Walker, Bruce N.
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ItemWhat's the Weather: Making Weather Data Accessible for Visually Impaired Students(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016) Tomlinson, Brianna J. ; Bruce, Carrie M. ; Schuett, Jonathan H. ; Walker, Bruce N.We determined during a collaboration project in Kenya that students with visual impairments were interested in learning about weather data as part of their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Unfortunately much of this data is not accessible to the students due to lack of integration with assistive technologies, as well as limited access to landline internet. Therefore we created the Accessible Weather App to run on Android and integrate with the TalkBack accessibility feature that is already available on the operating system. This paper discusses the process for determining what features the users’ would require, and our methodology for evaluating the beta version of the app. User feedback was positive and suggestions have helped advance the interface design. The overall goal of our project is to develop, evaluate, and integrate the Accessible Weather App into weather and meteorology learning activities for students with visual impairments.
ItemScience or art? “Sonification in the age of biocybernetics reproduction”: A case study of the Accessible Aquarium Project(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-07) Jeon, Myounghoon ; Walker, Bruce N. ; Bruce, Carrie M.With digital art being pervasive, art, technology, and science seem to be no longer separable and have been re-integrated. In fact, art history shows that when combined with them, art could give birth to a ground-breaking masterpiece. Based on that, we pose a simple question, “Can we analyze sonification works from the viewpoint of digital art aesthetics?” As a case study, we try to place the Accessible Aquarium Project (AAP) at the intersection of scientific research and art. Relying on term, “biocybernetics”, we discuss aesthetic meanings of the AAP in terms of new temporality (dynamicity), transformed relationships (combined gazes), dialectic improvement of the original (interactivity), and enacted collective art-work (embodied cognition). We hope this review will help illuminate the artistic contribution of interactive sonification and explore future directions. Further, this work is expected to contribute to facilitating discussions of aesthetics about the sonification works in the auditory display community.
ItemSonification Mapping Configurations: Pairings Of Real-Time Exhibits And Sound(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-07) Henry, Ashley G. ; Bruce, Carrie M. ; Winton, Riley J. ; Walker, Bruce N.Visitors to aquariums typically rely on their vision to interact with live exhibits that convey rich descriptive and aesthetic visual information. However, some visitors may prefer or need to have an alternative interpretation of the exhibitÕs visual scene to improve their experience. Musical sonification has been explored as an interpretive strategy for this purpose and related work provides some guidance for sonification design, yet more empirical work on developing and validating the music-to-visual scene mappings needs to be completed. This paper discusses work to validate mappings that were developed through an investigation of musician performances for two specific live animal exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium. In this proposed study, participants will provide feedback on musical mapping examples which will help inform design of a real-time sonification system for aquarium exhibits. Here, we describe our motivation, methods, and expected contributions.
ItemAquarium fugue: interactive sonification for children and visually impaired audience in informal learning environments(Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-06) Jeon, Myounghoon ; Winton, Riley J. ; Yim, Jung-Bin ; Bruce, Carrie M. ; Walker, Bruce N.In response to the need for more accessible Informal Learning Environments (ILEs), the Georgia Tech Accessible Aquarium Project has been studying sonification for the use in live exhibit interpretation in aquariums. The present work attempts to add more interactivity  to the project’s existing sonification work, which is expected to lead to more accessible learning opportunities for visitors, particularly people with vision impairments as well as children. In this interactive sonification phase, visitors can actively experience an exhibit by using tangible objects to mimic the movement of animals. Sonifications corresponding to the moving tangible objects can be paired with real-time interpretive sonifications produced by the existing Accessible Aquarium system to generate a cooperative fugue. Here, we describe the system configuration, pilot test results, and future works. Implications are discussed in terms of embodied interaction and interactive learning.