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Electronic Publishing

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How to distill meaning from complex everyday experiences.


Principle Researcher: Walter Bender

Graduate Students:

Former Publishers:

Nathan Abramson, Joey Berzowska, Erik Blankinship, Alan Blount, Bil Burling, Pascal Chesnais, Lashaun Collier, Enrico Costanza, Klee Dienes, Joan Morris DiMicco, Cris Dolan, Ingeborg Endter, Uri Feldman, Jeana Frost, Vadim Gerasimov, Carla Gomez-Monroy, Jose Gonzalez Pinto, Daniel Gruhl, Jill Kliger, Doug Koen, Mark Kortekaas, Håkon Lie, Paul Linhardt, Cameron Marlow, Mike Massey, Michelle McDonald, Mok Chee Kong, Robert Mollitor, Marco Monroy Fonseca, Jon Orwant, Luke Ouko, Dennis Quan, Ramesh Srinivasan, Daniel Stevenson, Alexander Stouffs, Laura Teodosio, Marko Turpeinen, Sunil Vemuri, Steve Waldman, Joel Wachman, and Larissa Welti-Santos

Urops: Kris Bartol, Yi-Min Chee, Yong Chen, Ted Devlin, Maik Flanagin, Denis Gulsen, Paul Heckbert, Stephanie Houde, Tony Hu, Raymond Hwang, Erik Kay, Aya Konishi, David LaMacchia, Sean Markan, Fernando Paiz, Joshua Randall, Chuck Rosenberg, Wilfredo Sanchez, Jonathan Sheena, Mark Shirley, Dana Spiegel, John Henry Thompson, Joshua Wachman, Clea Waite

Kindred spirits:

David Boor, Red Boucher, David Cavallo, John Coate, Muriel Cooper, Glorianna Davenport, Judith Donath, Jack Driscoll, Sarah Elo, Demi Getschko, Ken Haase, Martin Hadis, Ari Heinonen, Henry Holtzman, Nat Jacobson, Andy Lippman, Rodrigo Mesquita, Nicholas Negroponte, Steve Newhouse, Kaarle Nordenstreng, John Maeda, Dick Oakley, Hannu Olkinuora, Matti Packalen, Peter Pathe, Push Singh, Chris Schmandt, Brian Smith, Gitta Salomon, Mitsuo Saito, Esa Sirkkunen, Art Tauder, John Thompson, John Watlington, Jim Willse, Dennis Wong, Vittorio Zambardino

Current Projects

Project from the Past

State of the Union
Presidential Debates
Feedback Paper
Personal Weather Comic Strip
Wireless Public Size IO Device
Error creating thumbnail: File missing
Location based search on PageWriter

The [Aspen Movie Map] was its harbinger; it all began with the NewsPeek project (1981-1984)


Occam's razor has its limits; we share a propensity for complexity.

Though the medieval philosopher William of Occam admonished us not to increase, beyond what is necessary, the complexity required to explain phenomena; this principle is has only limited applicability as a guide for living a full life.

We are exploring a constructionist approach to the development of personal and community publishing tools with the hope that it will support iteration and reflection in ways that static tools do not. Through the medium of programming (design) we hypothesize that we will find an increase in the level of personal and community participation and appropriation.

Filtering of content to suit the needs of individuals and communities of special interests was an emphasis of the early days of the Web. We built systems to fine-tune and prioritize information based on criteria that include timeliness, importance, and relevance. Still, the expectations of the Internet consumer closely aligned to those of the traditional media consumer-the role of the editor, whether human or machine, is to reduce complexity. The goal is to strive for parsimony by exposing the essence of available information.

But we are beginning to expect more than efficient access to ideas-the flow of ideas must lead to coherent thinking and learning. Our goal is to more deeply engage the information consumer-to expand scope rather than restrict it. While we are not willing to be spoon-fed, we are willing to wrestle with the most ham-fisted of technological tools, if these tools lead us to self-expression and critical thinking.

In keeping with Smith's notions of "critical computing," we are concerned with the approaches to media that will support future solutions to social, cultural, and economic problems. We view journalism (and other forms of information expression) as a model for thinking, creating, and decision-making.

To achieve this engagement with information expression, we are exploiting a unique feature of electronic media: you can look under the hood in a way that no previous medium allowed. For example, every Web browser has a menu item labeled "View Source," which allows any piece of content on the web to reveal itself and its inner structure. This means that reading and authoring become synonymous.

Authoring is only one component of a publishing ecosystem. We advocate embracing the entirety of authoring, editing, publishing, and consuming. We further advocate using programming as a means of facilitation. Specifically, we are developing new programming languages as "things to think with," in the tradition of the spreadsheet, Logo, EGGG, DBN, Agent Sheets, and Squeak.

We are attempting to remove the barriers to programming within the domain of publishing by building into our languages a representation of domain knowledge, but also representations of local knowledge (that which dictates local cultures and norms) and knowledge about people (that which is invariant among us). We aim to make the means of expression accessible, without diminishing quality or complexity.

EP theses

Marlow, Cameron Alexander, The Structural Determinants of Media Contagion, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2005 Ph.D.

