GreenTouch: data capture, curation, and analysis via a multi-touch tabletop interface 

In March, the Google Research Blog announced the 11 recipients of the Google App Engine Education Award ( The aim of the award is to assist in and inspire knowledge exploration by offering access to the Google App Engine infrastructure to higher education faculty and students for coursework and student projects.

One of the recipients of the award was Wellesley College Department of Computer Science Assistant Professor  +Orit Shaer ( and the project GreenTouch ( GreenTouch is a collaborative environment that enables novice users to engage in authentic scientific inquiry, consisting of a mobile user interface for capturing data in the field, a web application for data curation in the cloud, and a multi-touch tabletop interface for exploratory analysis of heterogeneous data.

In the development of GreenTouch, students worked collaboratively with scientists to design and implement a real-world large scale scientific database, participating as developers and users. Four of the students working as developers on GreenTouch have since graduated to pursue a career in computing at Google, Microsoft, Redfin, and one as a graduate student in Stanford. 

Greentouch has been integrated in multiple laboratory courses, and is still used for undergraduate botany interns who conduct research in the Wellesley College Botanical Gardens ( To learn more about GreenTouch, read the paper published in the ACM Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces at, and watch the video, linked below. 
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