University Chapter Jam Boston/Schedule


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Event starts at noon on Saturday, Feb 16, the first day of a 3 day weekend at Olin.

One core portion of the event will be a hackathon, focused on software development for the XO. The other activities range a broader spectrum of topics that result in deep discussion and questioning as well as brainstorming, designing and possibly even prototyping activities. Along with trying to increase the presence of OLPC within the Olin community, one of the aims for this event is to produce tangible outcomes (e.g. new software, interface sketches, new or edited OLPC wiki pages) or ideas that can and will be further developed throughout the year.

We will make whiteboards and basic design materials available to facilitate the discussions and designing. Multiple “stations” will be set up in the second floor of the campus center for each of the areas being explored as part of the event. Students and other guests will be able to move from station to station and get involved with the currently ongoing activities.

For the coders amongst us, there will be an information board containing tasks for developing software or fixing bugs within current software. New tasks can be added to the board at any point throughout the day and if a certain task is completed it will be checked off.

Below are a list of current Olin OLPC Day modules with their respective activity leaders and times. (Note: you can visit as many of these as you want, and we encourage you to do so! Also, come early, as we will have XOs available to play around with as early as noon.)


  • 12:45 PM, up to an hour
  • A discussion on alternative sales and distribution models for OLPC.
  • Andy Pethan, (potentially Manu from OLPC)

Impacts of the XO on education in developing nations and primary education delivered through technology

  • 1:30 PM, up to an hour
  • Prof. Ken Hawes (Wellesley)

Open Source software and the XO

  • 2:15 PM, up to an hour
  • Allen Downey: short lecture with a discussion to follow about open source software development
  • Matt Jadud: short presentation regarding tools, infrastructure, and (most importantly) "social infrastructure" of open-source development. Will reference experience working on the Transterpreter project.

Design and the XO (Introduction)

  • 3:00 PM, 30 minutes
  • This section is intended to cover the design considerations of creating for multilingual and multicultural children users. (This is the first 30 minutes where the software interface design and power generation groups stay together. At the end of this module, software interface design will continue in the same room, while power generation folks will move next door.)
  • Matt Jadud, Oscar Mur Miranda, Ozgur Eris, (Potentially others)

Software Interface Design

  • 3:30 PM, up to an hour
  • This module will continue from the end of the introduction and focus on the usability of children’s software. Ideally, this will take the form of an activity that could take a variety of forms. Paper prototyping has been suggested as one method. With a number of educational programs in development right now that need significant interface improvements, some students may want to choose a program to start working on at the end of the session.
  • (led by mostly the same faculty as above)

Power Generation

  • 3:30 PM, 30 minute brainstorm and indefinite design/research time
  • Brainstorming and researching alternative power generation technologies for remote areas. Focus is on appropriate technology that children can access and use. Utilizing existing technology and making it charge an XO is also a major focus.
  • Chris Carrick

Global Grassroots Impacts

  • 4:30 PM, up to an hour
  • Discussion on global effect of OLPC, along with the complete industry growing around it... especially the grassroots groups springing up independently to support a project that bridges geographic, economic, technological, linguistic, class, and other barriers. How working with a bottom-up movement is different from working with a top-down hierarchy, and how to do so most effectively - how you can be a nucleation point for change without having to ask permission.
  • Mel Chua ‘07

Materials Testing

  • No set time
  • Breaking an XO and conducting materials/design analysis.
  • (Potentially Jon Stolk)

A tentative Scheudule for the event is as follows

  • 12:00 - 5:30pm: Structured lectures and discussions going on, participants come and go freely or do independent/small group projects
  • 5:30 - 6:30pm: Round 1 presentations of projects and progress
  • 10:30 - 11:00pm: Round 2 presentations
  • 4am - everyone is kicked out
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