Last month, Kennedy Library invited Jenison, who was featured in the documentary film, Tim’s Vermeer, to talk about the connections he’s forged between art and science. Jenison was joined by Pegi Marshall, an assistant professor of scenic design in the Theater and Dance Department.
Jenison became intrigued with the relationship between science and art after working on his documentary Tim’s Vermeer. In it, he attempts to understand how 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer manages to paint so photo-realistically—150 years before the invention of photography.
Though Jenison has a background in developing imaging technologies, Jenison ultimately relies on a simple mirror technique, using a comparator mirror, to recreate Vermeer’s paintings. He demonstrated the comparator during his Cal Poly Science Café event.
According to Jenison art and science are both sides of the same coin. “Most art is based on some sort of technology,” he explained. “You can be very elegant and artistic in technology and you can be technological in your art.”
Jenison points to Leonardo Da Vinci as an example of how an interest in art and science can be complementary. “In the renaissance, there wasn’t really a separation between art and technology,” Jenison said. “Leonardo was a great painter, artist, and scientist.”
Jenison believes that the technology will become more accessible for artists if the technology is presented in intuitive ways. “We try to make things work in the computer like they work in the real world,” he explained. Jenison thinks we are close to the point where artists will rely more on computers and less on tactile art. “It’ll be interesting to see if anyone actually wants to pick up a paintbrush in the future.”
With the applications of technology expanding in the art world, Jenison believes that the expansion of technology enables more and more people to become artists. “Eventually we’ll all be artists,” he adds.
One developing technology in particular will have widespread implications, according to Jenison. “Virtual reality headsets are going to be the next big disruptor,” Jenison said. “It’s possible the whole planet will be covered with people drooling out of one side of their mouth with their virtual reality goggles on.”
Watch the video interview with Tim Jenison.]]>
Open Access Week at the Kennedy Library gives the Cal Poly community the opportunity to learn about the widespread benefits of open access through a variety of interactive workshops and events.
“Open Access” to information is the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need.
According to the library’s Open Education Library Fellow, Dana Ospina, open access has a broader scope: “These events focus on more than just scholarly access. We try to encourage open access for everyone. Whether it be open education resources or open data, there are many different ways to participate.”
In this workshop, Library Data & GIS Specialist Russ White leads a hands-on session focusing on open-data tools that faculty and students can take advantage of for learning.
“I’m excited to host a workshop where anyone can walk in and try something that they have no experience using. I want to break the barrier between open-source tools and students. It’s not until you can’t find the resource that you need that you realize how useful and important it is to have open data and software, ” White said.
The theme for this year’s OA Week is “Open for Collaboration.” White believes that this mantra is an important aspect of open access.
“When data and software become open and people come together, I think some pretty unique and unexpected things can happen,” White said.
Professor Laura Hosman (Political Science, STS) plans to present on her solar-powered educational learning library, SolarSPELL. This project explores why open access and education are not just a luxury in some parts of the world but a necessity.
“Human beings like to take things like open content for granted,” according to Hosman. Working with a small group of Cal Poly faculty and students, Hosman and her team provided access to books, videos, and other valuable educational content through an all-in-one, self-powered, offline digital library.
“A large aspect of the Solar Spell project could not have taken place if we didn’t have access to open access materials. There is really no limit to how useful and beneficial open access resources can be,” Hosman explains.
Officers from Cal Poly’s Free Culture Club plan to lead a discussion on an issue close to home for many students: textbooks.
Cal Poly’s Free Culture Club believes that often times the cost of course materials can be a large financial burden for students. They propose utilizing open access course materials to alleviate this burden.
“We would like to prompt professors to consider alternatives to expensive, proprietary course materials,” club president Liam Kirsh (CSC ‘17) said. “Using materials under less restrictive copyright licenses gives professors the right to modify content to better fit their class and gives professors and students the right to freely distribute copies of the material,” he adds.
