School of Architecture and Art Creative Campus

Yesterday, the new School of Architure at Umeå University was approved by the national authorities, and this also means that new Art Creative Campus definitely will happen. This is very exciting news for Umeå University and for HUMlab. We have an interest both in the new architecture program (which will have an artistic foundation) and the campus (where HUMlab will have a presence). Peter Kjaer (former head of the School of Architecture in Aarhus) will head the new School of Architecture. The new campus will include the the Institute of Design and School of Fine Arts (already localized there) as well as BildMuseet (museum of contemporary visual art), HUMlab (which will also remain on the main campus), an art/culture incubator and more.

Look down

We have a new feature here at our little blog site, captcha with a purpose :-). Hopefully this will combat spam problems and promote literacy at the same time! And for those who have a hard time reading the text, there is an audio option. Happy commenting!

reCAPTCHA is an anti-spam method originating from Carnegie Mellon University which uses CAPTCHAs in a genius way. Instead of randomly generating useless characters which users grow tired of continuosly typing in, risking the possibility that spammers will eventually write sophisticated spam bots which use OCR libraries to read the characters, reCAPTCHA uses a different approach. While the world is in the process of digitizing books, sometimes certain words cannot be read. reCAPTCHA uses a combination of these words, further distorts them, and then constructs a CAPTCHA image. After a ceratin percentage of users solve the ‘uknown’ word the same way it is assumed that it is the correct spelling of the word. This helps digitize books, giving users a reason to solve reCAPTCHA forms.

Busy lab

The students may be gone, but there is still a low buzzing of activity in the lab. In the last week we have had a film crew, new computers installed, and not least the EU consortium reviewing our project QVIZ: Query and context based visualization of time-spatial cultural dynamics.

Patrik in HUMlab
Out with the old...
EU review of QVIZ

There have been a lot of changes in the lab over the last year, and this can be seen in the level of activity at any given time. It is rare, even when the students are off on break, that the lab sits silent.

new part of the lab

The new part of the lab is coming together, and we are soon going to install more new technology – mainly screens and interaction technology. The approximate layout can be seen here:

I really like the new addition to the lab,  and although not everything has worked out as originally planned, the basic concept is still the same. It is probably a good sign that people like spending time there even though we have not installed all the technology yet.