books Archives

January 6, 2007

Book List

These are the books I'm reading (not in any order):

Malcolm Gladwell, Blink
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point
Adam Greenfield, Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing
Clifford Nass and Scott Brave, Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship
James L. Adams, Conceptual Blockbusting
Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
Marshall McLuhan and Lewis H. Lapham, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By
Ellen Lupton, Design Writing Research
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Naomi Klein, No Logo
Tom Standage, Victorian Internet
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations
Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Peter Shankman, Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work--And Why Your Company Needs Them
Marjane Satrapi, Embroideries

and listening to an audio book by David Sedaris (he's really sarcastic).

May 30, 2007

Wearables and Soft Materials, Process and Materials

Many of you asked for my research in wearables and soft materials...


Some Links:

Material Connexion,
Material Research Society,
NY Times on Chalayan,
Swift Textile Metalizing LLC, tel. 860 243 1122
Sauquoit Industries, tel. 800 858 5552,
Shieldex, tel. 315 597 6687,
Lumitex, fiber optic textiles that are woven,
Electric Plaid,
Emfit, Plastic film that converts motion into electricity,
Flexinol, with shape memory material,
Integrated Circuit, metal yarns and woven circuits, Sensitive Carpet, multilayer conductive fabric,
Softswitch, flexible fabrics,
Blowprint, relief printing,

Other materials to explore: Tyvek (the stuff the FEDEX envelopes are made of), conductive velcro, metal snaps, magnets, reed switches, conductive fabric, conductive ink (looks like nail polish), different folds, conductive film



Blushing Dress – Phillips

Ames laboratory research on metamaterial and magnesium-diboride wire segments

Electronic paper or E-paper, I saw this at Wired Nextfest. On the sleeve of a military uniform is a screen made out of this paper. To navigate between interfaces, you press soft switches, which are located in the sleeve of the uniform. Conductive ink is printed on paper.

Conductive Film, produced by General Electric

Suzanne Tick, Inc.

Kennedy & Violich Architecture
Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich

DDCLAB (acronym for design, development and concepts)
Robert Crivello and Savania Davies-Keiller


NYU PROJECTS on Wearables [All of these prototypes work]:

1) Andrew Schneider – Solar Cell Bikini

2) Terence Arjo -
YoTaxi! Video -
[By waving your arm vigorously via persistence of vision, you can hail a taxi visually]

Personal Space Suit - [coat that has porcupine-like quills embedded]

3) Carolina Pino – This is a wearable for kids, a kind of musical instrument jacket. When a child presses buttons on the jacket, it plays the sound of an animal or music]

4) Doria Fan - [I really liked the RFID medical alert bracelets and the inflatables breasts dress [low-tech]

5) Jenny Chowdhury – intimate controllers
[] –The user plays pong with intimate wearables.

6) Grace Kim's The Soft Electric --

7) Joshua Dickens – - Glowscarf – a scarf that lets you know when your cellphone rings

8) Britta Riley - Rapid prototyping fabric sculpture usin MAYA

9) Fiona Carswell, Nanna Halinen, Kate Hartman, Kati London, Megan MacMurray, and Alice Tseng-Planas

10) Joo Youn Paek, Zoonori, origami musical instruments using Tyvek

11) My own experimentations with soft circuits using conductive thread and conductive fabric (bluetooth bracelet with phototransmitter), [1], [2]


Other Links:

Signal Propagation and Multiplexing Challenges in Electronic Textiles


Material World 2
Folding Architecture: Spatial, Structural And Organization Diagrams
Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006 (catalog), Suzanne Tick
Spoon, Issey Miyake, A-POC, process of fabrication
Paper Fashions (from More Paperwork) – paper as textiles
Rei Kawakubo, Kyote Costume Institute (exhibition), Japanese stencil paper
Rachel Sleight, The Sun, News Group Newspapers, beautiful dress made out of recycled paper, and skirt for Fabriano Spa, Hussein Chalayan – dress made of Tyvek, look like air mail stationary, Kei Ito – vest made of handmade linen paper, and dress made of Tyvek, performance costume

Hella Jongerius

November 22, 2007

Design Bookstore in NYC

Urban Center Books, The Municipal Art Society of New York


I found this design bookstore that covers just about every design book or magazine, even if you're searching for something so obscure. This reminds me of Hennessy and Ingalls (design/architecture/art/photography bookstore in Los Angeles, located at one of the cross streets of Third Street Promenade). I stumbled upon this bookstore, while I visited the Jane Jacobs exhibition (457 Madison Avenue at 51st Street). Clay Shirky's Network Effects class introduced Jane Jacob's book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The exhibit is amazing, which I'll probably post later, but to give you a hint, Jane Jacobs is the New York version of Eleanor Roosevelt.

