam Bannon wrote the paper in collaboration with Palmyre Pierroux and Dagny Stuedahl (University of Oslo, Norway), Kevin Walker (London Knowledge Lab), Victor Kaptelinin (Umeå University, Sweden) and Tony Hall (National University of Ireland, Galway).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Success for ECSCW 2007 in Limerick

Prof. Liam Bannon, Director of the IDC, chaired the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW 2007), which took place at the Hilton hotel in Limerick City last week. The conference was generously sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland, IBM, Microsoft Research, Limerick Travel and Limerick City Council, with support and resources from the University of Limerick.


Many other IDC members were involved in the planning and management of the event, which saw over 150 participants from all over the world converge on Limerick to attend the Conference. ECSCW 2007 featured 10 workshops, 3 masterclasses and a Doctoral Colloquium over two days; and a single-track plenary 3 days that have included presentations of 23 research papers, two panels, posters and demo exhibitions and two invited keynote speakers.


IDC members co-organised and participated in a number of workshops, including "The Challenges of Collaborative Work in Global Software Development" (Gabriela Avram, Liam Bannon, Anders Sigfridsson, Daniel Sullivan, Anne Sheehan) and "Beyond Mobility: Studying Nomadic Work" (Luigina Ciolfi).



The Student Volunteers were co-ordinated by IDC members Michael Cooke and Anders Sigfridsson, with the support of Emanuela Mazzone (University of Central Lancashire), formerly a visiting student at the IDC.
Annette Aboulafia served as demo chair and coordinated the demo exhibition.


The conference delegates were welcomed by Prof. Vincent Cunnane, UL Vice-President Research, who officially opened ECSCW 2007, and greeted by the Mayor of Limerick, Cllr. Ger Fahy, who hosted a reception at City Hall.


Other social events included the conference opening reception at the Georgian House, and the conference banquet at Dromoland Castle.
The final event of the conference also featured a UL contribution, as Prof. Micheal O'Suilleabhain, director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, delivered ECSCW 2007 final keynote, "What makes a traditional Irish session work", joined on stage by colleagues Niall Keegan and Sandra Joyce.


The next ECSCW Conference will take place in Vienna, Austria, in September 2009.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Congratulations to Marilyn and Iride

It's graduation time again, and the IDC celebrates Marilyn Lennon, PhD and Iride Bartolucci, MSc by research. Congrats to Iride and Marilyn on their achievement!





Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dawn 2007 Opening on Monday

DAWN’07 - DIGITAL ARTS WEEK NOW 2007 at UL, 3rd o 7th of September 2007
For the eight year in a row, the University of Limerick offers an exhibition and concert of Masters’ student work. It’s the students from the Masters programmes in Music Technology and Interactive Media that showcase their end-of-year work. The exhibition shows technology, media and music that may be the start of tomorrow’s revolution. With the freedom given to the students to envisage where current trends are going and what is possible with the latest computer hardware and software, we have the opportunity to see demonstrations and examples of what a not too distant future has to offer.
The Computer Science and Information Systems Department at the University of Limerick runs both programmes. What makes UL’s programmes so special is that they recognise the importance of interdisciplinary work, bridging traditional divisions between arts and science.
The faculty at UL teaching on the two programmes are highly enthusiastic about the exhbition. For example:
Jürgen Simpson, the Course Director of the Music Technology programme said “This is the one of the few programmes in Ireland where you can get a Masters degree in electroacoustic music composition. Some students also choose a scientific approach and do work in areas such as musical user interfaces, sound synthesis software and audio processing – which we know are increasingly important with the evolution of music and media on the Internet”.
Mikael Fernström, the Course Director in Interactive Media enthusiastically commented that “Over the last few years we have seen our students research and develop some extremely novel ideas and technologies. Some of our past students have started companies based on their ideas, others have become specialists or teachers in both technology and digital art. I have a strong feeling that many of this year’s projects may follow the same successful path.“
UL also has two undergraduate programmes, in Digital Media Design and in Music Media and Performance Technology. The Computer Science department has built a new laboratory with state-of-the-art digital music and media equipment and software to facilitate the new courses that will continue to strengthen UL’s position in an increasingly digital world.

Admission to the exhibition and to the concert is free.
Official opening: 18:00, 3rd of September, Ground floor atrium, Foundation Building.
Concert: 20:00, Performance Art Centre, Foundation Building
Exhibition: 3rd to 7th of September, 10:00-17:00, Shuman Building
For details about the works, see http://www.csis.ul.ie/imedia/dawn07/

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bridget Hickey

Bridget Hickey is dead. She graduated with a 2.1 in last year's (2006)Masters programme in Interactive Media. She was last seen alive the 7th of August. She was found dead the 16th of August. Her course web site is still there. May she rest in peace.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Summer guests in the IDC

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

Michael Kölling from the University of Kent and Alexander Troussov, the Chief Scientist of the IBM Dublin Center for Advanced Studies visited the IDC this afternoon, after giving two extremely interesting talks at UL in the morning. Details on the talks can be found on the socGSD project blog.

Liam himself (just back from the Ferroe Islands) guided the guests in "the grand tour" of the IDC.
Future collaboration opportunities were also discussed.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Muireann leaving today...

Muireann O'Brien, secondary school teacher at the Carrigaline Community School in co Cork has spent 8 weeks with us this summer, working with the socGSD team as participant in the STARs SFI programme.

As time went by, she became part of the big IDC family...

Besides finding out about the collaboration challenges in Global Software Development from the members of the socGSD team, she also had the chance to familiarise herself with the work of the other groups in the IDC.

We all hope she's taking back to her school a bag full of stories and resources!

