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Academics,computer

Supplemental Material

A little over a year ago, Johnny Lee came to UW’s CSE department to talk about the impact of his wiimote head-tracking video on YouTube.  As part of his talk, he had what he called something like the pyramid of impressions.  While an academic paper may have 10 readers, a white-paper may have 100.  A how-to article may have 1,000 views, but a video can achieve over 1 million, easily.

This may be all fine and dandy for currently-trending topics, but it’s rarely been tried in an academic topic.  I’ve seen the occasional video that has succeeded (like this one on hovering quad-rotors), but they’re nearly all from computer science departments that are already familiar with the impression value of the internet.  Using the internet to convey an interactive experience that supplements a paper could be an invaluable tool in understanding the concepts and conclusions presented by the paper, and can make drawing corollaries and further inferences easier.

I feel like this difficulty is coming from inaccessible ways to present data visually and allowing the user to play around with it.  Pivot was a cool exercise in this respect, but Microsoft pulled the plug in favor of a (much less flexible, platform-wise) Silverlight application.  Most solutions now are custom-built, and I’m looking at doing something similar for my research.  The implementation has to be simple enough to update, however, since data will keep coming are more details get uncovered!  I’ll see if I can’t abstract the implementation so that others can use it.

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