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CSUN 2015

2015 March 31
by Amaya Webster
Left to right: Mia Lipner, Mark Hakkinen, George Kerscher, and Julie Noblitt

Left to right: Mia Lipner, Mark Hakkinen, George Kerscher, and Julie Noblitt at CSUN 2015 DIAGRAM “Office Hours”

Now that I have a third CSUN conference under my belt, I know what to expect: gorgeous waterfront location, sunny weather, and friendly people showing off all the coolest new technology they have been working on all year. Super wonderful. This year, as you can see in this month’s Out and About article, the DIAGRAM community was out in force to speak on innumerable panels on 3D printing, accessible math, haptics, “Born Accessible,” Poet, and more. It is truly inspiring and energizing to see all that the DIAGRAM Community (with a capital “C”) brings to the conversation.

This year’s agenda, as usual, featured many more sessions than I could attend and I am ever grateful for the write-ups that appear after the conference is over. Here are a few I recommend (and if you have others please list them in the comments section below):

DIAGRAM Office Hours and Makerspace

I always look forward to this informal get-together in the DIAGRAM hospitality suite at CSUN where we can all relax and catch up with each other away from the hustle and bustle of the conference floor. This year, given all the work we have been doing on 3D printing for accessible education, we decided to turn our suite into a mini Makerspace. Here are some of highlights:

  • Mark Hakkinen brought his prototype haptic displays so that we could feel for ourselves how it works. Take a look at Mark’s research report on the DIAGRAM web site, which includes a short video demo.
  • 3D Printer in Action

    3D Printer in Action at DIAGRAM’s mini Makerspace

    Lore Schindler and Mike Cheverie were on hand, along with Joan Horvath and her colleagues from Deezmaker, to show off the 3D printer that got the LA Unified School District experimenting with educational applications of the tool for the STEM classroom.

  • Lisa Wadors Verne, Project Lead on Benetech’s IMLS award to explore new ways in which 3D printing technology in libraries and museums can be used to improve learning and accessibility in a range of educational contexts, brought along a 3D “doodler” style pen and a 3D scanner. It was amazing to watch as a simple sweep of the scanner around me instantly rendered a 3D image on the screen.
  • There was also a tactile campus map of the kind that Lore Schindler wrote about in the DIAGRAM blog last fall. See that article here.
  • And, as Chris Hofstader mentioned in his blog post above, we were also treated to an impromptu demo by Doug Schepers of his amazing Describler tool for accessible SVG data visualization.

DIAGRAM’s Program Officer at OSEP, Glinda Hill, had this to say about the event:

Where else can you have snacks and beverages, see the latest products, talk with the makers, brainstorm new ideas and applications, and best of all have fun with your friends and colleagues while making new friends and potential collaborators.

If we were asked to rate this event, I would rate it “outstanding” based on the intensity and quality of the sounds (noise) emanating from the room as I entered the hallway, the standing-room-only crowd, the buzz of conversation, the laughter and the number of people still engaged in conversations at the end of the event.

Thank you and Benetech, for providing this great opportunity for colleagues and friends to chat and share ideas. What are you planning for 2016?”

We here at the DIAGRAM Center are truly grateful for the passion, creativity, and hard work that all of you contribute year in and year out toward our common goal of making digital images accessible to all readers. See you at CSUN 2016!

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