This store has books on different materials (glass, metal, concrete, building structure, lightweight/mobile), typologies (medical, offices, healthcare, restaurants, retail, pools/spas, sports/leisure, high rise), construction (concrete, wood, facades), sustainability, architecture, photography, typography, urban planning, foreign (books from Japan, Germany, etc). I asked if this store is permanent, and it is. They just have longer hours during the Jane Jacobs exhibition.

Here are some sample books:









March 2, 2008

Clay Shirky's book

If you are interested in social computing, collective action by groups, sociology of groups, and group dynamic, then this is the book for you. Download his podcast from


This book is clearly written, succinct, and relevant and current of the technologies we use today. Each chapter is composed of a story to demonstrate the psychological theories, but the difference, these aren't controlled experiments from the 60's (residue from my undergrad studies in psychology). Reading the first chapter reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, basically comprehendable to lay people like me.

Anyway, I'm a little biased because I had Clay Shirky as a professor twice.

April 11, 2008



Lately I have been trying to find new ways for finding books that aren't mainstream or related to "how to do... design" books, and I think I may have found my answer. Typically, I've use Amazon's "Friends that like this book may also like this book..." but it's great for books about technology (i.e. you're friend might recommend a book about that type of technology you're looking for). I read in Utne that people tend to search for new books by attending readings at indie book stores, but how to get onto a mailing list of that sort is always skeptical. I found a solution, which is attending some events to NYPL LIVE. I've been to three so far, and they've always been excellent. The first event I attended presented Chris Anderson and Lawrence Lessig, which featured Anderson's book The Long Tail: Future. Last year, I attended "Part 1: Propaganda Then and Now: What Orwell did and didn't know" which featured George Soros and Orville Schell. In both cases, I knew at least one of the speakers (Lessig and Soros), which drew me in. Yesterday, I signed up to attend event based on the title of the program, Against The Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob(which is the title of the book being promoted) and really didn't know what to expect. The speakers were Lee Siegel (the author of the book and former journalist), Nicholson Baker (author of various books about libraries), and Heidi Julavits (editor of Believer magazine). All three had great points on the differences between bloggers and journalists, user-created/user-generated media, echo effect and internet culture. I wondered where Mr. Baker was when I was doing my thesis last year. Mr. Siegel also mentioned futurists Stephen Johnson (seen him speak in Red Burn's class) and Malcolm Gladwell (author of Tipping Point and Blink). I ended up picking two books from this talk.

The next event I bought tickets for is in June, where Salman Rushdie is going to promote his new book The Enchantress of Florence. NYPL LIVE sells tickets first-come-first-serve basis, so I was able to get a ticket today.

April 27, 2008

Amy Tan on Creativity

August 5, 2008

New Tagging Feature on Amazon...

A couple of ITPers showed me this new tagging feature on Amazon (I'm not sure if it's new or if I'm just late), but I will probably investigate a little further for Hypershelf and Smart Shelf (thesis and collaborative projects), which use tagging. I just bought this book about Processing (Casey Reas and Ben Fry) authored by Dan Shiffman, a professor at ITP.


This book is suppose to be for beginners. Link to Amazon.

August 6, 2008

Learning Processing By Daniel Shiffman


I just bought this book so I can refresh my skills at coding. The trick with Processing is to find the right instructor, and to practice, practice, practice! Daniel Shiffman was one of the most sought-after Computational Media professors at ITP. He teaches ICM (intro class), Nature of Code, and Programming from A to Z, and the Friday Review Sessions for ICM. So he has a lot of experience teaching non-tech people programming. All of those classes were full, and some had waiting lists of 35 people.

He has just written this book, and Amazon is selling it for only $45 or $50. I think if you pre-order it costs slightly less. I say "just only $45 or $50" because a typical class at ITP is or was approximately $4000.00. Now that's a steal.

December 16, 2008

Print is Not Dead, Yet...


