In a cool wind in Sweden.
With a young friend in Bangalore
With an old friend in Bangalore
Teaching and learning from National Institute of Design students in a 12-day Open Elective: more on this here.
Roaming the world
This is the web site of Tim Poston, and some of the people who do stuff with me, around the planet. Some of the people are in companies, which own the stuff, so we won't be public here about that: but that leaves things to talk about.
One public thing is the company Nordic River that I helped start a few years ago, whose TextFlow makes it a lot easier to work with input from multiple authors. Instead of tracking changes, we adapt to documents the Smith-Waterman algorithm invented to compare DNA, and put it in a smooth interaction API.
Another collaboration is with Raghu Raghavan of Therataxis, founded in 2004: I've worked with Raghu for two decades now, starting with a Singapore group that became for a while the Centre for Information-enhanced Medicine (CIeMed). Several of my patents are with him, and we are now working together on xelular deformable sets and steering ultrasound hotspots to push around drugs in the brain and oil under the ground.
The hotspot steering makes essential use of Catastrophe Theory, as does my work with Dhanik et al. on fast force feedback for buckling virtual objects: When in the 1970s mathematicians were trying to convince engineers and scientists that Catastrophe Theory is useful, we didn't know enough of what they needed. Now may be a good time to renew that struggle. I find engineering students (in India) far readier to exploit the power of mathematical clarity than engineering professors.
A joy of India — which I reached in 2003 — has been the flood of high-flying students (mostly senior to the one in the second photo down) seeking projects for the skills and ideas they learn, rather than the grade myopia* I met in California. A large part of my recent work would have been impossible without them. An anti-joy of India is the visa system, which is not so much strict (that would make sense) as disfunctional. In 2011 I moved back to Singapore for a while, where I worked with the wonders of Animoto; but now I am back in Bangalore as Chief Scientist for Forus, helping computers look at eyes, and fighting blindness in the villages.
Another beginning at CIeMed was a 'reach-in' approach to 3D interaction with computers and virtual reality: Don't stick your head in and come out with a headache, put your hands in and get some work done. One descendant of that development is the virtual sculpture system like the one I dreamed of at the start: It has been fascinating to work with Anarkik3D on the geometrical code it needs. They use a version built by Reachin Technologies, which like Volume Interactions grew from that work. (3D interaction is not an easy commercial niche, but maybe the new wave of consumer 3D will change things.) I helped build a reach-in controller for MR image acquisition while I was at GE's research lab in Bangalore, and they still demo it, but GE have not yet started selling it with their scanners.
I have put private effort into the idea of a rotation-sensing mouse, because it would improve every interface I work on. This has been rewarded by the issuing of a UK patent (others pending), and industrial interest, but not yet production.
I have recently been surprised to find a way of looking at tensegrities that is different from the writings I have found, and suggests the possibilities of larger and more useful ones. I am following this up, and writing it up — no, webbing it up, with animations and videos and all — but here is a rather hand-waving and polemical start.
*A focus on grades above learning is generic in the US, but not in all Indian colleges:
A project student from a place where I do not teach or grade, doing a lot that I could never do (hunting down parts, solving semi-documented APIs,…): "Next week there are no lectures, because of tests, so I'll have more time for this."
Me: "Except for the tests."
Student (dismissively): "Well, yeah."
Grade-olaters, these are the students who in five or ten years will be eating your lunch.
A finger points to the moon. The GPA looks at the finger.
Pages here and there
My mail ID is just my name @ gmail. You can find me on FaceBook… but I log in there little, and never on Chat. (I like people to say Hi when I pass them, but on FB there are too many who say Hi — and have nothing else to say.)
I am also on LinkedIn.
Don Pedro d'Alfaroubeira
Courut le monde et l'admira.
II fit ce que je voudrais faire
Si j'avais quatre dromadaires.