Five Decades of Experiments with Hypermedia Systems for the Humanities

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Andries van Dam

Brown University
Speaker Website
MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
12:30 pm
Co-sponsored by the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL)

Since 1967, when my students and I, collaborating with Theodor Nelson, built the Hypertext Editing System on an IBM /360 mainframe, I’ve been involved with building a succession of hypermedia systems primarily but not exclusively for the humanities. I will begin this talk with a brief description of the history of this work at Brown, including the NEH-sponsored project to create an on-line scholarly community for a poetry course in 1976, and the ways in which a recent system, Touch Art Gallery, is being used by courses at Brown, the Nobel Foundation and the Massachusetts Historical Society. Then I will shift to the main focus, a live demo of an early version of the latest multi-format hypermedia system my group is building to support information gathering, sense-making (including organizing, annotating, relationship-building through linking, grouping and visualizations), and ultimately presenting multimedia information. We are especially interested in supporting small workgroup collaboration and the use of pen- and touch-computing on tablets and large interactive whiteboards.



See below for a Storify recap of this Digital Dialogue, including live tweets and select resources referenced by Van Dam during his talk.

Andries van Dam is the Thomas J. Watson Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education and Professor of Computer Science at Brown University. He has been a member of Brown’s faculty since 1965, was a co-founder of Brown’s Computer Science Department and its first Chairman from 1979 to 1985, and was also Brown’s first Vice President for Research from 2002 – 2006. His research includes work on computer graphics, hypermedia systems, post-WIMP and natural user interfaces (NUI), including pen- and touch-computing, and educational software. He has been working for over four decades on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in teaching and research. In 1967 Prof. van Dam co-founded ACM SICGRAPH (the precursor of SIGGRAPH) and from 1985 through 1987 was Chairman of the Computing Research Association. He is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE, and AAAS, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He has received the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, the SIGGRAPH Steven A. Coons Award for Outstanding Creative Contributions to Computer Graphics, and the IEEE Centennial Medal, and holds four honorary doctorates. He has authored or co-authored over 100 papers and nine books, including “Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics” and three editions of “Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice”.

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