Blankinship, Erik Jackson, Who’s Got Game (Theory)?, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2005 Ph.D.

DiMicco, Joan Morris, Changing Small Group Interaction through Visual Reflections of Social Behavior, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2005 Ph.D.

Vemuri, Sunil, Personal Long-Term Memory Aids, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2004 Ph.D.

Gomez-Monroy, Carla, eRadio: Empowerment through Community Web Radio, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2004 S.M.

Ouko, Luke, Documentation: A Reflective Practice Approach, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2004 S.M.

Welti-Santos, Larissa, Topology of learning and correction in dynamic balance, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2004 S.M.

Gerasimov, Vadim, Every Sign of Life, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2003 Ph.D.

Gonzalez Pinto, Jose Maria, A knowledge-network model of scientific communities, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2002 S.M.

Monroy Fonseca, Marco Antonio, Developing a framework for a minority language-based utility, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2002 S.M.

Quan, Dennis A., Pluto : community-based news server, Thesis E.E. 2002 S.M.

Srinivasan, Ramesh, Village Voice : expressing narrative through community-designed ontologies, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2002 S.M.

Stouffs, Alexandre, Clotho, a collaborative information weaving tool, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2002 S.M.

Marlow, Cameron Alexander, A language-based approach to categorical analysis, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2001 S.M.

Gruhl, Daniel, The search for meaning in large text databases, Thesis E.E. 2000 Ph.D.

Chesnais, Pascal R, A framework for designing constructionist approaches to community-centered messaging, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2000 Ph.D.

Endter, Ingeborg Loni, Community memory : building multimedia archives on the Internet, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2000 S.M.

Flanagin, Maik, Visualization of Usenet newsgroups through graphical representation, Thesis E.E. 2000 M.Eng

Orwant, Jon, EGGG : The extensible graphical game generator, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2000 Ph.D.

Turpeinen, Marko Sakari, Enabling, modeling and interconnecting active community publishers, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2000 S.M.

Hwang, Raymond W. (Raymond Weihau), A robust algorithm for information hiding in digital pictures, Thesis E.E. 1999 M.Eng

Koen, Douglas B., Time frames, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2000 S.M.

Paiz, Fernando J., Tartan Threads : a method for the real-time digital recognition of secure documents in ink-jet printers, Thesis E.E. 1999 M.Eng

Berzowska, Joanna Maria, Computational expressionism : a study of drawing with computation, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1999 S.M.

Gerasimov, V., Things that talk, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1996 M.S.

LaMacchia, David Michael, The iFlame client-based instantaneous datagram communication substrate, Thesis E.E. 1996 M.Eng.

Massey, Michael, Storytelling with salient stills, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1996 M.S.

Sheena, Jonathan A., About time for news, Thesis E.E. 1996 M.Eng.

Dienes, Klee, Information architectures for personalized multimedia, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1995 M.S.

Kang, Joseph H. (Joseph Hyuk-Joon), Generating salient skills using block-based motion estimation, Thesis E.E. 1995 M.Eng.

Kliger, Jill Susan., Model planes and totem poles : methods for visualizing user models, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1995 M.S.

Dolan, M. Cristina., Not that they in or lose, but how you watch the game : personalized sports viewing, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1994 M.S.

Hinds, Raynard Orin., Video resolution enhancement with multiple motions, Thesis E.E. 1995 M.S.

Kortekaas, L. Mark., News and education : creation of "The Classroom Chronicle", Thesis Media Arts and Science 1994 M.S.

Feldman, Uri, Quantifying the dimensions of color experience, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1993 Ph.D.

Blount, Alan Wayne, Self-organizing news, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1993 M.S.

Dienes, Klee, Newskit—an extensible toolkit for interactive electronic news, Thesis E.E. 1993 B.S.

Orwant, Jon, Doppelgänger goes to school : machine learning for user modeling, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1993 M.S.

Smith, Ryan Arnold, The timeliness server : context-dependent management of distributed news, Thesis E.E. 1993 B.S.

Abramson, Nathan S., Context-sensitive multimedia, Thesis Arch 1993 M.S.V.S.

Kay, Erik A., MIRE—a multi-user information retrieval environment, Thesis E.E. 1992 B.S.

Teodosio, Laura A., Salient stills, Thesis Arch 1992 M.S.

Chen, Yong, Lossy compression of palettized images, Thesis E.E. 1992 M.S.

Chee, Yi-Min, A FAX application for the NeXT computer, Thesis E.E. 1991 B.S.

Lie, Håkon Wium., The electronic broadsheet : all the news that fits the display, Thesis Arch 1991 M.S.

Mok, Chee Kong, Implicitly coded knowledge—content-based representations of image sequences, Thesis Arch 1991 M.S.V.S.

Orwant, Jon, Doppelgänger—a user modeling system, Thesis E.E. 1991 B.S.

Abramson, Nathan S., Design, specification, and implementation of a movie server, Thesis E.E. 1990 B.S.

Mollitor, Robert Charles, Eloquent scenery—a study of peripheral visual communication, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1993 M.S.

