This Saturday night at NYSCI, visitors can collaborate on a story with digital artist and performer, Haeyoung Kim. Part performance, part workshop, Kim’s Moori will use audience members to help create a dynamic narrative. Users will download the Moori app, and use the app to pose questions and answers, and to generate algorithmic sounds and visuals. The result will be an interactive performance featuring collaboration among audience members. Part of Harvestworks’ 2013 New York Electronic Arts Festival, the event begins at 4 pm with Night Games, an interactive dance game, followed by cocktails at 6 pm, and EXPOSED – Sound featuring Moori at 6:30 pm.
Haeyoung Kim is based in New York City and explores the texture of sounds in electronic music. Her work has been presented in various museums and galleries including the American Museum of the Moving Image, PS1, Nam June Paik Center in Korea, and Kunsthalle in Austria.
A quirky fashion trend has been spotted around the city: crazily patterned pants with blue plaid, harlequin checks, and orange and brown swirls. The pants have crossed age and gender lines, with males and females, young and old, wearing the trendsetting garments.
The pants can’t be found at your neighborhood Gap store or at your favorite vintage clothing shop. In fact, they’re not really clothing at all, but a small photograph of pants attached to a thin stick. Using the “StickPic”, the camera on your mobile device, and a willing fashion victim, you can create a fun photo of someone wearing the crazy pants. But to make the photo truly come alive, you’ll need to use a little math.
StickPics are part of Digital Design Lab, a new project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will create mobile apps for use in classrooms throughout the country. The Fancy Pants app, to be released later this year, will be the first of four apps that will turn your mobile phone into a scientific and mathematical tool. Fancy Pants will focus on proportions and forced perspective photography – math concepts that allow you to take a photo of your friend “wearing” those outrageous pants. Digital Design Lab will also include web videos with science-based design challenges and a website where students can post their ideas and solutions.
The central part of this project, however, are the apps, which will allow users to measure and document unexpected phenomena – like that guy wearing those pink psychedelic pants.
Want to learn about molecules? Understand extremophiles? There’s an app for that!
NYSCI Explainers have just had their first apps developed as part of Explainers As Designers. The project is a variation on Iridescent’s Technovation Challenge, with teams of Explainers learning the ins and outs of app development while also getting some baseline knowledge of what it takes to successfully bring an app to market. Two apps — Bio-Hatcher and Molecule Rush — were selected as winners and have just been made available for download in both the iTunes and Google Play stores.
"I wouldn’t have thought of trying to program anything prior to taking part in the Explainers as Designers Program,”said Jacqueline, a member of the winning team.
Each app builds on content found at NYSCI exhibits and adds yet another interactive component to the exhibit experience, in the form of games you can play anywhere anytime. It’s a bit of NYSCI in your pocket.
Congratulations on your promotion to Captain, Sandra. Let’s cue some Android user rage in 3 … 2 … 1 …
Most days, I use my iPhone and iPad almost as much as my computer. I’ve gulped down a big glass of Apple flavored Kool-Aid, and I love it.
There’s a plethora of science apps available for iOS devices, and I’m sure I won’t cover them all. But here’s a few of my favorites (keep your eye on the notes down below as I’m sure lots of people will chime in with their favorites, too):
NASA has a great free educational app where you can track spacecraft and learn about projects.
For skywatching, I never look up without my iPad and GoSkyWatch, which is inexplicably free for the iPad only version (and a very underpriced $3.99 for iPhone/iPad compatible version). Seriously, it will change your life. Point it at something, it tells you what it is. It even draws constellations and has a red low-light mode.
Molecules lets you input any Protein Data Bank or PubChem molecule identifier and then renders a 3-D version that you can rotate, zoom and space-fill. Must-have for molecular noodling on the fly.
Biophiliamay cost $12.99, but it’s the best music+science combo project ever made, plus Björk! Total bio-porn.
Again, The Elementsis pretty pricey for an app at $13.99, but it’s bar none the best app for exploring the periodic table.
There’s actually useful apps to get stuff done in lab! Life Technologies has a useful app called DailyCalcs that will calculate solution concentrations, convert units, figure out dilutions and give you cell culture plating tips. Nothing you couldn’t look up or figure out on a paper towel, but nice to have it handy for free.
If you’re like me and you have to keep track of a lot of PDFs and research papers, I’m still torn on whether Mendeley or Papers is better. I use both, and I like both. One is free, of course.
I use the iPhone onboard timer a lot. Simple, but useful.
WolframAlpha: There’s Wolfram reference support built into Siri, but the full app is like a math search engine/calculator/reference guide all in one. Very cool.
For the past few weeks, NYSCI Explainers have been learning how to design and pitch a mobile application that would support one of the exhibits on the museum floor. On Tuesday, the four groups presented their app ideas to the President of NYSCI, Margaret Honey, and senior exhibit staff, of which one group was to be selected to get their app professionally developed and placed on the market. Congratulations to the “BioHatchers” group who won the competition!