So I was contemplating on designing a print version of my portfolio, and just happened to check-out my friend, Pete's new book. He designed it through Blurb, which is affiliated to Flickr. You download Blurb's BookSmart software, and there are a dozen of templates of styles and sizes to choose from. This is great if you don't want to shop for the holidays. I spent Saturday evening creating 3x50 page photo books, and ordered them online.


It is slightly slower than InDesign, however there are many advantages like the templates, and when an image's resolution is questionable, a warning icon appears. I'm not sure if the software automatically converts RGB to CMYK, but who cares? The prints are reasonably priced. You can choose a softcover or a couple of options for hardcovers. For another $3.00, you can print on Premium Paper, which I would recommend (of course, I only saw this option after ordering the first two).


Afterwards, if you do plan on selling your book, you can set the cost of your book, whether you want to sell the printed version on Premium Paper, and to opt for an online-preview for your readers. Within a couple of hours, your book will appear within the first 5 results of a Google Search. Btw, the preview is limited to the first 15 pages, so don't think that your other 35 pages are missing.

Estimate $10-20 for shipping depending on if it's a rush. And as always, check your work (copy and photos) twice.

January 24, 2009

Dot Dot Dot, The Urbanist, Part II

A slide from Adam Greenfield's Presentation

Adam Greenfield, who taught at ITP, and wrote the book titled Everyware also spoke at Dot Dot Dot, and now head of design direction at Nokia. He researches many ubiquitous computing systems. I can't cover everything he spoke about, but if you want to see some of his presentation slides, visit my Flickr set. Here are some of the highlights that you can look up or read about in his new book The City Is Here For You To Use:

UNStudio with Arup Engineering: Galleria West, Apgujeongdong in S. Korea

u-Cheonggyecheong: Instead of cleaning the stream, they wrapped it in media.

Tom Armitage, Making Bridges Talk: What if the London Bridge could Twitter?

u-City New Songdo: totally networked, and can track everything down to tagging soda bottles with RFID tags that can automatically credit your account even if you throw it in trash. Every action is recorded and mediated. This project is still a work-in-progress.

Massive simultaneity: The 1K Project

MITsenseable city lab/New York Talk Exchange (NYTE)

Mosaic of Singapore mall: A photo that shows a lady moving through a mall physically, but this mosaic also shows a layer of secondary information--who is on the other end of her mobile phone. We should think about cyberspace (Being on phone is like being in cyberspace) when we think about designing the physical space.

Stamen Design: Oakland Crimespotting
Think about constraints in analysis (e.g. Taxonomy of police department is already a constraint (e.g. categorizing rape).

iPhone/Flickr: Geotagging/Search urbanism, browse urbanism, make urban API. If we check the weather before we go out, we are conditioned to that networked information, hence Adam calls this a "network overlay." Contemplate how this "overlay" reflects every decision we make (i.e. real-time info).

I've also added Adam Greenfield's blog to my RSS Feeds and Google Reader.

November 27, 2009

Tim Burton

First of all, MoMA is exhibiting Tim Burton's work.

Aside from that, if you don't live in New York, check out this site I found:

It features episodes of Stain Boy, and some characters from the Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy. There is an edition where the cover is black and purple (beautiful cloth bound). Most of the animations are done in Flash and are beautiful (they are funny, ridden with sarcasm). Tim Burton is a creative genius.

Also, check out his free fonts (which are cool, and not as cheesy as most free fonts):

February 1, 2010

Hallmark and technology...

Just saw two projects that I thought were really interesting with Hallmark. The first is a printed book with a recorder (google: Hallmark recordable book), so the small device captures you reading a story to your kids. Below, if you click on the link, you can watch a video of how this works. I find this a very engaging experience.


The second is a voice-recognition stuffed animal. I remembered while I was attending ITP, several students experimented with this type of interaction. There are several types of interactions that are described here:

September 2, 2010

Sneak Peek at NYPL Live Events

Supreme Court Associate Justice STEPHEN BREYER & JEFFREY ROSEN
in conversation with Paul Holdengräber
Monday, September 20, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation
Monday, October 18, 2010 at 8:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

Monday, November 15, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

Also, Toni Morrison, and more... click here.

September 13, 2010

NYPL Live Events...

