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MakerFaireNYC: Human Centered Computing

I’m really bad at roundup posts. I’ve been running non-stop this weekend, and the week before and for what feels like a long time before that.

MakerFaire was a great experience, if complex and a bit confounding. As a way of managing my own reflective process, I’m going through my photoroll and pocket detritus.

UMBC – Human Centered Computing and Assistive Tech

image via @ADEntheLIFE

What impressed me most about this group was the simple fact that they had a focus and a purpose -accsesible technology and assistive tools. While their table had a wide selection of printed trinkets, they were small and visually unremarkable in the extruded excess of MakerFaire.  I’m intrigued by the software that can auto generates 3d printed charts and graphs, even though the process is obviously too cumbersome and too slow for general use. UMBCC offers a MA/PHd concentration in Human Centered Computing, and these little gizmos call out to the universe of accessibility issues ignored by most of our “generalized” tech use. If you have a student with vison issues, how do you present graphical information to them? How do you teach the difference in growth between a parabolic and exponential curve to someone who can’t see the graphs?** What a fantastic challenge and focus. What a great way to bring the “why make” question into the heart of a prototyping/maker space.

**I think that might be a scratch project.

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