Participating in Open Access Week can be as simple or as involved as you like. All of the events mentioned above will be taking place in the library. See all times and locations. If you are unable to attend these library events but would still like to get involved, you can join the open source community through a virtual Wikipedia edit-a-thon co-hosted by SPARC and Wikipedia.]]>
Opened October 1, 2015, Cal Poly students, faculty and staff now have access to advanced video production tools at just the push of a button.
Modeled after Penn State’s original space, the Kennedy Library One Button Studio in room 304 is a simplified video recording system that requires no technical knowledge or previous video production experience.
Users simply insert a USB drive and push a button to begin recording a video. The One Button Studio automates lighting, microphone and camera settings, then compresses and renders the completed video into a .mp4 file that is saved onto a drive. The system resets itself when the drive is unplugged, ready for the next person.
The finished product is a polished video recording that requires little time and effort to produce.
“When I walked into the studio for the first time I was surprised at how simple everything was laid out,” said Robert Torres (AERO ’16). “Since everything is automatic, you can focus on your video and not have to worry about how you are going to make it.”
Faculty can utilize the studio to record their lectures, research papers, or to produce video introductions to online courses.
“I think it’s great that the Kennedy Library is experimenting with new technologies. Libraries need to make not only information, but also tools accessible,” said Sheree Fu, College of Engineering librarian.
For students, the One Button Studio could be useful for practicing a presentation for a class, producing studio components of larger video assignments and creating e-portfolio introductions or content.
“At Cal Poly, a lot of our classes include video assignments. Now that we have the One Button Studio, we have an easier way to complete those projects,” said Robert Torres (AERO ’16).
Students can also take advantage of the One Button Studio for the upcoming Elevator Pitch Competition sponsored by the Kennedy Library in partnership with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Cal Poly Entrepreneurs. With prizes up to $1000 for the perfect pitch, students should hurry to make a reservation for the studio before the October 14th deadline.
Kennedy Library thanks the Orfalea College of Business and Dean Scott Dawson for generously providing funding for Cal Poly’s first One Button Studio.
Say what you want about his ability to annoy: he’s a great writer. His latest, Purity, is no exception. Set in Oakland and Felton, California, Bolivia, East Germany, and Philadelphia, and full of seemingly unrelated, one-of-a-kind characters, it has a plot (including a long-buried body in the yard of someone’s parents’ vacation home) to keep you turning pages, all 500+ of them. It also has multiple Big Issues to sink your teeth into: feminism, the wages of fame, the nature of morality, and the effect of the internet and social media on all of the above.
Two of the most central characters are Purity “Pip” Tyler, a recent college graduate with an eccentric but devoted single mother and a pile of student loan debt, and Andreas Wolf, a Julian Assange-like leaker of government and corporate secrets via his group, TSP, The Sunshine Project. Pip is being recruited for TSP by one of Wolf’s admirers.
Here, Pip takes matters into her own hands and cockily emails Wolf directly:
Dear Andreas Wolf, what’s your deal? A person named Annagret who I hardly know tells me I can be a paid intern with your project. Is this like a sex opportunity for you, or what? Do you guys have a keg of Kool-Aid? The whole thing frankly sounds deeply creepy to me. I don’t care very much about the work you’re doing down there in the jungle or whatever, but Annagret doesn’t seem to think it even matters if I do. Which really makes me wonder. Yours, Pip Tyler, Oakland, California, USA.
Despite her wariness, Pip does join the Project when Wolf promises her that it can also unlock a very personal secret for her. There are many more characters and complications, central and otherwise. Franzen skilfully weaves it all together, and comes up with one of the most satisfying yet realistic endings that I’ve seen in a long time.
author photograph: Chris Buck for the Guardian]]>
The first is Kanopy, a media streaming service that offers 12,000 films and videos from more than 800 filmmakers. Their key partners include PBS, Criterion, New Day, California Newsreel, MEF, Kino Lorber, First Run, GreenPlanet, Psychotherapy.net, Great Courses and many more.
Interested in using Kanopy in your courses? The “Netflix-like” interface makes it easy to find relevant and interesting materials for all disciplines, and you can easily customize your own clips and create playlists for targeted instruction.
