Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Busy Week at RIT, Red Hat, Pythonistas, Hong Kong, Wikiotics, Righteous Pictures and a Bear

The joint was jumping last week, no question about it.  First, Mel Chua dropped in to town to close a couple of loops and open new ones.  The RIT paperwork for setting up the next POSSE, was completed.

The current penciled-in plan is to set it for June 20-24 and have Chris Tyler and Dave Shein teach it.  Should be a blast. Our information session on RIT's campus drew about 12 interested faculty and staff from CS, Networking, Telecom, Computer and Electircal Engineering, Liberal Arts, the Library, and several related departments from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.  Another 12 sent their regrets due to time conflicts but asked to be notified when registration opens, so we should have a good pool again.

FOSSCon has their "Save The Date" on-line for June 25th, to follow POSSE in Rochester again.  Mel and I did some brainstorming around another event for college student FOSS contributors at RIT to overlap both POSSE and FOSSCon. This one's to early stage to even be penciled-in yet, it's barely on the white board :-)  There's likely be more about this if it looks like we can move forward and we'll be looking for input on it.

Mel and I also did some scheduling around the Teaching Open Source efforts for the
IEEE's Frontiers in Education Conference coming up in just 10 days.  There a Teaching Open Source panel on Friday at 10 am starring Heidi J. C. Ellis, Gregory W. Hislop, Mel, Clif Kussmaul and Matthew M. Burke.  I'll be heckling from the audience.  I've got a "Work-in_Progress" paper (short and communicating experience vs. research) on the RIT efforts  in a session on "Service-Learning Models, Motivations, and Outcomes" at 4:00 on Friday.  We'll all be getting together, ideally with other kindred spirits, for dinner the night before and perhaps for more eating and greeting at lunch or dinner on Friday as well.

While Mel was on campus, I got the news that my paper on the student's OLPC game development efforts had been accepted for the IEEE Games Innovation Conference in December and I have the Teaching Open Source POSSE Alumni fund to thank for funding the travel to Hong Kong to deliver the paper.  One of our graduate students, Emma Liao, was planning to return home to China for Christmas break so she will be accompanying me to GIC and the Asia Games Show to help me dridge linguistic difficulties that may arise.  Thanks to Liz Lawley's Lab for Social Computing for covering Emma's registration costs.

The RIT class had their second presentation meeting to the Rochester Pythonistas.  It is reported a good time was had by all, but I had to miss it :-(  Our students Nate and Taylor got a shout out from Wikiotics on the work they are doing and RIT should have a related press release out this week as well.

If that's not enough, we had a great visit from the Michaels at Righteous Pictures,  who did a  presentation in the Center for Student Innovation on their films and making documentaries in the digital age.  Their currently-in-post-production film, "Web" focuses on two related stories.  One is on the impact of the Internet on human community, thought and behavior, and the second is on OLPC deployments in Peru and their impact on the kids and the villages who get them.

We're so happening that even the wildlife want in on the event.  This bear was looking to join us in the FOSSBox but got lost on campus and never got to us.

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