They had previously listed Jay-Z, but I don't see him scheduled anymore. Here is the new schedule. Steven Johnson and Toni Morrison are listed. To purchase tickets, click here:

LIVE from the NYPL Fall 2010 SEASON

Supreme Court Associate Justice STEPHEN BREYER
in conversation with JEFFREY ROSEN & Paul Holdengräber
Monday, September 20, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation with Paul Holdengräber
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

LIVE from the NYPL and The Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
in conversation
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation
Monday, October 18, 2010 at 8:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

OMG: Stories of the Sacred
Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 8:00pm in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation with Paul Holdengräber
Friday, October 22, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

Saturday, October 30, 2010 (time TBD) at Symphony Space, NYC

in conversation with Paul Holdengräber
Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 7:00PM in the South Court Auditorium

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation with Paul Holdengräber
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation
Friday, November 12, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

in conversation with Paul Holdengräber
Monday, November 22, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

The Robert B. Silvers Lecture
Friday, December 3, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Celeste Bartos Forum

September 27, 2010

ePubs and iPads

This sounds fairly inane, but I just figured out how to add ePubs on my iPad. Actually, a friend told me because it wasn't obvious.

You can add ePubs to your library through iTunes. On your iPad, open the iBooks app, and you will see your ePubs there.

Look for your "Book" tab, and drop the epubs in your library as you would drop your mp3 files. Also, iTunes won't accept ".lit" files.

As for PDF files, My friend told me that PDF's work in iTunes, but I tried, and it didn't work. I like to user the GoodReader app. GoodReader won't accept ePubs files. You can make multiple bookmarks. While you can't take notes on digital post-it notes or highlight (like the iBook, see fig.1), you can organize your content into folders (e.g. readForWork, entertainment, tech, see fig.2). There are several controls at the toolbar (fig.3), including "crop," manage bookmarks (you can create multiple bookmarks and name them too, fig.4), search, etc.

How to transfer PDF files to GoodReader
Sometimes you might want to read a report, but not carry your laptop with you. If your report isn't a pdf, just click on "Print." Below is a btn labeled "Save as PDF," which will prompt you to name your pdf and save it to your computer locally. Then open the GoodReader app, and click on the wireless icon (#1 in fig.5), which will prompt a screen giving you an IP-address (#2 in fig.5). Now on your laptop, click command+K simultaneously, and enter the IP-address from your app to the from box labeled "Server Address" and click "Connect." You will see your iPad as a drive. Just transfer your files to your iPad, and Voila.






October 2, 2010

CFDA Fashion Book

I was happy to see my work in this book. It was published two years ago, but nevertheless, I am happy and thankful that it lives in print and that Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) was involved. I thought Art Tavee did an amazing job photographing the bracelets.

Candy Pratts Price, Jessica Glasscock, Art Tavee, American Fashion Accessories CFDA (Assouline, 2008) 260-269.





November 5, 2010

Tufte Conference...

I had the wonderful opportunity to see Edward Tufte speak. I highly recommend anyone who is a designer, developer, business/product manager, education, information services, and/or IT to go his event. It is a one day course that costs $400, and you receive all 4 books.

He opens with this animation:

InfoViz that displays all these bits of information: past, future, present (in white), visual music interface, pure information/content.

Please feel free to download my notes, but you will need his books as a reference. Please excuse any grammatical errors since I was typing on my iPad:
Download file

Also, below the fold of his site, there are a list of links to discussion topics:


December 6, 2010

New York City at Night Book

Nice work by photographer Evan Joseph Uhlfelder, an ITP alum.


Book signing event:
December 8th, at the rooftop lounge of 75 Wall Street, at 6:30pm

If you're not around, check out his site here:

September 15, 2012

Book Depository and Gilt

Found about this site via an online class I am taking. Book Depository is an online store that ships worldwide for FREE. There are some advantages and disadvantages in comparing this site to Amazon (e.g. great for purchases under $24.99 though some books are marked at the retail price, unlike Amazon).

In any case, I really like this feature that displays the most recent purchases from all around the world. You can see the dynamic version here.


It is interesting to see the different book titles spanning from gastroenterology to games to romance, which are plotted across different continents. I saw at one point a couple of purchases of the same title in the UK and in Australia, and not sure if this tool was working, or if they were in an online book club or online class. As simple as the interface is, I think this is a great tool for discovery.

Another site employing a similar technique is gilt (see live version here).


