Got Brain Activity?

Ever wanted to see if you really had activity in your brain?  I know, sometimes your friends might wonder.  But you do.  The U.S. Archery Team uses brain activity to track their team’s focus and relaxation levels.  You can use it to fly a helicopter (okay it is just a toy helicopter).

You are probably thinking — hey I would like to be able to do that and actually convince my friends I have brain activity.  Well, you can.  Just buy a brain-computer interface and connect it to your computer or smartphone.  You may be thinking that sounds a bit complicated.  Not really.  You can do it yourself.  Just buy a NeuroSky MindWave Mobile headset (see image below) and download some apps from NeuroSky’s store and start proving your friends wrong!

NeuroSky MindWave Mobile Headset

Katie Dickerson (Computer Applications & Poverty Studies) has been testing out the NeuroSky MindWave Mobile headset for us with the Puzzlebox Orbit helicopter.  She has found the helicopter to be a bit hard to control.  Not because she doesn’t have any brain activity!  Quite the contrary.  She is having a hard time using the controls on the app to maneuver the helicopter.  She can get the helicopter to go up and down, but she just can’t get it to go anywhere else.  I’m sure it is just a matter of time until she gets that figured out.

We plan to use the headset to research how well the device can help people to focus.  Think of students and homework.  Employees and projects.  Faculty and their research.  You get the idea.  Anyway, stay tuned to our blog for an update of our research on the headset.  We hope to have something more to report back to you by the end of spring semester (maybe some pictures of Katie flying the Orbit too!).

Notre Dame Mobile Summit

R U thinking Mobile First?

Come to the next Notre Dame Mobile Summit, Friday, September 28 in the Eck Hall of Law, to hear how Notre Dame is thinking mobile first to improve teaching, learning, research and university services.

Sessions Include:

  • “Mobile U” Mobile devices and the future of research and teaching. Elliott Visconsi, Associate Professor of English at Notre Dame
  • “Mobile at ND” Where we are and where we are going.
  • “Lightning Sessions” Presentations for coders, producers and users.
  • “Building Apps” How to get started with Apple app development tools. Steve Hayman, Apple Consulting Engineer


Whether you know how to write code or not, this event is for you! Presentations will cover: how to use mobile devices, to how to deliver content and services to mobile devices, and how to write code for mobile devices. The Mobile Summit is also a great opportunity to talk with others in and around the Notre Dame community that are passionate about mobile – all in the context of seizing opportunities and solving problems.

Have to go to class or meetings during part of the summit? No problem – come and go to different sessions throughout the day as your schedule allows.

On February 24, Notre Dame hosted the first Mobile Summit in the Mendoza College of Business. Events included presentations by faculty, staff and students as well as brainstorming and discussion sessions. Watch presentations and see photos from the first Notre Dame Mobile Summit.


Virtual Learning Showcase: Exploring Microsoft Surface for Teaching and Learning

Microsoft Surface promotes active learning, collaborative exploration, and real-time feedback. At this session, Jon Crutchfield highlighted Surface pilots under way at the University of Notre Dame involving collaboration among undergraduate students, faculty members, and staff members in the following disciplines and departments: business, engineering, geography, library, science, and information technology. He displayed how the Microsoft Surface enables new modes of human-computer interaction and learning including interacting with physical and digital elements in the periodic table, exploring the history of buildings on campus, and creating new learning strategies and modalities using interactive gaming.


Notre Dame: ND MacDev TimeLimit Utility

At the LabMan 2009 Conference hosted by Notre Dame, Jeffrey Hanrahan presented two sessions about a Macintosh Xcode Application named TimeLimit. This application runs in the background and provides a means to properly log out a user after a pre-determined period of time and/or a pre-determined amount of idle time (no movement of the mouse or keyboard). It will log out a user even if there are any unsaved documents and if system messages are pending. There were a number of feature requests and enhancements requested by the conference attendees throughout the sessions and we are pleased to say that they have been added to the application. The TimeLimit application, and others, can be downloaded at our Code Repository page.


“Building Your Own Low-Cost Lecture Capture System”

Every year, AcademiX holds 4 annual conferences sponsored by Apple around the nation. Each conference holds a poster session, where each poster will be judged and prizes given to the top three. The Academic Technologies team won the second-place award for their poster, titled “Building Your Own Low-Cost Lecture Capture System”, which highlighted a lecture capture system that streamlines live event recording and automatic uploading to iTunes U. For finishing in second place out of a total of 12 entries, the presenters Jeff Hanrahan, Xiaojing Duan, and Paul Turner received an Apple MacBook laptop.