Good bye, Muireann! It was great having you around this summer!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dr Eva Hornecker visiting the IDC

The IDC "Shared Worlds" project is hosting a Talk by Dr Eva Hornecker, Pervasive Interaction Lab, Open University, UK. The talk will take place on Wednesday, 11th of July, 2.30 PM, in ERO-008.

Title: "Social interaction in computer-augmented environments - towards an understanding of users' experience in interactive spaces"

Abstract: With technological advances, computing progressively moves beyond the desktop into new physical and social contexts. This talk will focus on the user experience in interactive spaces, which embed computing in the real world, and enable users to control and interact with computers through tangible devices and full-body interaction. Freeing users from the desktop and integrating computer output into the
everyday world in particular is expected to support collaborative activities and communication. Yet research so far has tended to focus on the technological opportunities and less on the user experience and the social effects of these new systems. The talk will explain 'tangible interaction' as an umbrella term encompassing different technical and disciplinary approaches. It will introduce a framework which contributes to understanding the user experience of 'tangible interaction' and to design approaches that address the social use context. This is exemplified through a range of practical examples.

Bio: Dr. Eva Hornecker is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Open University and member of the Pervasive Interaction Lab where she conducts her research project which centers on the talk's theme. She was program co-chair for the first international ACM conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI'07). Before coming to the OU she was acting lecturer at the Technical University in Vienna and at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and worked as a visting research fellow on the Equator project at the University of Sussex.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Congratulations to Bruce and Luisa on the birth of their son

Congratulations to Bruce and Luisa on the birth of their first child, baby Daniel, he's a strapping 8 pounds and 12 ounces. He was born today in Limerick at 17:53.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Congratulations to Dr Marilyn Lennon

The IDC celebrating a new PhD! Marilyn Lennon has successfully defended her thesis "Reflective Prototyping - Concretising Reflection in Interaction Design". Examiners were Prof. Jacob Buur from the University of Southern Denmark, and Prof. Eamonn McQuade from UL College of Engineering.
Here's Dr Lennon celebrating her success with her supervisors, Prof Liam Bannon and Dr Annette Aboulafia.


Congratulations to Dr Marilyn Lennon on her achievement!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

UL IDC to host first Irish HCI meeting

The Interaction Design Centre at the University of Limerick will host a 1-Day Workshop on the topic of Human-Computer Interaction in Ireland (iHCI07) to be held at on May 2nd, 2007.
The purpose of this Workshop, which we hope will become an annual event, is to promote networking and collaboration among academics and practitioners in the broad area of people interacting with technology, and as such, the topic includes such areas as: usability studies, interface design and evaluation, accessibility issues, cognitive ergonomics, human factors in computer systems, computer supported cooperative work, human computer interaction, multimedia and interaction design.

Our intent with this initial meeting is to bring together researchers, practitioners and teachers interested in the field, to document past and current activities, and to setup a database of information in this area on an all-Ireland basis. To this end, this first Workshop will focus on brief presentations from all the participating groups.

We envisage that this Workshop will help provide a better profile for individuals and groups involved in the HCI area in Ireland, as currently, despite the size of our software industry, we have not yet developed as significant an impact as one might expect, given the importance of our topic.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Shared Worlds Journal Publications to Appear

The forthcoming May issue of IEEE Computer will feature a research paper by the IDC Shared Worlds team documenting the Shannon Portal: "The Shannon Portal Installation: Interaction Design for Public Places".
Another Shared Worlds paper by Luigina Ciolfi discussing the Shannon Airport installation from the point of view of affective computing will appear in the forthcoming issue of CoDesign, and will be presented at the Affective Communication in Design conference in Leeds in June.
And more are on the way!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The IDC to be privatized - becomes independent research institute

A group of private benefactors (who would like to be anonymous) have donated an undisclosed amount to buy the entire Interaction Design Centre, its staff, faculty and students from UL, to become a fully privatized international research institute. It is believed that the amount of funding involved is at least forty-two million Euro.

One of our major discoveries that attracted the investors was a new form of computing that eventually will enable the development of computers capable of infinite improbability states. While computers up until now are based on logical gates switching between ones or zeroes (true or false), our new technology will most often use the state of “maybe”. To continue our groundbreaking work in Human-Centred Computing, it is envisaged that the emergence of femto-technology will enable us to create a pain-free diode, which is believed to be at the core of the development of humanoid robotics. Further more, the new institute’s President claims that we have a new framework for understanding the socio-technical reality that will be the foundation of the approaches to software development and communication technologies. In a comment, a spokesperson said that:

“We all know that things like email-spam and pornography has been central to the popularity of the World-Wide Web. It is now time to re-frame our thinking and look at a fundamental change in global perspectives. For example, if for each spam-message the spammer had to make a donation to a charity, or, if porn-sites changed their approach on narrative structure so that users could be enriched with an educational experience in for example anatomy and philosophy as well as looking at more evolutionary trends.”

The working title for the project is The Institute for Life, the Universe and Everything (ILUE)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mikael invades England

Mikael delivered the keynote at the International Workshop on Interactive Sonification 2007 in York. UK.

There were many interesting papers and works-in-progress presented throughout the day, and many really good demos.
The previous day, we had a Management Committee meeting in the COST Action ConGas. Next meeting, which is the last in this action, will be in Reykjavik in May.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mikael on Rte Radio One

Mikael was on today's Mooney Goes Wild on RTE Radio One, talking about sounds and the sounds people hate. You can listen to the clip here (MP3).

Thursday, January 04, 2007

This year's CSIS Christmas Party!

This year, our head of department decided to organise a big Christmas party not only for the teaching and admin staff, but also including all the related research centers! Up to 100 people showed up at the venue, and enjoyed the night!

The result exceeded all expectations! Have a look yourselves:

Thanks to Colm for taking good quality pictures and for this nice collage! You're a pro!