December 15, 2012

Great post by Arik Hesseldahl on Andy Rooney's bookshelf

I’m certain Rooney never read that email, and though I can’t prove it, I’m betting his producer did. Because two months later, Rooney closed the April 22, 2007 edition of 60 Minutes with a segment that included a few of his favorite books (Link goes to the video, which is not embeddable). They were: three dictionaries; a heavily used edition of Modern English Usage by Henry Watson Fowler. Walter Lippman’s A Preface To Morals; four leather-bound volumes by Charles Darwin; and the fifth edition of The Modern Researcher by Jacques Barzum and Henry Graff, also heavily used.

Here is Andy Rooney's segment on books (can't open the video, but maybe that is because of my browser):


I, too, have been fascinated with what is on people's shelves. I was so interested that I tried to translate this fascination into a physical object, a shelf connected to an RFID reader:

This initial prototype did function the basics (with the help of ITPers: Kazuhiro Nozaki, Josh Cheng, Max Weng, James Sears). However, there were some issues to be resolved like finding an RFID reader that had anti-collision properties (and was small enough and affordable). This investigation led to my thesis project, Hypershelf.

January 26, 2013

Free UX ebook resource...

One of my co-workers, Glynn Phillips (btw, an awesome front-end-developer with a keen sense of ux) shared this resource with me:


January 27, 2013

Great recommendation for InfoVis book by ITP List

I <3 the ITP Alumni list. There was a thread of reading material for information visualization. Of course, various people recommended the Tufte books. But there were 2 books that I purchased. Here is the title of the first one: Now You See It. I tried looking for information but only found the Table of Contents (TOC). Based on the TOC, I purchased it, and was pleasantly surprised.

pg 41 lists attributes of data
• length
• width
• orientation
• size
• shape
• curvature
• enclosure
• spatial grouping
• blur
• hue
• color intensity
• 2-D position
• direction of motion
Here are some photos:

Part-to-Whole and Ranking Patterns

This surprised me because the Part-to-Whole ratio has a visual definition.

Anyway, buy the book if you are interested.

October 29, 2013

User Testing Resources from the ITP list

I have not been involved in User Testing and the User Testing Process for about a year. I did find this interesting discussions on my alumni mailing list:

This may be of use: Erika Hall's Just Enough Research.

An excerpt is available here:

• Measuring Usability (
• FiveSecondTest (
• Chalkmark (
• Feedback Army (
• Loop11 (
• UserTesting (
• UserZoom (
• WhatUserDo (
• TryMyUI (
• Morae (

Ways to quantify your research:
1. Time on task
2. Success rates
3. Error rates

December 8, 2013

Malcolm Gladwell's New Book

Malcolm Gladwell just published a new book, titled David and Goliath. They are a collection of stories about the psychology of underdogs.

August 22, 2014

NYPL LIVE: Fall 2014 Season Tickets are on Sale

In chronological order:

Ben Lerner | Paul Holdengräber
Bio: Fulbright Scholar and author of Leaving the Atocha Station
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

Joseph O'Neill | Hal Foster
Bio of Joseph O'Neill: Cullman Center Fellow and author of The Dog
Bio of Hal Foster: Townsend Martin Class of 1917 Professor of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University and winner of the Clark Prize and the Frank Jewett Mather Award
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

Alexei Ratmansky | Paul Holdengräber
Bio: Born in St. Petersburg and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow; performed with and choreographed for some of the world’s greatest ballet companies, including American Ballet Theater and the Bolshoi Ballet and author of Dreams of Japan
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

Michael Ignatieff | Paul Holdengräber
Bio: Centennial Chair at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York and the Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of Politics and the Press at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and author of Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013)
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

Marjane Satrapi | Paul Holdengräber
Bio: Author of Persepolis and preview of her new film The Voices
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2014, 8 - 10 P.M.

Bryan Stevenson | Sister Helen Prejean
Bio of Bryan Stevenson: Public Interest Lawyer, Professor at NYU Law School, and Founder of Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and author of Just Mercy
Bio of Sister Helen Prejean, author of

Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty
(movie with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

George Clinton | Paul Holdengräber
Bio: Recorded as Parliament-Funkadelic, "revolutionized R&B during the ’70s," received a grammy for Grammy, a Dove (gospel), author of his memoir, Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

[SOLD OUT]: Neil Gaiman | Paul Holdengräber
Bio: Author of Coraline and The Graveyard Book
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

Tehran Noir | Tel Aviv Noir
Multiple authors: Etgar Keret, Gina B. Nahai, Salar Abdoh, Assaf Gavron
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

William Gibson | James Gleick (attended this event last year, and it's worth every penny)
Bio of William Gibson: Recipient of Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award and Science Fiction author of Neuromancer
Bio of James Gleick: Finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize, and author of biographies, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman and Isaac Newton
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.
He autographed by copy of Pattern Recognition

Robert B. Silvers Annual Lecture: Joyce Carol Oates
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

Salman Rushdie | Marlon James (attended this event a couple of years ago, and it's worth every penny)
Bio of Salman Rushdie: 2008 Library Lion and author of The Enchantress of Florence
Bio of Marlon James: Recipient of awards 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and Minnesota Book Award, and author of The Book of Night Women
MONDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2014, 7 - 9 P.M.

