Mapping Out My Global Experiences

I recommend viewing the map on a full screen format, and you can do so by clicking the link here!

Traveling has always been something that I have enjoyed doing since I was very young. I love the thrills and the sense of adventure from meeting new people and seeing places that I have never been before! The other day I was experimenting with a web mapping application from the website ArcGIS. The program allowed me to highlight specific landmarks that displayed my travels throughout the years. I found this activity to be very fascinating and it became sort of a passion project for me. Seen above is the completed interactive web map of some of my greatest travelling experiences. The map is organized into sections to detail the different trips that I had taken, and each location, when clicked on, reveals more about my personal experiences there. Many of the landmarks have attached personal pictures of my family and I on these trips. Feel free to take a look and zoom in and out if needed. I really enjoyed putting this together, and I felt that this was another unique way for others to get to know more about my life and what I enjoy doing!

Concepts on Human Cognition vs Digital Technologies

Smarter Than You ThinkIn an excerpt that I had read from Clive Thompson’s book Smarter Than You Think, the topic on the power of human cognition and how technology affects it made me really delve into this discussion. In his book, Thompson goes in depth into the questions of whether or not the emergence of computers have become a substitute or “crutch” for our expanding learning and thinking. He uses a series of examples to analyze this concept and asks the reader to think about their own understandings on the subject from past experiences.

One of the most intriguing examples that I read from the book was the event of a chess competition in 1997 between the grand master champion of the time, Garry Kasparov and the “Deep Blue” Supercomputer. The opponents had played a total of 6 consecutive games and by the final round, the supercomputer had won within a mere 19 moves! The astonishment of the situation was from the fact that it was said to have been able to comprehend over 200 million moves each second of each game, much faster than any human could even process. From this event, Thompson went on to raise the notion that, with technology ever progressing at a rapid rate, is it safe to say that computers themselves will triumph over our own cognitive abilities? I for one definitely say no, and from Thompson’s later arguments, he seems to think so as well.chess human vs computer

I believe that technology can be used as a means of furthering our thinking patterns in ways beyond simple comprehension and calculations. In past articles, I wrote about the aesthetics of how the computers themselves act as essentially “tools” for connecting us to each other’s thoughts, ideas, and new discoveries of information. In the book, Thompson brings up an important chess event that occurred in 1998 which is brought to fruition the idea of the Kasparov Centaur. This concept was based around the fact that a human player could team with a supercomputer and play against an opposing team consisting of another player and another supercomputer. Kasparov and his computer played against another supercomputer and a chess grand master by the name of Veselin Topalov. The supercomputers from both teams had the ability to recognize forms of patterns and possible plays to gain an advantage for the respective sides, but the human players had the ability to use intuition to play the tournament towards their own advantage. This form of play was a prime example of how humans and computer technology “collaborated” between each other to accomplish a given goal and work efficiently. What was amazing statistically from this event was that prior to the use of the supercomputers, Kasparov would beat Topalov 4-0. The odds, however, were evened out with a resulting a 3-3 win between both of them with the help of the supercomputers.

While reading about the advantages of collaborative use in technology, it allowed me to realize that there is more to the benefits of its use in our society than simply using efficient programming to perform simple tasks or connect with others around the world. Cognition, as my neuroscience professor once put it, is “the collecting of all the information that we perceive from our senses, experiences, and insights so that we may be able to form a basic understanding of a subject of interest and apply it”. It is a mental process that is constantly evolving and changing the way in which we think. Because we are constantly being fed new information and trying to make sense of it, technology is a way of “storing that new information” and helping us make sense out of it. Thompson defends this claim by bringing up the nature that digital technology is just a further advancement in the consolidation of new information. I find it interesting that he brings up the point that man has been collecting new knowledge for centuries since the explosion of paper and writing utensil usage. Digital technology is just the advancement of what people have done for so long, just putting it onto a screen and seeing where to take this idea of sharing and storing knowledge. I have to say that the collecting of information and data is more than just that. It is a direct representation of the thinking and understanding of humans. Physicist Richard Feynman once told historian Charles Weiner once that his own writings are not merely “day to day works”, but ARE his “train of thought”!

Coming from this concept, we can relate this idea to the “rewiring of the brain”. We adapt all the time to the changes and advancements that the modern age brings us with technology, and while some argue with statements that “computers make us stupid”, there is much more to the debate than that! Sure, it may be hard to ignore that many people may be too reliant on the usage of

human brain rewiringtechnology for performing small or simple tasks that may not take as much thought, but it is also hard to ignore the amount of good that it has brought.

When I ask myself about the pros and cons of digital technologies, I reflect on my own personal experiences with it. There are times when I realize how dependent some people can be on the need for digital services to accomplish simple tasks like calculating a tip after a meal when eating at a restaurant, or performing a simple arithmetic calculations when it can be done so mentally. It is easy to see the real problems of it being used as a crutch, but when it is used to be so much more as a “tool” for learning, then it has the potential for helping us achieve feats that transcend beyond these daily activities.

As I said previously, I believe that it can be used to increase our cognitive ability and connect. Computers are great with considering infinite numbers of options to play a game of strategy like chess, predict weather patterns for the future forecast, or even maintain stocks and calculate percentages of net gains and losses, but at the end of the day, it still is meant to be used a service to mankind. We see in the movies and books about “post apocalyptic” futures where machines have a thinking of their own, but I would say that that cannot be a case as we have control over our technology. We have a choice of setting a boundary on what we can achieve, and it is only through our cognitive abilities that technology can come as far as it is. As Thompson argues, it is the innovation of man and his plethora of knowledge at his disposal that has made technology to accomplish feats meant to help us. We can solve problems and find creative solutions in much faster ways with it.