“Access to streaming content is a boon to all curricula engaged with media, whether from the angle of media production, history, culture or language,” said Brett Bodemer, College of Liberal Arts librarian. “It takes only a few seconds to see the depth of foreign language film offerings, including the likes of directors such as Besson, Kurosawa and Fassbinder.”
Statista is a new tool that allows for quick and easy access to summary statistical data on a wide range of topics and industries. Just as the library provides databases for discovering scholarly content, Statista serves a similar function for those seeking quantitative facts, figures and data.
Do your students need to discover, extract and visualize global iPhone sales from 2007 to 2015 by quarter or want a quick look at global prices for a Big Mac? Statista provides access to 1 million statistics – ready to use in PPT, XLS and PNG.
“Statista provides students with a large amount of well-vetted market research,” said Mark Bieraugel, Orfalea College of Business librarian. “The infographics section is truly a solid resource for students of all levels.”
Numeric and Spatial Data Specialist Russ White says, “Students can quickly search and incorporate data and graphics from authoritative sources, and present these alongside other forms of supporting information in their writing. Since the data are downloadable, students also have the option of exploring alternative visualizations or presentations of the data.”
Sheree has worked across the disciplines to support interdisciplinary discovery and research as a data services specialist, a research and development librarian, and a digital scholarship librarian at the Claremont Colleges Library. She brings an array of skills and experience in participatory and ethnographic research methods, discovery and usability, and instruction, outreach, and reference services.
Before becoming a librarian, Sheree worked in industrial engineering and manufacturing in the computing industry. Her combination of professional and academic experience will be a great resource for engineering students. She looks forward to helping them prepare them for careers in design and production environments.
Sheree earned her MLIS in 2006 at UCLA, and her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Smith College.
Contact Sheree Fu at Kennedy Library.]]>
“I am honored to be joining the extraordinary team at Kennedy Library,” Adriana said. “I look forward to contributing to the library’s tradition of excellence.”
Adriana is known as a librarian with great strengths in engineering, science and collaboration. She joins Cal Poly from Notre Dame, where she was program director for science, engineering, social sciences and business research services. Prior to her role at Notre Dame, Adriana led the engineering library at Princeton University.
Adriana has a notable history helping teams accomplish important and complex work together. For example, she has experience moving to Ex Libris’ Alma, the library management system that the CSU libraries are adopting over the next two years. She is both pragmatic and inspirational, two qualities that are a great match for Cal Poly’s culture of innovation, excellence, and openness.
“Adriana will bring deep experience and fresh perspectives to the library’s many collaborations across campus,” said Anna Gold, Dean of Library Services. “Whether in the library, or working with the Academic Assessment Council and the Associate Deans, Adriana will contribute to assessing and improving the ways we prepare students for a world where information skills have become critical to their success.”
Contact: Adriana Popescu at Kennedy Library.]]>
My name is Kaylee, I’m a recent college graduate and an intern at Cal Poly’s Special Collections and Archives. As a San Luis Obispo local I grew up hearing about William Randolph Hearst and adoring every visit to the stunning Hearst Castle, especially during the holidays when the Castle is bedecked in all its Christmassy vintage glory. Therefore I was quite excited when, as a part of my internship, I was able to begin digitizing the correspondence between William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan.
The correspondence, which is part of the Julia Morgan Papers, includes approximately 3,700 letters and telegrams between Hearst and Morgan which Morgan kept in her files, dating from 1919 through 1945. Unlike most series of correspondence, wherein you can only see the letters received but not the ones sent, Julia Morgan made copies of every letter and telegram she sent Hearst. The resulting dialogue creates a clear story of the day-to-day planning that went into the construction of “La Cuesta Encantada,” or what is now known as Hearst Castle. Despite conversing through telegram and letter for over twenty years neither client nor architect ever addressed the other as anything less than “Mr. Hearst” or “Miss Morgan,” demonstrating the great professionalism between the first licensed female architect in California and the newspaper mogul.
