Life With Pi: Microcomputing in Academia

Allie Verbovetskaya, Junior Tidal, Robin Davis, & Stephen Zweibel

BeetBox

BeetBox by Scott Garner

A Brief Introduction

What's a microcomputer?

  • Cheap
  • Small
  • Computer

Raspberry Pi

$35.00

BeagleBoard BeagleBone

$89.00

Arduino Uno

$29.95

What are they for?

Hobbies

Retro Gaming with Raspberry Pi

Unique Needs & Interests

RFID Pet Feeder

But I'm not a programmer!

Why should I bother?

Pedagogy

  • Applications in the Classroom
  • Class Webserver
  • Repository for Coursework

Applications in the classroom

  • In-class research stations
  • Cross-disciplinary projects
  • Testing environment for coding class projects

Class Webserver

  • Class specific webserver on an SD card
  • A webserver on every student's desk
  • Virtual space for collaborative learning

Repository for Coursework

  • The paperless classroom
  • Classroom/coursework cloud storage or repository
  • Archive for past courses

Research

Applications in the lab & studio

Cheap, disposable computing


Sensors
  • Sensors!
  • Clusters!
  • Prototypes!
  • Integration with other machines!

Advantages

  • Low-cost (stretch that grant!)
  • Tight control over your machines
  • Build on code others in the community have contributed
  • Publish & brag

Sample publications

Low-cost Photoplethysmograph Solutions Using the Raspberry Pi

Basic Neuroscience: An Inexpensive Arduino-based LED Stimulator System for Vision Research

Integrating Social Network Services with Vehicle Tracking Technologies

In Situ Measurements of Phytoplankton Fluorescence Using Low Cost Electronics

Hover for full citations

Literacy

Literacy!

  • Reading & Writing
  • Digital
  • Computational (Software & Hardware)

What is Computational Literacy?

Algorithmic thinking

Basic understanding of how computers work

Capability to collaborate

Why Now?

The Internet of Things

  • Merging of the physical and digital realms
  • Proliferation of internet-connected sensors and actuators
  • Smaller, more flexible/expendable computing technology

(According to the Open University)

Analogy to reading

Important when required for government

Infrastructural when society came to depend on it


Vee, Annette. "Understanding Computer Programming as a Literacy." Literacy in Composition Studies 1.2 (2013): 42-64.

Computational Literacy in practice

def Hello world:
	print('Hello world!')

Can you read this?

What about this?

We drive cars, do we all need to be mechanics?

Not about becoming a programmer

Awareness of technology in society


Fluency in technology news: NSA, Google Books, etc.


Technical knowledge hepful for effective leadership

Computer hardware: cheap


Development software: often free


Computational Literacy: Priceless

In your English class:

Investigate how computers interpret language through Natural Language Processing


In your Biology class:

Program sensors to monitor (and email updates on) the growth of a plant


In your Sociology class:

Discuss the 'Quantified Self', track and compare personal life data

Demonstrations

Questions?

Get in touch

Allie Verbovetskaya, @alevtina

Junior Tidal, @juniortidal

Robin Davis, @robincamille

Stephen Zweibel, @zwounds