NYPL LIVE: Marjane Satrapi

I am soooooo lucky that I scored tickets to see Marjane Satrapi, one of my favorite Graphic Novelist/Author of Persepolis. This book is so good that it even made me cry. I have her collection.

Marjane Satrapi mesmerized audiences with her poignant graphic memoir Persepolis, a narrative that was at once personal and political. Satrapi joins Paul Holdengräber to discuss the unique challenges and rewards inherent in narratives of social protest, and offers a sneak peek of her new film, The Voices.

Produced with support from the British Council and in partnership with the IRCPL at Columbia University. The nature of personal narratives in the context of social movements will also be the topic of conversation in an afternoon session on Friday, October 17 at Columbia University, featuring academics, memoirists, and journalists. Please visit for details.

MARJANE SATRAPI rose to fame in 2000 with the success of her graphic novel Persepolis, a story about her youth in Iran in the 1970s and '80s. Published in France, the novel won several prestigious comic book awards, including Prix Alph’art Coup de Coeur at Angoulême, Prix du Lion in Belgium, Prix Alph’art du meilleur scénario, and the Prix France Info, and was named one of the "100 Best Books of the Decade" by The Times (London). The animated film adaptation of Persepolis garnered international acclaim, including the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, and won two Cesar Awards for Best First Film and Best Adaptation. Satrapi’s other literary works include Monsters are Afraid of the Moon, a children’s book, Embroideries, and Chicken with Plums, which was turned into an award-winning live action film. She has worked on a number of films, such as Gang of the Jotas, and The Voices, which stars Ryan Reynolds and will be released this year. A painter in her free time, her work has been exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris (October 2011) and Galerie Jerôme de Noirmont (January 2013).

Cited from NYPL LIVE website:

NYPL LIVE: Bryan Stevenson & Sister Helen Prejean

When I was a kid, my parents, as most Asian parents, tried to push me to be a doctor or lawyer. I wanted to be a doctor more than a lawyer, but I was also interested in art. Then I watch Inherit the Wind, and really wanted to be a lawyer. Read more about the film here on Wikipedia []. After I graduated, I went abroad to teach, then decided to apply for law school. You have to take the LSATs, which was fun, but before dropping over $100k, I got my paralegal certificate (3 or 6-month overview of Constitutional Law/Statute Law, etc.), and worked at two law firms, and may I say the experience was far from being "an Erin Brockovich." Julia Roberts played her in the film []. My experience was paper pushing, coding, and politics. I am glad I have the experience because I can create my own provisional patents, and edit contract templates. If I were to go back in time, I think I would have been an Intellectual Property paralegal/attorney. I like to draw and read about technology. Anyway, I am glad that there are people like Bryan Stevenson and Sister Helen Prejean, advocates for the poor and incarcerated.

Yes, I am a fan of the film, Dead Man Walking, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Read more about the movie on Wikipedia []. NYPL Live is hosting a discussion with these two authors.

Does our criminal justice system lack mercy? Could the U.S. legal system exact justice if it abolished capital punishment, or eliminated mandatory minimum sentencing? These questions are at the heart of Bryan Stevenson’s new book, Just Mercy, which explores these issues and chronicles his career as founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. Joining him at LIVE is Sister Helen Prejean, from The Ministry Against the Death Penalty and author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States.

BRYAN STEVENSON is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He's a professor of law at New York University Law School and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) [], an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. EJI won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional (too cool). He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued six times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 14 honorary doctorate degrees.​ His book is entitled Just Mercy.

