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Garnet Hertz
Attended University of California, Irvine
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Garnet Hertz

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Conversation this morning with Jentery Sayers, University of Victoria
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Happy to say that this fall I'll be starting a faculty position as "Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts" at Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Vancouver. (Official press release / announcement in October.) Back to Canada after 11 years in California. A big thanks to Dourish, Burdick, Losh, Bowker, Hayes, Krapp, Scacchi and many others that went out of their way to help me out in Irvine.
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Congrats Garnet! I'll be finishing my PhD in the School of Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University quite soon. Welcome to Vancouver.
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ABSTRACT The contemporary landscape of information technology production is one that has been profoundly influenced by the emergence of so-called "maker culture" in the 1960s and 1970s. From Mac OS X to Android, from TiVo DVRs to Linksys network appliances, from Amazon.com to Google Chrome, ...
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This bears a strong resemblance to a project I built in real life 3.5 years ago: http://conceptlab.com/outrun/

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The classroom at Brea Olinda High School was a cacophony of high-pitched beeping coming from electronic toys playing “Silent Night” and other tunes.

High school students were altering the sound boxes of the toys as part of a “toy hacking” workshop, led by UC Irving research scientist Garnet Hertz.

“It’s hard to figure out how computer chips work – how to get them to work the way you want,” said Liam Gillanders. Gillanders and fellow student Michael Hannum were trying to get the sound box inside their Mozart-playing crib toy to make some other kind of noise.

The goal for the students isn’t necessarily to learn how electronics work, though that could be a byproduct of the workshop.

The idea is for the students to try something new and get creative, said their high school computer science teacher, Todd Salesky, who offers these kinds of enrichment workshops as part of the school’s Global IT Academy.

“We’re trying to appeal to a broader audience,” he said. “I’m trying to teach them to be technical.” Students in the Global IT Academy program at Brea Olinda take one elective each year in computer science.

Salesky is aiming to prepare students for college and the job market. “The idea behind the program is to have experiences beyond the classroom,” he said.

On this day, UCI researchers were conducting a study to see if their handson toy hacking workshop boosted the students’ interest in science. The researchers surveyed the students before the class and had planned to survey them after.

The toy hacking project is funded by a National Science Foundation grant. The UC Irvine researchers plan to take the workshop to other schools and train teachers how to do their own, said Amelia Guimarin, a UC Irvine graduate and anthropologist who assisted at the workshop.

Hertz assisted the students in making use of a potentiometer, which regulates the flow of electricity.

The potentiometer can make “Silent Night” sound like it’s dying.

The toy hacking workshops were originally designed for adults, Hertz said. He has four children, and after observing his daughter go through elementary and middle school, he thought he could make science more interesting for school-age kids.

He’s still got kinks to work out, such as how to make toy hacking less dangerous.

It’s possible to start a fire. “There is physical danger. The kids totally love that,” he said. “It adds to the excitement.”
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Have them in circles
360 people
Dayana John's profile photo
Jeremy Douglass's profile photo
Adrian Herbez's profile photo
Harold Schellinx's profile photo
markus huber's profile photo
Astrida Valigorsky's profile photo
Chris Guevara's profile photo
Sharon Hertz's profile photo
Nic La's profile photo
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Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts
Introduction
Dr. Garnet Hertz is Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts and is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media at Emily Carr. His art and research explores themes of DIY culture and interdisciplinary art / design practices. He has shown his work at several notable international venues in thirteen countries including SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, and DEAF and was awarded the 2008 Oscar Signorini Award in robotic art. Hertz is founder and director of Dorkbot SoCal, a monthly Los Angeles-based lecture series on DIY culture, electronic art and design. He has worked at Art Center College of Design and University of California Irvine. His research is widely cited in academic publications, and popular press on his work has disseminated through 25 countries including The New York Times, Wired, The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, NBC, CBS, TV Tokyo and CNN Headline News. More info: http://conceptlab.com/
Education
  • University of California, Irvine
    2003 - 2005
    MFA, Arts Computation Engineering (2005).
  • University of California, Irvine
    2005 - 2009
    PhD, Visual Studies (2009).