The last one and a half weeks have been very hectic in HUMlab – in a good way. We have had three visitors: Nathan Shedroff (experience design), Nicholas Gessler (simulation, artificial life) and Katherine Hayles (professor of English and much more). Nathan was here almost a week and Nicholas and Katherine stayed for two days. They have all given me (and others) many ideas about this field and the future of the HUMlab.
Katherine Hayles was here in 2002 and she is just one of a kind. I thought her lecture was brilliant (streamed version here, mp3 version here)- a careful construct grounded in science and fiction and delivered in a fluid and thought-provoking way. Abstract here.
About 45 people or so turned up for her seminar I think. A great mix of people (teacher education, physics, informatics, literature, English, ethnology, engineering etc.).
This was yesterday and we also staged an whole-day Open house activity the same day. The morning was somewhat slow (but good) and from lunch onwards it was just a blast: a group of media students interested in blogs rushed in during lunch time, at 1 the seminar started and there were a great many people in the lab till about 4:30 pm. We served refreshments, showed projects, talked to people etc. All the graduate students were around and there was a very good feeling to the whole thing.
A concrete result of the open house is that quite a few people have registered for a user account. Yesterday was also the deadline for a big EU application we have been working on. A busy day!