University of Maryland

HCIL Memories

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One of my favorite HCIL memories, though there are many, was when Jane Henson came to visit the Kids Team. Allison and I, with our combined connections to the Henson organization, had both worked long and hard to make Jane’s visit happen. We were in the middle of some kind of ubiquitous computing co-design process when a sensor triggered a projector to come on, displaying light on the wall. The kids decided to take this opportunity to make shadow creatures with their hands. Allison and I were both cringing . . . but, in fact, Jane loved it! In her view, the kids were making their own shadow puppets. 🙂

– Glenda Revelle, HCIL Senior Research Scientist, 1999-2002

Some of my favorite HCIL times: clipping foam in the hallways to make robots, enjoying the conversation that Ben S. had with one of our kidsteam kids about why make robots, taking my first HCIL bike-trip with Catherine, watching our kidsteam kids interview computer scientists about how they would play with a computer toy, wandering the woods of the National Park Service to make cool mobile technologies, coming together as a lab to help the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
– Allison Druin, HCIL Director 2007-2011, and HCIL faculty member since 1998

I knew HCIL was somewhere I would enjoy working when during my job interview Catherine said “you are someone I could eat lunch with” – apparently that was her fuzzy measure for determining if I would fit well into the HCIL community. And over the years I have definitely learned that HCIL likes to eat – esp. ice cream and chocolate 🙂 Some of my favorite “on-the-job” memories have been trying to convince people that the data we were displaying in Spotfire was their real data (not something we faked for demo purposes), and debugging a server crash with Ben B. while I was in Maryland and he was in Mongolia.
-Anne Rose, HCIL Assistant Director of Technology, and HCIL member since 1994

My favorite social memory of HCIL is the crab party at Anne Rose’s house – starting with the deepest, darkest thunder storm I have ever experienced – meaning that every single party member was totally soaked by the time they walked from their car to Anne’s house. But then she had seemingly endless boxes of crabs, wooden mallets, and some magic powder that made the crabs very spicy. Finally, the clouds actually cleared and we we went canoing and kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay off her back yard. My favorite HCIL work memory was the 7am preparation for the launch party of the Interational Children’s Digital Library in the Great Room of the Library of Congress. All these HCILers were running around downtown DC with boxes of supplies, trying to convince security guards that it really was ok for us to bring all these computers, projectors and bizarre contraptions into this huge and ornate castle-like room – all the time peering over our shoulders at the minders were who making sure we didn’t put so much as a piece of tape on the floor. With the President of the University and the Librarian of Congress in attendance, all the while trying to keep our young daughter from running amok, while demonstrating the project of which I am still most proud was a memory not soon forgotten.
– Ben Bederson, HCIL Director 2000-2006, and HCIL faculty member since 1998