This is my current exciting side project: Evan and I are working to make learning an integral and fun part of travel by building a StackOverflow-style Q&A community where the questions are quests and can only be answered by journeying to new locales. Maybe you want to see some examples of mythological symbolism in Zen gardens, but can't go to Japan yourself. You can set up a quest for someone to find them for you. Maybe you are in Japan and have no particular plans for your trip. You happen to notice an open quest about Zen gardens and think it's interesting, so you decide to sniff around on the scribe's behalf, sending back photos and a description to report what you've learned and collect your reward.
Tost Weddingphotos :: vows :: source
For our wedding on April 1, 2012, Evan and I decided in typical California style to DIY as much as possible. This meant that we each made our outfits (my dress and his jacket and vest), we fabricated our rings (he made mine in the old way using a silver bar and a forge, and I made his in the new way using a 3D printer), we brewed our beer (CAST IRON RED, HEFE BURBUJAS, and DEEP STORAGE PORTER), we wrote our vows.
For bonus points, since we're both nerds, we built soft electronics into my dress that would sense how close we are together using a pair of XBEE radios and light some number of LEDs accordingly. We also rented the Mexican party bus (which I highly recommend) and performed a moving rendition of I'm on a Boat while popping actual Santana Champ, which you can buy in Napa.
H2O IQvideo :: designs/source :: systems project
H2O IQ is a smart watering system hooked into a drip irrigation system. It includes an in-garden moisture monitoring device and a web interface. The in-garden device's moisture sensor is built of two nails submerged in plaster; the plaster absorbs water similarly to a plant's stem so this is an effective method of measurement. The device also contains a servo which it uses to control water flow through the drip irrigation system. Finally, the device also has a simple on-board microcontroller and XBee radio which it uses to update a server's record of its moisture as well as to query the server for optimal or desired watering settings.
This project was built as a part of Bjoern Hartmann's inaugural interactive device design class in Fall 2012, and it was simulated in a scaled up version as part of Kubi's CS262A course in the same semester.
STEAMLabs TorontoEvan and I helped out with the 2017 STEAMLabs Zero to Startup program teaching teenagers how to use digital fabrication and electronics to make their ideas for physical products come to life.
BiD SeminarsI was the one-time organizer of the weekly Berkeley Institute of Design seminars. You can get on their email list if you're interested in getting announcements!
BASISBay Area Scientists in Schools is a program where the science-inclined can spend an hour in an elementary school classroom once per month (or more often) and teach kids science through hands-on activities. Evan and I have written a couple of lesson plans for this, but haven't had a chance to try them out yet...
Berkeley CSGSAAs the outdoor events coordinator and one of the social coordinators for the CSGSA at Berkeley, I am partially responsible for ensuring that grad students maintain some kind of work/life balance. :) I have run events like
- Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge
- Monthly international movie night
- A skiing trip to Tahoe with the EEGSA
- Board games night