SISTER HELEN PREJEAN is the public face of the Ministry Against the Death Penalty. She spends most of her time giving speaking engagements across the USA and internationally, teaching people about the realities of the death penalty and encouraging people to educate themselves on the issue. She is the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, which was developed into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen and Sean Penn as a death row inmate, and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions. Sister Helen has served on the board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and is a member of Amnesty International and an honorary member of Murder Victim Families for Reconciliation. Presently, she serves as the Honorary Chairperson of Moratorium Campaign, a group gathering signatures for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty.

Cited from NYPL LIVE website:

August 23, 2014

[Edtech]: STEMteachersNYC: Standards-Based Grading

I have gone to one STEMteachersNYC event on [], and open-source Java based code for artists and designers. First off, STEM is an acronym for (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). I was pretty impressed with the teachers in this group. I worked with two high school teachers, who were teaching Processing, Arduino inputs (software-to-hardware and hardware-to-software interaction), scary that some kids are learning this in 10th grade, when I learned this program in my mid-thirties. Within 20-40 minutes, my group created a simulation of a decaying leaf over 365 days, including day and night. That was one of the issues I had in graduate school. Artists and designers were creating beautiful art, but not using the program to simulate science. I saw some projects simulating Visual Calculus techniques that simulated a presentation from a Caltech Professor, Mamikon Mnatsakanian [New Horizons in Geometry(Dolciani Mathematical Expositions) Hardcover – January 18, 2013 by Tom Apostol (Author), Mamikon Mnatsakanian (Author)]. I also saw cool applications of teachers teaching Trigonometry, sine and cosine by creating the application, and editing the program. Processing is the new Mathematica (this software was $100k at one time).

I am attending this event on assessment. I have been interested in retention. Why can I remember almost every colleagues' thesis or class projects in graduate school, but on a MOOC, I need to review content. In both physical classes and digital classes, assessment was very important, but very different. Since approximately 70k-100k can take one Coursera class, students are often graded by their peers using specific examples of rubrics. Anyway, there are 30 spots:

More about this event and how to join the group below:

• Elizabeth Dowdell (Urban Assembly Maker Academy, Manhattan)
• Steven Carpenter (Avenues: The World School, Manhattan)

DESCRIPTION: Standards-Based Grading (SBG) begins with standards that teachers author/choose/revise and that they apply in their classrooms. Rather than a top-down directive, these standards are a helpful tool that teachers use to make required work and acceptable performance levels transparent. Instead of receiving a traditional letter or number grade on an assessment, SBG allows teachers to provide students with feedback on their mastery of a set of specific skills and content knowledge. With SBG, conversations become more focused on learning itself rather than report card grades. SBG can also be used to help meet the demands of Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and Danielson’s Framework (especially component 3d).

In this workshop, we will share our experiences developing and implementing Standards-Based Grading systems in our classrooms. During the first part of the workshop we will present specific examples and resources from our classrooms, along with discussions regarding why and how we made the shift to SBG and some of the challenges and rewards we experienced. During the second part of the workshop, you will have the opportunity to work in groups to experience the process of developing/choosing standards and to discuss how those standards impact instruction and grading.

Elizabeth teaches physics and Steve teaches physics, engineering, physical science, and computer programming. In addition to using SBG in their own classrooms, both Elizabeth and Steve have experience implementing SBG with interdisciplinary teams. Thus the focus of the workshop will be on a variety of disciplines, and the strategies and tools considered will be useful to any teacher, irrespective of subject.
Receipts and Certificates documenting participation are available.

STEM (Science-Tech-Engineering-Math) teachers, including physics, chemistry, biology, earth science physical science, and general science teachers
Teachers of any subject interested in making their evaluation of student work more meaningful and transparent as well as in developing explicit standards and connecting them with grading.

Students interested in becoming teachers or engaged in preparing to be teachers.
ACCELERATED MOTION APPARATUS AND WHITEBOARDS. There is a simultaneous workshop at Teachers College on “Accelerated Motion Lab Make-n-Take & Intro to Modeling.” If you wish to do so, you can order whiteboards (6 for $20) and/or one or more of the accelerated motion apparatus setups for $10 each (or 8 for $64) at . The whiteboards and apparatus will be available for pickup in room 414, down the hall from the SBG workshop at 1 pm.

CAPACITY: limited to 30 participants.
ORGANIZER: Fernand Brunschwig, Math, Sci. & Tech. Dept., Columbia Teachers College
To join STEMteachersNYC, fill out survey:

By the way, I met with Fernand Brunschwig, founder of this program, and author of a college physics text book. You can google him, or check out his books on scribd [].


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