During May-June 2013, I buried my head into writing a new book, The Simulaton Life, while staying local in Providence, RI. The book should motivate others to understand my passion for simulation as understanding and hopefully find new collaborators willing to put serious effort into that endeavor.
On April 12th, 2013, I spent a day at the UMass-Dartmouth campus as a guest of an ex-student of mine who is graduating with her graduate degree in Digital Media and Arts this May. We spent time in the Architecture, Fine Arts, and Visual Design/Digital Media departments. The campus teaches a virtual reality course that is reminiscent of the great courses in which I participated at the University of Washington in the 1990s. Always a great day to relive old thoughts with new context. The campus is a thriving campus for young faculty trying to make a name for themselves — just 20 miles from Providence.
On March 9th, 2013, I attended the RI Land and Water Summit at the University of Rhode Island. On March 22nd I followed up with the RI Compost Conference in Providence. No better places to see everyone from the water conservation community I haven't seen in one place in a while. So many good workshops from which to choose. I became enlightened on stormwater district utility formation, coastal community relocation, optimal residential street upkeep for multi-use promotion (horray for empowering pedestrians and cyclists), and the latest and greatest in compost awareness and neighborhood implementation within our state — all in the usual quirky Rhode Island way of approaching things.
On January 8th, 2013, I attended the Watershed Counts 2013 kick-off with many of my colleagues from the Rhode Island and Massachusetts watershed organizations. I enjoyed spending time with my peers but have developed a deeper awareness of systematic flaws in the process we are supporting. As a result, my role as a trained systems engineer will be harder to incorporate into group process than I was hoping. The lack of systems training in our society has many feeling overwhelmed by complexity instead of chipping away at it methodologically.
On November 7-12 2012, I visited two University of Texas campuses to investigate research directions. I was impressed by how quickly the Dallas campus is growing as my nephew took me for a tour of the campus that Roger Malina now calls home. Time in Austin at the Texas Advanced Computing Visualization Center rattled some neurons that needed rattling. Thanks to Francesca Samsel for hosting me. Weekend at U Oklahoma with Chris Weaver was quite pleasant for career planning as well.
On October 14-19 2012, I attended the VisWeek series of conferences in Seattle, Washington. While representing RISD and performing conference organizing tasks (primarily as the art show chair with Dan Keefe and Lauren Thorson), I received a thorough update on all work being done internationally for better human insight and awareness in the realms of scientific visualization, data visualization, and visual analytics. The conference continues to grow as work picks up in wider realms and more organizations. Quite the community experience as usual.