Camp 2013: Session Ideas

Wikis > Camp 2013: Session Ideas

60 Million data points – Quantified self meets cycling and what I do with it (Troy Henikoff)
I do literally have  60 Million points of data on my cycling over the last 8 years and will talk about what it is, where it comes from, how I use this data to improve my racing results and stay healthier.  FitBit has nothing on me!

The Craft of Coffee (Craighton Berman & others)

A very loosely structured session on the craft of coffee. We’ll start with a “good coffee 101”, discuss manual techniques, talk about beans, and then have an open making/tasting/roasting session. I started a Google Doc for brew methods/equipment/beans sign up. Feel free to add any other pieces of content to it as you see fit. Tea drinkers need not apply (get a haircut, hippie).

The Art & Science of Smoking Pigs – An immersive multimedia BBQ experience (Moshe Tamssot)

The Urban Amphibian Project – Returning beneficial amphibians to downtown Chicago (Moshe Tamssot)

What to Track? – Questions around Data-Driven Design for Educational Technologies
Inspired by, we kicked off development of a chaordic, self-organizing architecture for learning with an API for describing people’s interactions in the context of “learning experiences.” Working with the learning technology industry, the specification is nearing version 1.0 after a year of development and will advance to an open standards body this spring. Questions abound still about how to harness the data generated by the API to guide better, iterative design of learning activities. A review of the project and the API is offered to jumpstart the discussion. presented/moderated by Aaron Silvers, Community Manager for Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, US Department of Defense.

IACRA – The Intelligent Agent Consumer Rights Act of 2014
This session is at the heart of data liberation, action liberation, public policy, and consumer advocacy. How might we craft a binding framework which would allow people to designate intelligent software agents to act on their behalf? This is primarily aimed at the virtual realm, but physical manifestations should be considered. An aspirational proposal will be presented to jumpstart the conversation.
presented/moderated by Jon Wiley, Lead Designer for Google Search

Help Me Help Students Visualize Nand2Tetris (Jeff Solin)
This session will follow the model of looking for people with animation / visualization experience to help turn an idea I have into reality. I don’t have the skillset needed to make this happen, but I know how it could work and I know some of you could pull it off. I teach an incredible curriculum called Nand 2 Tetris that you can learn more about at (watch the short or long video if up for it). Student build an entire simple but powerful computer through a simulator. They start with  NAND gates and make AND, OR and NOT out of them. Then multi-bit and multi-way gates. Then multiplexors, demultiplexors. Then an ALU and RAM. Through abstractions / contracts they build each layer (assembler to create machine code, virtual machine, compiler etc). I would love a zoom-in-able visualization of just the hardware platform so that students can SEE the true beauty of what’s happening. It will help them feel proud of their design and what they have accomplished. Help me help them (and the rest of the students world-wide taking this course).

Interactive storytelling workshop (Lea Thau) I spent 10 year as the head of the storytelling organization The Moth and now produce a new storytelling podcast called “Strangers.” I have taught storytelling for business purposes at tons of companies from Nike to Google (yes, Google); for cathartic purposes to inmates, the homeless, and troubled teens; and for entertainment purposes to artist from Salman Rushdie to Ethan Hawke. I’d like to lead a storytelling workshop for anyone who’s interested at ORDcamp.

You Are a Data Point (Russ Lankenau) Your daily actions provide a rich view into who you are, and this is a valuable asset for other entities with which you interact.  Having your behavior tracked can be either oppressive or empowering.  Let’s talk about how to make it worth it to both parties.

Show-and-tell (Nick Piepmeier) Bring your hacks, tricks, and configuration files to this session, and illuminate others as to how they improve your life. Anything is fair game – from a line in your .vimrc, to the gesture-based input device you built that puts CSI to shame, to the trick you use to get your car starting in the morning.

Drinkin’ classy things (probably lots of people, including Nick Piepmeier) Come sample and share some delicious distilled drinks. Bring a bottle or two for the circle and perhaps some things to talk about. At previous ORD Camps and everyone has left happy (and perhaps slightly addled).

Breaking and Entering 103: this Time, it’s Digital (Nick Piepmeier) We’ve covered how to pick locks, how to get out of handcuffs, and other fun physical security challenges. This time, we’ll go over the basics of gaining access to computers, including resetting passwords, cracking password hashes, defeating full-disk encryption, and other fun tidbits. Please keep in mind that I’m a relative novice, so if you’ve got experience, tools, or fun anecdotes, by all means share!

