Tracks

Please contact anirudhs [s] mit.edu or ksm [at] mit.edu for any questions.

Civic Innovation

Citizens are involved, engaged people who work together to make their communities better. This track proposes that India needs better technologies to support citizen engagement, and that we can build the tools that help change the world together. New mobile technologies could help us crowdsource the monitoring of public services to hold those in power accountable when services aren’t delivered properly. Innovative new media monitoring tools could be used to track reporting and ensure that the free press is truly acting in the interests of the people. Nimble new communications technologies are needed to help groups organize and communicate for advocacy and activism. Come join us to make software, hardware, and social processes that address these and other real problems. Together we can build a better technological infrastructure to support the engaged citizens who are already acting to make their communities better, and inspire others to join them.

Instructors: Alexis Hope, Rahul Bhargava, Ali Hashmi

 

Sensors Across Scales: Social Problems with tech

Sensors are an important part of any complex system and fundamental to the future of technologies. In this workshop we will brainstorm and build new sensor systems, working across scales from sensor physics to mobile phone applications and artificial intelligence, and in the process of prototyping, we will try to push the limits of what sensors can do. We can take inspiration from sensor systems that give additional senses to humans or robots, as well as track problems on a planetary scale such as global warming air- pollution. We will also understand a few unconventional recycling techniques to tackle air pollution.

Using a multidisciplinary approach we will also see how these technologies affect human relationships and social problems.

Instructors: Anirudh Sharma, Artem Dementyev, Jacob Bernstein

Synthetic Biology

How can design tools engender the adoption of microbiology and synthetic biology as a novel material for exploration by the public? Recent advances in synthetic biology now make possible access to the materials and methods for manipulating genetic material towards the creation of new organisms. As access increases, biological materials will continue to be used in novel applications.

The workshop will use a kit-approach to synthetic biology to design, engineer, and build a new organism and experiences around which the organism will be used. Various kit formats are available, and a combination will be used in the track, with the goal of the workshop being to familiarize non-experts with synthetic biology as materials for the future, and encourage experts to consider the ways in which public education can be enhanced through design and education. The proposals will be displayed publicly, and the entire process will be documented online as a repository for future use and participation in the larger discourse around synthetic biology.

Instructors: Kamal Farah, Julie Legault

 

Welspun Smart Textiles

Description: Why do electronics have to be hard? What if the clothes you are wearing could tell you how many calories you have burnt out in the gym. What if you could put your phone on silent just by tapping your pockets. What if you could create pick and place machines that produce smart fabrics?Smart Textiles or E-textiles is a natural extension of wearable technology – where smart devices are integrated at source into fabrics that we wear and use around us daily. Smart textiles have found applications in consumer products to medical and militiary applications. During the workshop we will reimagine the role, form and materiality of electronics and gadgets in the future; the seamless integration of textiles with electronic elements like microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators will be explored along with IoT: Internet of Textiles. We are looking for an interdisciplinary group of participants who are passionate about hardware and software development, electrical and mechanical engineering, textiles, storytelling, interaction design and craft and all with a very high level of curiosity and creativity.

Instructors: Mili Tharkan, Kshitij Marwah, Tusshar Saigal

 

Synchronous Tools

Synchronous events, such as sporting events, mass protests, and choreographed dance are all forms of human collaboration, this track asks what is unique about synchronized happenings and how can we build tools to support them? Across all scales, modern technologies allow for new ways to process information, communicate globally, and excite collaboration. In this class we will build synchronous tools to explore collaboration. Explorations can be human to human, human to machine, or machine to machine.

Instructors: Jonathan Bobrow, Tomer Weller

 

Immersive Storytelling

Stories were man’s original tool to give meaning to life. In this workshop, you will try to create a compelling story with modern tools. You can pick your story’s purpose: to announce a new product, to ask your local community to take action, or to change people’s perspectives.. We will guide you through storyboarding, film production, film and image editing, and web development in this class.

We want to have a diverse group, so whether you’re a film student, an artist, or a computer scientist, apply! If you can share links to projects you have done before, that will improve your chances of being selected.

Instructors: Titiaan Palazzi, Carson Linforth Bowley 

Lifelong Learning

As the adult population around the world ages, there is a desire to design effective systems that facilitate lifelong learning. For this track, our target audience will be adult learners, including senior citizens and learners that have dropped out of the K-12 system. We will emphasize on leveraging existing technologies and APIs to make learning more accessible, adaptive interfaces that could support learners of all ages and backgrounds, and web-based peer learning environments that could allow people to learn beyond the boundaries of a traditional setting. We plan to run a hands-on workshop where we will encourage students to go out in the community, find users to design for, learn about their values, identify areas of opportunity, and build a hackathon-like prototype. We will introduce them to some of the nuances of designing for adult learners, techniques for rapid prototyping and ideation, and tools to get started with the software development process.

Instructors: Srishti Sethi, Juliana Nazaré

 

Creating Engaging Playful Experiences

The proliferation of forms of digital entertainment has created vast opportunities for fabrication of new engaging games. Digital games are easily prototyped and distributed, which facilitates new and innovative story-telling experiences. In this workshop, we will explore how we can prototype new in-person engaging experiences and enhance existing ones through the use of sensors and software. We hope to make experiences that facilitate creative spontaneous storytelling through a combination of technology and in-person idea development.

Instructors: Bianca Datta, Thariq Shihipar

 

Enabling Toys

The goal of this track is to explore innovative methods, hack available resources and design toys for enhancing lives of children with disabilities. To follow a user-centered approach, we will brainstorm with children from schools for hearing, vision or mentally challenged, and develop toys with them. Our prototypes would aim towards creating a long-term relevant impact into the lives of these children.

Instructors: Dhruv Jain, Raj Nair

 

Networked Playscapes

In this workshop we will make use of Design Thinking techniques and learn the basics of Physical Computing while imagining the playgrounds of the future. Networked Playgrounds. We will research which ways has humanity used to communicate over distance paying close attention to scale, reach, directionality, intentionality and the senses targeted: How far can my message get and why? Is it one to one, one to many, many to one? Do I know who is receiving the message? Do I know when it is received and if they got it “right”? Is it sound or visual or tactile or olfactory? We will also reflect on how the internet and ubiquitous computing is affecting and shaping the way we relate. And yes, we will use Arduinos and sensors to hack and prototype. Not only, we will learn to use Xbee radios!

Instructors: Edwina Portocarrero, Alisha Hasan