Arquivo da categoria: Events

Pernambucoders

Some moments become unforgettable in our career. It was quite unexpected that I ended up standing in front of the state governor, the secretary of Education, the secretary of Science and Technology, some former professors of mine like Geber Ramalho, André Santos and Silvio Meira – the latter quite a local celebrity, my students, and colleagues,  in a room full of other people, photographers and the press.
I was there because I helped planning and starting the project Pernambucoders, Silvio Meira’s idea to spread programming clubs in public schools of our state of Pernambuco, aligned with a worldwide tendency. Silvio Meira has already done a lot for the development of the state, particulary in IT, and he has always been a visionary. I was proud to be invited to contribute to make this real, with the expertise we have from the course that prepares teachers of Computer Science for basic education (in Portuguese, Licenciatura em Computação). A course that is many times neglected, but which is growing in importance over the years, given the campaign for introducing computational thinking in schools.
I was also very proud to see our students as mediators of these programming clubs: the progress they’ve made and the challenge they’ve accepted.
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So I went there, trembling from head to toe, and I spoke from my heart. In my wildest dreams, I had not foreseen such a moment, such an opportunity to show the local society that we’re here, at UFRPE, we’re good, we’re willing, and we can make a difference.
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News in the local media (in Portuguese):

UDESC

I was invited by Prof. Aleksander Paterno, who knew me through Bragfost, to give a talk on how tangible technologies can contribute to children’s learning, at the State University of Santa Catarina (UDESC), campus Joinville, in the south of Brazil. The talk was part of an event to celebrate Teachers’ Day (15th of October). It was a great pleasure to visit UDESC – everyone was very kind and welcoming. I took the chance to visit Prof. Marcelo Hounsell’s lab (LARVA), where a number of games for education and rehabilitation are developed. It was an exciting afternoon!

IHC 2016

IHC 2016 took place in São Paulo, at IBM Brasil, 4th-7th of October. I had the pleasure and honour of presenting and discussing the theme of “Education in HCI and the new interaction technologies” with Prof. Cecilia Baranauskas (UNICAMP) and Prof. Milene Silveira (PUC-RS), as part of the WEIHC (Workshop on HCI Education). I was invited by the workshop organisers, Prof. Clodis Boscarioli (UNIOESTE) and Prof. Luciana Zaina (UFSCAR).

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I also organised the Thesis and Dissertations Workshop with Prof. Simone Barbosa (PUC-RJ), where we discussed the work of six students who are doing their research in varied themes within the are of Human-Computer Interaction.

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Hard work, but fantastic time with this very nice and high-quality Brazilian HCI community.

BRAGFOST

I was invited by Prof. Fernando Buarque (UPE) to participate in the Brazilian-German Frontiers of Science and Technology (BRAGFOST), in September 2015, co-organised by Brazilian funding agency CAPES and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The event took place in Aachen and Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, in Germany. We were first brilliantly received by Prof. Bernd Markert for the Pre-BRAGFOST Workshop in Aachen, where we visited Aachen University and had a full agenda.

Then off to Bad-Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, where Brazilian and German researchers from four themes presented their work and exchanged ideas: “Adaptive techniques for individualized learning”, “Effective chemical sequestration methods aiming at protecting the environment”, “Functional brain mapping for understanding and treating the CNS”, and “New engineering technologies for future medicines”.  I was chosen as a presenter for the first track, and for the rest of the time did my best to understand the other talks and ask questions, as we are very encouraged to do.

BRAGFOST was an amazing experience. I am still not sure how I ended up there, but it was an excellent opportunity for networking with Brazilian colleagues Seiji Isotani, Ig Bittencourt, Sean Siqueira, Thaís Castro and Ellen Francine, besides meeting German colleagues. The event was a perfect balance of science and leisure!

I was extremely impressed by the German organisation, as the whole event was perfectly ran, everything on time and all as expected. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation accommodated us in a luxury hotel in this lovely village of Bad-Neuenahr, where we also visited to European Academy of Technology and Innovation. In every place we visited, people took time to receive us with kindness and attention, always offering tea, coffee and food (oh, and food was delicious).

I am very thankful to CAPES and Prof. Fernando Buarque, and whoever pointed him my name, still unkown to me. Well, if you ever read this, thank you!  😉

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