The majority of the letters and telegrams I’ve read and digitized focus on the specific plans for the use of Spanish columns for one of the guest houses or Mr. Hearst’s preference for Moorish style ceilings, which mean little to a history major whose knowledge of Spain and the Moors has more to do with the brutalities of the Spanish Inquisition than the differences of architecture. However, I read a telegram from Mr. Hearst to Miss Morgan (shown below) which mentioned the impending arrival of a car filled with “four old Venetian paintings” as well as photographs of other friezes he had purchased, and which he hoped Miss Morgan would be able to use to “harmonize with the ceilings.” This telegram inspired me to find photographs of these items. Now I can better understand and imagine the slow process of building and decorating the guest houses which became the beautiful and recognizable Casa del Sol, Casa del Mar, and Casa del Monte.
See what we’ve digitized so far: http://digital.lib.calpoly.edu/islandora/search/010-5-e-?type=dismax
As of last week, Islandora, an entirely open source framework using the Fedora Commons repository platform and the Drupal website management platform, has replaced CONTENTdm as the online discovery platform for the library’s digital archives. With Islandora, we now have a robust, flexible, and dynamic digital asset management system and online discovery platform.
Islandora’s open source technology will allow us to enhance this access and move the library closer to providing in-browser access to born-digital resources like GIS data and email. Here are just a few improvements our users will see immediately:
Another exciting change (at least for us library folks!) is that during the migration from CONTENTdm to Islandora, I crosswalked the archive’s metadata from Dublin Core to MODS, a richer and more granular descriptive metadata schema. Besides Islandora’s ability to make excellent use of this granularity through its built-in Solr index, MODS metadata should put the library in a good position to participate in metadata aggregation initiatives such as the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).
Islandora’s open source technology will also create the potential to open up the systems’ code base to student programmers and designers. Once we become comfortable with the system, we would like to create specific projects for student groups and courses, invite students to use the system as a sandbox, and sponsor activities like hackathons, all within the library’s digital asset management system. This would not be possible with CONTENTdm.
Thanks to everyone who has helped make this new site possible, especially the members of the iDi Digital Asset Technical Infrastructure Working Group (Carl Hunt, Mike Price, and Russ White), Jessica Holada, Laura Sorvetti, Michele Wyngard, and all the students in Special Collections and Archives; and to Mike Price and Dale Kohler for their guidance and assistance in technology and security matters.
Finally, we also owe thanks to several visionary donors, who have given generously to help support the future of digital scholarship at Cal Poly.
Featured photo: San Luis Obispo, panoramic view from Terrace Hill, 1907 [composite], San Luis Obispo County Regional Photograph Collection, 168-1-b-01-35-06]]>
“Passing” for white has been an issue in America as long as African Americans have lived here. Martin, the main character in this novel, however, started out as a white Jewish man who underwent surgery to become black. Here, he encounters the other main character, Kelly, who is white, and has recently lost his Chinese wife and young daughter in a car accident:
I am looking into the face of a black man, and I’ll be utterly honest, unsurprisingly honest: I don’t know so many black men well enough that I would feel such a strong pull, such a decisive certainty. I know this guy, I’m thinking, yet I’m sure I’ve never seen this face before. Who goes around looking for ghost eyes, for pleading looks of remembrance, in the faces of strangers? Not me. He’s coming closer, and I’m running through all my past at a furious clip, riffling frantically the index cards of my memory for a forgotten slight, a stray remark, a door slammed in a black man’s face, a braying car horn behind me on 83 South. He has his eyes trained on me with a faint smile, a smile that dips at the left corner, and says,
Kelly. I’ll bet you’re wondering why I know your name.
I’m sorry, I say. Do I know you?
Kelly, he says, pursing his lips, it’s Martin.
Martin wants Kelly, who is a former journalist, to write his story, which Kelly agrees to do. From there on out, he’s swept along in a murky current where nothing is clear, from Martin’s motives to how he feels about his own identity. It kept me reading at a fast clip, in a sweat to find out how (or if) the whole thing would resolve.
author photo: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times]]>