The Surface Dial and the Physical/Digital Divide in Interactions

Microsoft announced their new Surface Studio this week. It acts as an all-in-one computer, but with a modular screen that can be re-positioned to act as a drawing tablet. The idea of a computer screen that works as a drawing tablet is nothing new. Wacom and other companies have been producing devices like this for years. What’s new about this is the fact that Microsoft has made the screen an integral part of the computing device, rather than a peripheral that can be added later if needed.


The Surface Studio. (Image Credit:

By doing this, Microsoft is bringing a novel interactive technique to a wider audience. Starting at $3,000, a fairly wealthy audience, but still, comparable in price to a high-end Wacom tablets + a professional graphic artist computer.

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Using Scrum in your research

Agile methods on software development are very popular. The root of these methods must be sought in the on the Agile Manifesto that says:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

In short, these lines says that the world is always changing, the adaptation to change, the collaboration between people and the transfer of knowledge should be a priority in our professional life.

These objectives fit with software development but also with research because, we software developers and researchers are always looking for new challenges, always updating our professional network and making improvement in science.

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Cancer: From Biology to Computer Science

October is the breast cancer awareness month. Cancer is classified as a genetic disease caused by the abnormal cell division that destroy body tissue. Wait! Cell? Body tissue? Disease? So now you might be wondering: what does this have to do with computers?

In fact, cancer research has been in the heart of life sciences for the past few decades. Since genetics play an important role in most cancers, computational methods are crucial in understanding the development of the disease as well as predicting the results of clinical trials for treatment. That’s where computer science comes into action.

Biological background

Before we define the computational problem, let’s review some biology from high school and learn some facts about cancer.

Our human body consists of trillions of cells. Although each cell has the exact same DNA all over your body, every cell carries out its own function. The DNA is a long sequence of nucleotides preserved inside a cell nucleus.


Photo adapted from: The Fatal Lover, Mata Hari (2016) watch online 1080

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CHI PLAY 2016 – Day 3

The third day at CHI PLAY 2016 ended the conference with important discussions focused on play, design, and the games industry. If you have not seen them yet, check the first and second day summaries out before continuing!

The day opened with an open discussion of future suggestions for the conference series and followed with the first Industry Panel, which counted with the expertise of Toni Phillips (Triseum), Sheri Graner Ray (Zombie Cat Studios), and Yelena Balin (b.well). The panelists addressed some of the challenges of the game industry, such as keeping up with the technology, innovating, engaging different audiences, and building diversity into games.

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CHI PLAY 2016 – Day 2

The second day at CHI PLAY had a lot of fun and important research! In case you’ve missed it, read about the first day before continuing.

Annika Waern presented the keynote of the day on Play, Participation and Empowerment, and left everyone reflecting about the opportunities that arise when designers let the players co-create the game rules and boundaries. It was followed by David Cohen‘s talk on Transformation Through Transparency, in which he emphasized the importance of collaboration between educators and game designers for building educational games, as well as the importance of embedding learning in a transparent way to allow players to enjoy playing and increase learning effectiveness.

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