Announcing the Spring 2023 Conference Grant Recipients

13 Mar, 2023

Announcing the Spring 2023 Conference Grant Recipients

The Berkeley Center for New Media is thrilled to provide small grants to our graduate students to help them share their innovative research at the premiere conferences in their field. We look forward to seeing the work of these students spread across the globe!

Meg Everett

Berkeley School of Education at the annual meeting of Society for Research in Child Development | Salt Lake City, Utah

‘Oh my God, you’re TikTok famous!’: The Blurred Boundaries in Three Viral Teachers’ Use of TikTok in the Classroom

Due to the connective nature of the web and sharing of private life that has come to typify social media applications, the worlds of students, teachers, and their schools increasingly intersect and collide, violating boundaries and norms established by formal institutions of learning. This paper examines how popular teachers on TikTok embraced and regulated the permeability of these worlds through their video posts and resultant conversations with students. Three in-depth, semi-structured interviews with viral teachers whose backgrounds reach across multiple subjects, grade levels, and regions across the United States, provide early documentation of how teachers engaged with their students through TikTok to build positive relationships and how their personal beliefs and (a lack of) school policy came to shape that interaction on and offline.

Katherine Song

Computer Science at the annual meeting of ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems | Hamburg, Germany

Vim: Customizable, Decomposable Electrical Energy Storage

Providing electrical power is essential for nearly all interactive technologies, yet it often remains an afterthought. Some designs handwave power altogether as an ``exercise for later.'' Others hastily string together batteries to meet the system's electrical requirements, enclosing them in whatever box fits. Vim is a new approach -- it elevates power as a first-class design element; it frees power from being a series of discrete elements, instead catering to exact requirements; it enables power to take on new, flexible forms; it is fabricated using low-cost, accessible materials and technologies; finally, it advances sustainability by being rechargeable, non-toxic, edible, and compostable. Vims are decomposable battery alternatives that rapidly charge and can power small applications for hours. We present Vims, detail their characteristics, offer design guidelines for their fabrication, and explore their use in applications spanning prototyping, fashion, and food, including novel systems that are entirely decomposable and edible.

Alexis Wood

Geography at the annual meeting of American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference | Denver, CO

All your base [maps] are belong to us: rethinking cartographic starting points in urban planning and geographic information science(Presenting with Clancy Wilmott)

Base maps are a fundamental starting point for planners, architects, cartographers and GI scientists in urban planning, surveying and decision making. These raster or vector tiles are often downloaded, pre-populated with pre-mapped urban formations - including roads, building outlines, parklands, urban waterways, transport infrastructure and landscape topology, and linked with geodatabases that include land classifications, street addresses, points of interest, commercial sites, toponyms and other tools that make the urban form legible (c.f. Lynch, Image of the city). Focusing on the case study of collaborative counter-mapping and spatial production by an unhoused community in West Oakland, the Wood St Commons, this paper contends that these often axiomatic base maps, in fact shape the process of negotiations over urban space in ways that privilege the fixed, the formal and the settler, from the very start. By questioning the ideologies inherent in urban base maps, we argue that the impacts felt from using such base maps as a starting point resonante in myriad ways, such as the domination of the property over the communal, and the urban over the rural. Instead, we argue for more attention to the politics base maps from urban cartographers, planners, architects and spatial scientists alike, by starting with the geography, rather than the GIS.


Graduate Group in Asian Studied at the annual meeting of British Association for South Asian Studies Annual Conference 2023​​ | Leeds, United Kingdom

Ghosts (of) in Calcutta: Viewing the Cities ‘Dead’

My paper looks at will focus on the ideas of spectrality and its relationship to urbanity in Calcutta, and will attempt to answer the question, How does the Calcutta Narrative deal with the trauma of colonisation, the extremely violent decolonial process and then the reducing importance in a post-liberalised open economy? It tries to think about how the three narratives use spectrality to deal with dissonance, and how the modern Calcutta Narrative is using ghosts to cope with the loss and trauma of decolonisation and post-colonisation. I want to explore how the narratives think of the epistemology of western scientific rationale which is key to the narratives I study, and the local epistemology of Bengal rooted in memory and ghost-like beings. What is the bizarre telling us about its people, its many memories, and what has been lost? How does one understand this through lived experiences of modern Calcutta?

Harry Burson

Film & Media at the annual meeting of Society for Cinema & Media Studies (SCMS) Annual Conference​ | Denver, CO

Metaverse, Multiverse, Server-verse: Fantasies of Control and Connection​

My paper examines the figure of the “multiverse” as it has appeared in a spate of recent films and television shows. I argue there is a meaningful correspondence between the depiction of the multiverse on screen and the recently revived Silicon Valley dream of an online “metaverse” prompted by Facebook’s rebranding as Meta. On film, the multiverse is a trope that suggests a hidden, meaningful infrastructure that brings order to reality through the interconnection of multiple universes (often comprised of familiar intellectual property). Online, the unfulfilled promise of the metaverse similarly promises to bring together the various platforms, services, and echo chambers of the web in one all-encompassing virtual space largely regulated by the exigencies of the Big Tech companies underwriting the project. Drawing out the similarities between Marvel’s multiverse (in Spider-Man), Warner Brother’s server-verse (in Space Jam) and Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse, I contend that the trope of a well-regulated universe betrays a contemporary fantasy for control and connection in response to the recent socio-political instability brought on by any number of contemporary global crises.

