Glass Education in a New Era

Monday, Oct 23, 2023



November 2-4, 2023



Dr. Cesar Torres, Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, and Justin Ginsberg, Assistant Chair of the Art and Art History Department participate at the UrbanGlass Academic Symposium in New York on November 2-4, 2023. This international gathering of esteemed educators, innovative artists, and scholars is an engaging and thought-provoking conference that delves into the critical issues facing glass education. The theme of the symposium in 2023 is “Glass Education in a New Era.”

At the symposium, professors Torres and Ginsberg will present the results of the user study in the hot glass shop focused on the integration of smart sensing interactions into workshop tools. In 2021, Torres and Ginsberg, along with other faculty across departments received a half-million-dollar REU (Research for Undergraduates) grant through the National Science Foundation. In the summer of 2022 and 2023, students from across the country applied, accepted, and conducted research through a variety of projects. The glass area challenged and prompted the REU recipients with a unique opportunity to study material interactions in the glassmaking process.

Molten glass relies heavily on external forces that are in constant conversation with a maker’s manipulations (e.g., gravity, centripetal, and centrifugal forces). These actions compose a choreographed dance of complex, nuanced motions that are individualized to the specific maker and vary drastically as delineated by skill or artistic process. How might we understand patterns and motifs in these actions and support skill transfer? Prior work demonstrated how an unsupervised machine learning technique could use sensor feeds (e.g., biosignal and motion data) to annotate traditional forms of ethnographic materials (e.g., video and audio recordings) to identify important periods of activity that distinguish user groups (e.g., experts versus novices). However, understanding and recognizing the types of activities that occur with physical tools and environments must navigate several socio-technical factors, especially within smart makerspaces.

At the UrbanGlass symposium,Torres and Ginsberg will be presenting the results of their work, which explored:
• how wearable technologies may provide support for relaying feedback in the cognitive background to preserve attention on the activity at hand.
• the design and development of a smart sensing glassworking rod that detects user rotations of molten glass and uses activity recognition techniques to distill a profile of expert and novice glassblowers.
• the development of a set of wearable devices retrofitted with different feedback modalities (i.e., light, vibration, sound, heat).