FIRST Robotics FTC Student Demo (Jeff Solin)
For the 11am Saturday session I have the top three girls from the girls FTC team (Ada Graces) and the top three boys from the boys FTC team (Solinoids) coming to demo their robots. We’ll have the ring apparatus that goes in the middle of the standard 12×12 field there to effectively show what the robots can do. The students will present their design, demo the robots, and hopefully participate in some good FIRST robotics convo and insight from you all, the attendees. This will be great preparation for them for the following weekend’s trip to compete in a regional competition in Iowa.

Open Data, Open Stories, Open a Window into a Public Neighborhood School  (Jeannie Olson) Exploring how open data, storytelling, crowdsourcing data gathering/review/analysis, and engaging the community through data/stories could change Chicago’s neighborhood schools. What’s possible? What’s interesting? What might be revealing or useful? We have a pile of data, a lot of insights, a lot of questions…what could we build with those things to benefit Chicago neighborhood school parents, teachers and kids?  I like building things and getting hands-on with prototypes of systems, so there will be glue sticks, Magnetiles, markers, and various other props to be on hand so ideas can be built, discussed, and moved around.

Get it Made  (Andrew Boggeri) Most people think of China as being a place you only go if you’re moving more than 100,000 units. In fact, manufacturing takes place at all levels and sizes, from the thousands of corner machine shops supplying the residents of Dongguan to the mega-factories building parts for Apple in Shenzhen. I want to share the story of how we took our 5th Gen Hobby Laser from concept to production in just 6 months and the insights we gained into China from the experience. Along the way I’m hoping to generate discussion about the striking parallels between the ever-rising Maker movement in the US and the day-to-day lives of the Chinese who live in manufacturing centers.

Evolving to Hardware Mashups (Alden Hart) A hardware mashup is when you need to put multiple devices together to build a complex system, or make multiple independent system work together in coordination. This session explores TinyG, Kinen and Motate as building blocks for mashups, and how JSON, REST and web programming techniques come together to make this happen.

Designing Collaboration and Data Sharing Systems: War Stories and Future Directions (Jesse Kriss)
I imagine that many ORD Campers have had experience designing, implementing, and using collaboration and data sharing systems. What makes these systems work or fail? What stories do you have about successful platforms or features, disastrous decisions, or patterns of adoption? I’ve worked on Many Eyes for IBM Research (public, free, web-based collaborative visualization), Dashboard (the “online field office” for the Obama campaign) and I’m starting to work on a data sharing, cloud computing, and collaboration platform for climate scientists at JPL. I’d love to have a discussion with other people with experience and opinions in this realm, across disciplines.

Acting 101 + Improv 101. Or, How to be Good at Playing Wearwolf (Kate McGroarty) With a classical acting training from Northwestern University and graduation from Second City’s performance conservatory in a few months, I have plenty of tricks, tips and fun games up my sleeve to sharpen observation skills, improve on the spot reactions and get inside the shoes and heads of others. Things discussed in this session will be immediately applicable during games of wearwolf late into the evening.

Bringing our Kids’ Inventions to Market (John Tolva & Joe Born).  Since last year, two ORDcampers brought their pre-teen kids’ inventions to market:  The Brick Brothers for making Lego mosaics out of photos, and Kangaroo Cups an improved coffee cup originally created to help her grandfather.  Both ideas were taken from the kids ideas, prototyped and made into real, functioning businesses.  In this session we’ll tell the stories about the whole adventure and what it was like to work with our kids, what we learned, lessons for others and brainstorm about how we can bring this experience to more kids.

What is information visualization, really? (Jesse Kriss)
There’s a lot of talk about information visualization these days, and it can be mean a lot of different things in a lot of different contexts. Let’s map out the space of information visualization work to help us better define its role and potential applications. We’ll use affinity diagramming (a handy group brainstorming technique, if you aren’t already familiar with it) to explore the space and start to draw some conclusions about the scope and utility of the discipline. We might very well talk about information visualization as: dashboards, advanced user interfaces, scientific visualization, art, infographics, journalism medium, digital humanities tool, collaborative artifact, eye candy, etc…

Learn to Navigate with Map and Compass (Javaun Moradi and others…) Finding your way with a compass is a ton of fun, and it’s easier than you think. I’m bringing orienteering compasses and an assortment of topo maps, including U.S.G.S. 7.5 minute “quads”. We’ll do a crash course on reading contours, route planning, shooting compass bearings (azimuths), how to avoid getting lost, and how to find yourself when you do. Novices, experts, and descendants of Amerigo Vespucci all welcome.