William Morgan

Rhetoric at the annual meeting of Antikythera​ | Los Angeles, CA

Project Cybersyn Revisited: How Financial Markets Make Sense

This proposed workshop’s goal is to re-enact (some of) Project Cybersyn in the context of contemporary financial markets. Thanks to Eden Medina’s excellent Cybernetic Revolutionaries, Project Cybersyn, the Allende government’s cybernetic decision system for economic management is likely already known to Antikythera participants. This workshop will emphasize Cybersyn’s informatic sensation of economic conditions within a central control room. Teams based on economic sectors will be formed to distribute the burden of information parsing and to model the channels that sensory organs use to communicate with an executive decision maker. This workshop will not recreate Allende’s role: entering the room to devise policy for the Chilean economy. Our more limited goal will be to integrate into the order of the market, to participate in its price discovery mechanisms. Our goal is to sense how markets sense, how they integrate information, how they self-organize and how they steer. We will create a paper trading account for the teams to share. The group will decide how to allocate funds across sectors and how to respond to geopolitical news or economic data and when to execute trades. Like operators in Cybersyn, we will attempt to understand the brain of the market. If successful, we might speculate about the interventions this knowledge affords. If unsuccessful, what is the experience of being a neuron in the market’s immanent brain, which ceaselessly repurposes our activity in imperceptible ways?
Revisiting Cybersyn aims to imagine new futures for it, but further the simulation also offers the group my experience with market intelligence platforms and with financial markets. This workshop could pose new avenues of inquiry relevant to the Synthetic Catallaxy track and others. An additional offering is my providing participants methods of piercing opacity in financial markets, presenting tools and training to interpret its voluminous data.

Sophia Perez

Geography at the annual meeting of Indigenous Imaginarium​​​ | Los Angeles, CA

Indigenous Production Methodology of “Island Time”

The Chamorro children’s show pilot “Island Time” was created and produced with an experimental methodology that privileged indigenous cultural practices over traditional filmmaking protocols. As a result of properly leveraging shared community values, knowledge, culture, and talent, the “Island Time” team stretched its meager $20,000 budget into a $130,000 pilot widely celebrated by the Chamorro community. As the show’s creator, director and show runner, I offer anecdotes about the many points of collaboration, conflict and compromise that sprung from this community production for cultural preservation.

Weiying Li

Berkeley School of Education at the annual meeting of 2023 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting | Chicago

Responding to students’ science ideas in a Natural Language Processing based Adaptive Dialogue​

We explored how Natural Language Processing dialogues that are designed following Knowledge Integration pedagogy elicit rich student ideas about photosynthesis and cellular respiration. We tested the dialogue in 7th grade middle school classrooms with 162 students. The dialog asks students to explain how animals get energy from the sun to survive. Students receive adaptive guidance based on their response, followed by generic guidance asking about their uncertainties. We found that the adaptive guidance helped students link normative ideas with evidence as well as generate non-normative ideas that needed further attention. After the dialogue, most students distinguished among all the ideas elicited and significantly improved their science explanations. Findings suggest that adaptive dialogs are a promising tool to scaffold science sense-making.

Eric Rawn

EECS (Computer Science) at the annual meeting of ACM SIGCHI ( Special Interest Group on Computer–Human Interaction)​ | Hamburg, Germany

Understanding Version Control as Material Interaction with Quickpose

Whether a programmer with code or a potter with clay, practitioners engage in an ongoing process of working and reasoning with materials. Existing discussions in HCI have provided rich accounts of these practices and processes, which we synthesize into three themes: (1) reciprocal discovery of goals and materials, (2) local knowledge of materials, and (3) annotation for holistic interpretation. We then apply these design principles generatively to the domain of version control to present Quickpose: a version control system for creative coding. In an in-situ, longitudinal study of Quickpose guided by our themes, we collected usage data, version history, and interviews. Our study explored our participants’ material interaction behaviors and the initial promise of our proposed measures for recognizing these behaviors. Quickpose is an exploration of version control as material interaction, using existing discussions to inform domain-specific concepts, measures, and designs for version control systems.

Haripriya Sathyanarayanan

Architecture at the annual meeting of Haripriya Sathyanarayanan | Dallas TX

Supportive Pediatric Healthcare Built Environment: Virtual Reality and Affect"

I am presenting a poster on my ongoing doctoral research at The Beryl Institute's ELEVATE PX 2023. 1.3 million of children and adolescents are hospitalized yearly with a mean length of stay ranging from 4.2 to 5.3 days, with expenses showing racial disparities and equity issues in health outcomes. Designing healthcare environments optimal for young patients of all backgrounds is challenging with the complex technology-intensive environments and evolving interactions between people and the environment. Hospitalization can involve short-long term separation from peers, school, and family, causing specific difficulties for the vulnerable group. Pediatric healthcare facilities have a critical role in offering supportive healing environments with age-appropriate environments addressing the unique needs and concerns of the diverse group (neonates to 21 years of age), and the needs of parents and caregivers. My ongoing studies to develop and evaluate feasibility of an experimental study using IVEs like virtual reality (VR) proof-of-concept (POC) integrated with biometrics (HRV and fEMG) to study preferences of patient rooms and affect among children aged 8-17 years and adults show promising findings from pilots.