Papadopoulos, Haralabos Christos, Color induction of achromatic and trichromatic images, Thesis E.E. 1990 B.S.

Rosenberg, Charles Joseph, A lossy image compression algorithm based on nonuniform sampling and interpolation of the image intensity surface, Thesis E.E. 1990 M.S.

Wachman, Joel, Using head position to enhance human interfaces, Thesis Arch 1990 M.S.

Eubanks, Curtis, Chinese character tools for X windows, Thesis E.E. 1989 B.S.

Truog, Michael R., The television pause function, Thesis E.E. 1989 B.S.

Claman, Lawrence N., A two-channel spatio-temporal encoder, Thesis E.E. 1988 B.S.

Gulsen, Denis R., User presence detector, Thesis E.E. 1988 B.S.

Linhardt, Paul Michael, Integration of range images from multiple viewpoints into a particle database, Thesis Arch 1989 M.S.V.S.

Bartol, Kris, Thesis E.E. 1989 B.S.

Olkin, Terry M., An adaptive input system, Thesis E.E. 1988 B.S.

Devlin, Thomas Edward, High resolution video stills, Thesis M.E. 1987 B.S.

Hu, Antonio C. (Antonio Chung-Hua), Automatic emphasis detection in fluent speech with transcription, Thesis E.E. 1987 B.S.

Konishi, Aya, Auto-cassette : (the automatic clipping service for TV news), Thesis E.E. 1986 B.S.

Thompson, John Henry, Thesis E.E. 1983 B.S.

EP-affiliated theses

Frost, Jeana, Impression formation in online dating, description, experimentation and intervention for an online world, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2005 Ph.D.

Barry, Barbara, Mindful Documentary, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2005 Ph.D.

Schwartz, Marc, Process Makes Perfect, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2005 S.M.

Fields, Noah, Interaction Harvesting for Document Retrieval, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2005 S.M.

Perry, Ethan Lewis, Anthropomorphic Visualization: Depicting Participants in Online Spaces Using the Human Form, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2004 S.M.

Dai, James Jian, Visual Intelligence for Online Communities Commonsense Image Retrieval by Query Expansion, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2004 S.M.

Hadis, Martin, From generation to generation : family stories, computers and genealogy, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2004 S.M.

Sparacino, Flavia, Sto(ry)chastics: a Bayesian network architecture for combined user modeling, sensor fusion, and computational storytelling for interactive spaces, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2002 Ph.D.

Frost, Jeana, Visualizing health : imagery as data for changing personal practice, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2001 S.M.

Sack, Warren, Design for very large-scale conversations, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2000 Ph.D.

Lackner, Tamara, Enhancing Children's Educational Television with Design Rationales and Justifications, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2000 S.M.

Rhodes, Bradley James, Just-In-Time Information Retrieval, Thesis Media Arts and Science 2000 Ph.D.

Wexelblat, Alan, Footprints : interaction history for digital objects, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1999 Ph.D.

Pan, Pengkai, I-Views : a storymaking community of, by and for the audience, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1999 S.M.

Dakss, Jonathan, HyperActive : an automated tool for creating hyperlinked video, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1999 S.M.

Emnett, Keith Jeffrey, Synthetic News Radio: Content Filtering and Delivery for Broadcast Audio News, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1999 S.M.

Ivanov, Yuri A., Application of stochastic grammars to understanding action, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1998 S.M.

Evard, Michele, Twenty heads are better than one : communities of children as virtual experts, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1998 S.M.

Verplaetse, Christopher James, Inertial-Optical Motion-Estimating Camera for Electronic Cinematography, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1997 S.M.

Elo, Sarah Kristiina, PLUM : contextualizing news for communities through augmentation, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1995 S.M.

Metral, Max, MotorMouth—a generic engine for large-scale, real-time automated collaborative filtering, Thesis Media Arts and Science 1995 S.M.

Donath, Judith, The electronic newstand [sic] : design of an intelligent interface to a variety of news sources in several media, Thesis Arch. 1986 M.S.V.S.

Salomon, Gitta B., Design and implementation of an electronic special interest magazine, Thesis Arch. 1986 M.S.V.S.

Keast, Jeffery David, The design and application of a personal printer/scanner system, Thesis Arch. 1985 M.S.V.S.

Bove, V. Michael, Personalcasting : interactive local augmentation of television programming, Thesis Arch. 1985 M.S.V.S.

Hourvitz, Leo, Stills from movies : personal photography and the personal computer, Thesis Arch. 1985 M.S.V.S.

Pathe, Peter D., A virtual vocabulary speech recognizer, Thesis Arch. 1983 M.S.V.S.

Gano, Steve, Forms for electronic books, Thesis Arch. 1983 M.S.V.S.

Weil, Peggy, About face, computergraphic synthesis and manipulation of facial imagery, Thesis Arch. 1982 M.S.V.S.

Heckbert, Paul, Color image quantization for frame buffer display, Thesis Math 1980 B.S.

Bender, Walter, Animation Via Videodisc, Thesis Arch. 1980 M.S.V.S.