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CCI Research Team Receives Best Paper Award at UbiComp 2015

September 2, 2015

A ubiquitous computing research team at Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) has received a Best Paper Award from the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015), for their paper titled “From Computational Thinking to Computational Making.” UbiComp’s Best Paper Awards are presented to the top 1% of papers in the conference.

The team — composed of CCI adjunct instructor Jennifer Rode, PhD; CCI Associate Teaching Professor Jennifer Booker, PhD; CCI doctoral students Andrea Marshall and Houda El mimouni; and University of Siegen (Germany) doctoral students Anne Weibert, Konstantin Aal and Thomas von Rekowski — will be recognized in the proceedings of the UbiComp conference held at Grand Front Osaka in Umeda, Osaka, Japan from Sep. 7-11.

The paper examines computer science (CS) education in the context of the “maker movement” — which the paper describes as “the act of creating tangible artifacts” with an emphasis on “individual creativity, collaboration and problem solving.”  The paper presents computational making as an alternative to framing CS education in terms of computational thinking, given the latter does not include many aspects of making.

Several undergraduate students supported the team’s research in the lab, including Drexel University students Anna Clapham (College of Arts and Sciences), Tarika Chawla (CCI), Tamanna Chawla (CCI), Jordan Jobs (CCI), Alexis Schleeter (CCI) and Akshay Sharma (CCI), and University of Siegen students Sven Draht and Joschka Piscator.

The team will also have a demo, which will allow visitors to interact with the various technologies created by children in the computer club involved in the study, including an interactive monster to illustrate the aspects of making as outlined in the Ubicomp paper. Additionally, to make the demo interactive and to encourage conference attendees to discuss their experience of “making,” the team will also host a “Monster Making” contest.

In addition, recently graduated Westphal College of Media Arts and Design undergraduate student Bethany Robinson will be demoing her artwork (in collaboration with Rode), titled “Creating a Thermoconductive Painting with a Hidden Message,” which will focus on “interactive conductive and thermochromatic painting which explores a playful feminine technical identity.” Attendees will be able to interact with an art piece that uses conductive paints, LEDs and thermochromatic pigments to create an interactive circuit.

The UbiComp is the result of a merger of the two most renowned conferences in the ubiquitous computing field: the International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive) and UbiComp. For more information, please visit