How to Fix the “L,” Part 2 (Ed Zotti)
The $3B rail expansion plan I’ll be presenting to CTA honchos next week. (Seriously.) Suggestions welcome.

$1M for Broadband – Now What (Stel Valavanis) Evanston just got awarded $1M from the state (of IL) to build broadband for economic development. The proposal that won includes dark fiber connecting various nodes including ICN, Creative Coworking (I’m an owner), Northwestern’s data center, Evanston’s data center, the research park’s unused data center building, a future commercial building, and Colab. The word’s already out that the actual project may be very different. I’m pushing for a municipally owned, open access network like Chicago has proposed. Hyde Park got a similar grant. Lots of other communities have done something with big broadband. Still there’s a lot of devil in the detail. Help me make sure this project, and all such projects go well, work together, learn from each other.

The Chicago Tech Industry: What’s Working, What’s Not (Brett Goldstein & John Tolva) Frank conversation about the current technology industry landscape, including the City’s efforts (ChicagoNext, Tech Diversity Council), what we can learn from the Obama for America tech team, etc.

ORDbitters: An Introduction to the “Salt and Pepper” of Cocktails (Justin Massa) Bitters are awesome and can make almost any cocktail taste better. We’ll sample a fairly large number of bitters, try them in a few cocktails, discuss how you can make them at home, and otherwise geek out over the modern remnants of snake oil. Note that bitters contain crazy ingredients and have high alcohol content; if you have crazy allergies or don’t drink, you’re more than welcome to come and give them all a smell.

Learn Piano, Get Fired, ????, Profit! (David Beazley).  Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  I’m going talk about my experience learning jazz piano as adult–where I went from barely being able to play a scale to performing with a band in a Chicago jazz club on New Year’s Eve (all in less than two years). Really, this session is about the challenges and rewards of learning a completely new, seemingly impossible, skill at a later age.   Plus, there will be some inside dirt on Chicago’s jazz scene, a  bit of music, some physics, and other interesting topics.   ‘

Choose Your Own Audio Adventure (Julie Shapiro) Sound + story party wherein YOU (and fellow attendees) shape the listening experience, by collectively choosing between various story options. Depending on the chemistry in the room, topics may or may not include: storm chasers, loneliness, the north pole, Poetry, TX, animal-based interent memes, Genesis (book not band), bad haircuts, mix tapes, ninja photography, heroin, ketchup. 

Accio Insights!: What Data Science can Learn from the Wizarding World (Charlie Catlett & Matt Gee)

Data scientists can learn a lot from Harry Potter. Just as at Hogwarts, data science magic happens when teams of people with complementary skills come together over a shared interest in discovery. As a thought experiment, we want to look at three types of skill sets that are essential to using urban data to understand cities – you may find yourself in one or more of them.  Most visible these days are the data explorers (like Harry, Hermione, or Ron), information caretakers (like Mr. Ollivander, the wand-whisperer), and knowledge navigators (like Professor McGonagall).  You might be a hybrid, but the best data science needs all of these skills. This session will expose opportunities to jump into existing collaborations while brainstorming how to accelerate and support such partnerships, and how you can get involved in Chicago’s growing civic data science community. And if you’re not already excited about understanding cities, well, we think you will be if you participate in this session!

A $199 3D Printer for WalMart (Jason Huggins, Joe Born and hopefully Bart Dring)

A mock meeting pitting the clueless sales and marketing entrepreneur (played by Joe Born) against the jaded and cynical domain experts (Jason Huggins and Bart Dring).  The meeting begins inauspiciously with the entrepreneur complaining “we can put a man on the moon, but we can’t produce a $200 3D printer” and degenerates from there, culminating in bitter personal attacks edging towards fisticuffs. <ok, I’m cutting myself off coffee now>.  This session will, in fact, explore, at high level, what it would take to bring a $200 retail 3D printer for the masses, ie instead of looking at the current price of components, how would a factory producing, say laserjet printers, redesign a 3D printer from the ground up for a near $100 manufacturing cost for a consumer grade product with production volumes in the millions.  What would it take?  


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