SURF-IT Schedule

Participants | Research Projects | Schedule of Activities | Poster Session Program | Photos

2007 SURF-IT Schedule 

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Information Technology
University of California, Irvine

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program in Information Technology (SURF-IT) presents a four-part summer seminar series, featuring faculty projects involving SURF-IT students. The program will conclude with a poster session.


Tuesday, July 10

11:30 am - 1:30pm

Seminar #1
Professor Peter O. Krapp

Professor Bill Tomlinson

Calit2 Building, Room 3008

Tuesday, July 24

11:30 am - 1:00pm

Seminar #2
Professor John Crawford

Calit2 Building, Room 3008

Tuesday, August 7

12:00 pm - 1:30pm

Seminar #3
Dr. Donald J. Patterson

Calit2 Building, Auditorium 

Seminar #1

Calit2 presents the first in a series of summer seminars by faculty mentors for "SURF-IT," Calit2's interdisciplinary summer research program for undergraduates. Each event will feature two faculty mentors from the program. A light lunch will be available at 11:30 a.m., prior to the seminars. The event is open to the public.

Time:  12:00 Noon

Speaker:  Peter O. Krapp
               Assistant Professor of Film & Media Studies

Title:  "Beyond Play - Artificial Worlds and Gaming Capital" 

Abstract:  When players of computer games buy and sell game items with real money, and when real profit can be made by working in the game, then new social and cultural relationships emerge -- the familiar separation of play from productivity begins to disappear. There are now many game-based economies from which people can and do draw a real-money profit. World of Warcraft, Everquest and Second Life are familiar examples. This project will use quantitative and qualitative methods to understand the response to these phenomena from game developers and players, and will trace a history of what passes for "play" and what constitutes a "game." Can such emergent play resist classification as "work," and must it do so to maintain subscriptions?

SURF-IT Fellow:  Nathaniel Pope, Economics

Time:  12:30 p.m. 

Speaker:  Bill Tomlinson
               Assistant Professor of Informatics

Title:  "Blog Readers"

Abstract:  Blogs have become a powerful force in the news media, a popular outlet for self-expression, and the object of an increasing amount of academic research. Most research thus far has focused on the bloggers - social network analyses between bloggers, tools to assist in blog publication, and understanding the presentation of self through a blog. But blog readers can also play a very large part in shaping the blog, and they often do - through channels such as comments, email, IM, and in-person interaction. This project is a study of blog-reading practices in order to understand the role of the reader in this increasingly prominent medium. The investigation will consist largely of ethnographic-based methods, including participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and experience sampling, as well as other methods, including automatic tracking and logging of reading patterns.

SURF-IT Fellow:  Mark Sueyoshi, International Studies


Seminar #2

Calit2 presents another in the series of summer seminars by faculty mentors for SURF-IT, Calit2's interdisciplinary summer research program for undergraduates. 

Time:  12:00 noon
A light lunch will be available at 11:30, prior to the seminar.

Speaker:  Professor John Crawford
               Assistant Professor of Dance and Media Arts and Director, UCI Dance Film Festival

Title:  "Active Space: Visualizing Motion Capture Data"

After a short seminar presentation, participants will be invited to experience the Active Space work directly, in the New Media Arts Lab, room 2100 downstairs. The event will conclude around 1:00 p.m.

Active Space is an interactive media system incorporating video-based motion tracking, motion capture, real-time video and audio synthesis, high bandwidth networking, and multi-channel visuals and sound. It is used to create interdisciplinary dance and theatre performances and media installations. The system continually senses, measures and responds to the movement of participants, providing an array of tools with which to engage and "play" the space as an instrument. Motion tracking involves real-time sensing and analysis of location, speed, duration and various other characteristics of movement. The results of this analysis are fed to a computer system that generates video and audio in response to the movement. Typical applications of motion capture tend to result in realistic animations, but the aesthetic focus of our Active Space work goes beyond realism to explore notions of imagistic association, embodiment and reflexivity. We are particularly interested in the dynamic that develops between improvisational and compositional elements.

SURF-IT Fellow:  Quin Kennedy, Computer Science


Seminar #3

This seminar is part of a series by the faculty mentors in Calit2's program of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Information Technology (SURF-IT). 

Time:  12:00 noon
A light lunch will be available AFTER the seminar, in the Calit2 atrium

Speaker:  Dr. Donald J. Patterson
               Assistant Professor, Department of Informatics

Title:  "Context-Aware Messaging: Nomatic*Gaim and Nomatic*Aid"

Nomatic (for presence) is a context-aware instant messaging (IM) architecture, that works with all major IM protocols on all major operating systems through a plug-in architecture. What Nomatic does is to figure out where you are and what you are doing from sensors that are with your computing platform. That information is reported to a central server which utilizes machine learning techniques to develop a semantic interpretation about the name of your current place, activity, or social context. The result is that the people on your IM list can see where you are and what you are doing - as you describe it. Although clients can be built on any IM platform, most of the reference code is based on the open-source project pidgin (formerly gaim), which we have augmented with the ability to communicate to our presence management service.  

The goal of Nomatic*Gaim is to encourage more appropriate IM communication through remote awareness of context. Traditional indications of user interruptibility in IM are limited to a few static phrases such as 'online' vs. 'offline'. However, as more mobile devices come pre-installed with IM clients, such overly simple phrases cannot capture the situation adequately. Nomatic*Gaim will capture information about a user's environment from sensors such as ambient sound and light, motion, and location, applying artificial intelligence to that information, and then presenting an assessment on the user's IM status line. This allows for people on the user's IM list to determine more accurately if it is appropriate to interrupt a user or not by observing
a greater variety of computer-generated phrases derived from your own assessments. 

Nomatic*Aid consists of a handheld geo-tagging photo device that enables coordination between human relief workers during and after crises. For an effective crisis response, spatial and temporal information about resources and displaced people has to be collected and analyzed by the team of responders. The information garnered needs to be disseminated and collated by a central server. This project intends to use camera cell phones equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) to tag, store, and communicate context-based data. The handheld devices will serve as data collection and storage devices as well as communication nodes. Since the devices have limited transmission range, unpredictable mobility, and limited battery power, routing algorithms that exploit these unique challenges will be designed. 

The seminar is open to the public.

SURF-IT Fellow:  Danish Khan and Sam Kaufman; both are Informatics majors