Open For All: 6 Computer Science Projects From MIT Media Lab That You Can Try Today

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Open For All: 6 Computer Science Projects From MIT Media Lab That You Can Try Today

There a wide range of renowned institutions in the world which are the incubators for top level minds in every spheres of life. History knows these with names like Tim Berners-Lee (computer scientist), Noam Chomsky (linguist), Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (astronaut), Richard Feynman (theoretical physicist), James Doolittle (air ace), Kofi Annan (diplomat), in order to name a random few. The list of Nobel Laureates is quite long at the same time. The one common thread in all of the those names? Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Every great educational institution has one common quality - innovation. MIT Media Lab is a center of excellence which promotes multifaceted thinking, as well as “prime directive” would be to focus on developments which are at the interface individuals daily lives and technology. For 25 years or so the boffins at MIT Media Lab have done just that. For instance, did you know the E-Ink employed in Amazon Kindle along with other eBooks was obviously a Media Lab invention? Well, I am sure you'd agree that the world is a bit different for that one little invention. These six projects might not exactly make it to the Internet Hall of Fame, but they are fun to test out nonetheless…


Immersion - Explore Your Email Life


MIT Media Lab Project

Immersion is surely an experimental Gmail visualization tool that can help you see the interconnectedness of your respective email contacts. The tool taps to the email metadata and helps to create a visual map that tells you at a glance individuals whom you hook up to more frequently; the amount of emails you have sent and received; the frequency of the emails; the new contacts and the way you linked to them etc. The interactive bubble map differentiates your email groups by color and you will dive into individual bubbles and explore them further. You can segregate your interactions with time and analyze how your email habits have changed over its course.

Immersion doesn't read or store the contents of your respective email. Once you log-on with your Gmail account, Immersion uses only the From, To, Cc and Timestamp fields from the emails in the account.


Place Pulse - Perceive Your Neighborhoods


MIT Media Lab Project

We know of the cities we reside in through our life experiences or through media reports. But imagine if there was obviously a quantitative measure the common man with out a statistical degree could understand? Place Pulse tries that approach by crowdsourcing information and comparing cities as outlined by its “aesthetic capital” - how wealthy, modern, safe, lively, active, unique, central, adaptable or family friendly an urban area potentially is. The aim of Place Pulse is usually to use a visual survey and also quantify items like, which neighborhoods in Bangkok can be better than neighborhoods in New York City based completely on human perception i.e. the way we view a city and our opinion about it.

The tool continues to be a work in progress, however you can see how it has been used to map 56 cities across the globe on the subject of safety. Similar to the “hot or not” approach, two images are presented for viewer feedback. The milestone they is aiming for is always to get feedback on 3,000 photos of five cities: Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Boston, and New York.


Health Map - Track Disease Outbreaks near You


MIT Media Lab Project

Health Map is often a real-time epidemic tracking application that is available as an Android and iPhone app (Outbreaks Near Me) at the same time along while using website. Public health workers will use the information to observe health issues around the world. The information is collected from different sources like news aggregators, online discussions, publicly available datasets, health alerts etc. Health workers and researchers are able to use the global or the local maps to study how outbreaks are occurring all over the world and their deep-seated reasons.


Personas - Your Digital History


MIT Media Lab Project

Personas was originally an interactive experience and a live exhibit at various locations worldwide to demonstrate the effectiveness of sophisticated natural language processing using the Internet like a data source. Personas is interesting because it visually tells you how the Internet sees you. Simply enter your company name, and Personas mines the Web for information and tries to characterize you around some categories. It displays the knowledge on a color coded chart. It is surely an encapsulation of your respective digital life and digital history.

Note: Personas seemed to be temporarily down with the time of scripting this article.


Scratch - A Programming Language for Kids


MIT Media Lab Project

Scratch needs little introduction because it is but one of the more well-known applications to get come out from the MIT Media Lab then one kids can take to right away. Scratch is often a programming language that could get your kids enthused about computer science and creating things with just a pc. We took a brief look into Scratch many years back and it always earns a mention whenever we talk about teaching children the best way to program. Scratch helps as well to teach kids about the basic concepts of design. Using Scratch is not hard and there are very a few online language resources around it because of MIT’s efforts.


StarLogo - Modeling, Simulation, and More


MIT Media Lab Project

From one educational programming language we arrived at another. StarLogo TNG can be a version of LOGO written in Java. In brief, it is a game modeling environment that may be used to instruct how different entities (“blocks”) can be produced to interact together and react to the world around them. It can be employed to create educational video gaming with 3D graphics, sounds, and user inputs. And, without the complexity of advanced simulation programs.

MIT contributes much to the inclusiveness of technology and education. Some of you'd probably know about App Inventor which can be looked after by MIT now (it would be a Google project originally). MIT Media Lab is a initiative which brings technology out in the open with more target the day-to-day interplay using the real-world. Financial Times went behind the scenes at MIT Media Labs and you will too. More importantly, you can attempt out these six tools and show their value within the scheme of things.

Image Credit: Knight Foundation (via Flickr)


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