Being able to visualize large collections of data is absolutely vital in the domain of cultural heritage—both for scholarly work and public consumption. Recent work explores novel and engaging ways to visualize and explore cultural heritage data collections and tell little stories with big data. See demos of applications built on Microsoft PixelSense and Surfaces that demonstrate the architecture of intimacy and public interactives. These range from digital memorials to multitouch interaction to explore large-format artworks in their rich context of related artworks, annotations, and guided tours. We will also explore the technological and social challenges of creating interactive exhibits around the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest community-created piece of folk art in the world. These applications are a beachhead on the untouched shores of big humanities research. They are what we can expect today and are also first steps towards what might define an ideal user interface.
Donald Brinkman manages external programs in digital humanities, digital heritage and games for learning at Microsoft Research. Donald supports the Games for Learning Institute, a consortium of 8 universities, 14 principal investigators, and a small army of graduate students whose mission is to explore what makes games fun, what makes them educational, and how to best blend the two goals. He is the Microsoft champion for the Just Press Play project, an experiment to transform the undergraduate education of 750 students at Rochester Institute of Technology into a gameful narrative. Other projects include Project Garibaldi and Game Show NYC.
Before joining MSR, Donald served for two years as a technical program manager for the Microsoft education group. In that role he was responsible for defining vision of innovative business intelligence and analytics for education as well as driving a variety of enterprise-scale server capabilities. Prior to joining Microsoft he spent eight years in developmental and technical roles acquiring and executing government research contracts in areas such as quantum computation; signals intelligence; electromagnetic and kinetic simulations; behavioral economics; game theory; and cross-cultural communications. Donald is a writer, painter, game designer, and a passionate advocate of the benefits of building bridges between technical and humanist disciplines. He is particularly interested in disruptive technologies that leverage crowdsourcing, social computing, culture jamming, transmedia, and other non-traditional approaches. You can find out more about Donald at Next@Microsoft.