Digital Innovation Technology

The book claims that in our current time, we have a more “public thinking” which allows us to share ideas and through using tools like the internet, we are able to shrink the amounts of information into more manageable ways. If we think about it this way, our constant expansion of learning networks and growth of information is still needed to innovate and continue to solve growing problems that concern society, no matter what they may be. This can only be pursued, however, if we look at it in the perspective of “collaboration” and less of a competition between our own cognitive abilities and a computer’s. After reading some of the ideas in this book, I hope to research more into the topic of Kasparov’s Centaur and see how its ideas influenced much of the technology landscape of today. I don’t doubt it will be interesting reading to follow up on!

A Bonafide Buzzfeed Experience!

buzzfeed-logoThis past week, my professor wanted all of the students in my class to expand our creativity a little more and learn how to use some new tools on the worldwide web! He gave us a link to a series of web assignments called ds 106 (ds standing for “digital storytelling”) and asked us to either pick an assignment from the provided bank of activities, or come up with one that we could think of ourselves. Naturally, I scrolled through the list of options that I had to try to get some kind of idea on where to start. Many of them seemed very interesting to try out, but out of all the assignments that were put together, only one of them really caught my attention and curiosity.

This specific assignment tasked me to create my own personality quiz on the website Buzzfeed. I found the assignment intriguing because I have taken multiple internet quizzes over the past few years on the website with many of my friends, but I never really considered creating a quiz of my own. The first step before creating a quiz was to look at other created quizzes and see how other people had created their own ones. I also examined what types of topics these quizzes covered. Most of the topics and quizzes that I looked through were for pure fun and enjoyment. Because of this, I decided to create a quiz post on something I found to be all in good fun as well. I soon came to the idea to make a personality quiz on the comic book superhero Superman!

Superman is a character I loved watching in movies and television shows growing up. I used to enjoy reading some comic stories about him as well, and I consider him to be my favorite superhero of all time. He has such a rich history of interesting supporting characters, villains, locations, and events that really does capture the imaginations of people all around the world! I felt that this personal project of mine was a way for people to have fun learning which character in the Superman universe they would most be like based on a series of 10 questions that ranged from their ideal place to live to their ideal career profession. In order to increase result diversity, I decided to add a total of 9 different results, thus allowing 9 different answer choice options for each of the 10 questions that I added into the quiz.

I found the digital storytelling 106 assignment to be extremely fun overall, and I even gained a skill on how to make interactive web quizzes for internet users to take! The assignment was not only useful in acquiring new knowledge on the vast amounts of tools and resources that the web has in its disposal, but also to gain a wider understanding of how users can use their creativity on the internet!

The Link to my Buzzfeed Quiz can be found in the link attached below:

Which Superman Character Are You?



Connecting with Pre-Med Blog Sites

Blog-Map-Displaying-International-or-Worldwide-BloggingRecently, after surfing through the web, I have been interested in finding other blog sites that covered topics that I find beneficial and interesting. Attached to this post are found 3 blogs that really stood out to me for several reasons and interests. Each of them cover subjects that I personally find to be very enjoyable and informative.

As a pre-med student, building on my learning of various pre-med courses are imperative to my success in medical school preparation and understanding of the subjects themselves. In addition to such, building a personal learning network is beneficial to get great personal tips and advice and listen to stories of others who have had similar experiences as the ones who are reading them. For me, the blog site that really caught my attention was I found this site to be a great collection of facts and professional advice from a trained physician whose had quite a bit of experience in his field. Many of the articles were very informative regarding the medical school admission interview process, maintaining the undergraduate GPA, and MCAT study habits. In addition, the blogs are great perspectives on the details of what to expect prior to attending medical school.

The second blog site that I found to be quite helpful was This site is written by an undergraduate student from St. Lawrence University in New York. When reading through the posts, I found them to be very relatable and personal. The author gives some great tips on preparation efficiency and time management for studying for undergraduate pre-health courses and the MCAT, both tips that are extremely useful for me! The writings are relatively more casual, but the content is valued and clear nonetheless.

The last blog site that I felt would be beneficial in my learning network was www.get-into- This website offers excellent tips on almost all aspects of a pre-med’s academic life. I found the topics to be well organized in tabs, and the specific posts that relate to any specific subtopic that I may need is easily accessible. I even wrote a comment on her MCAT preparation article. Like the other two blogs, the posts are lengthy and detailed, and the author allows the readers to really understand where students need to focus most in order to be the best qualified applicant possible. Already being a medical school graduate, her accounts and tips are definitely something I will be reading into in the future along with the other 2 sites!

CXH6Y6 Doctor holding stethoscope

A Wikipedia Experience

In this past January Term, I had the opportunity to learn how edit articles on Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. It was definitely an experience unlike any other that I had. From editing the Wikipedia articles, I came to understand the importance of expanding on factual information. Going through the tutorial, I realized that there are numerous editors and contributors who continuously watch and maintain credibility of different articles that are edited. Any major edits have to backed up by both primary and secondary sources. As a result, Wikipedia articles are essentially a tertiary source of information that collects vast amounts of primary and secondary sources to substantiate its article’s claims.

In my web design class, I was assigned to make a significant contribution to a Wikipedia Article of my choice. I decided to edit the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science web article. As a graduate of the academy, I had a love for the program. It was a memorable experience that really shaped my outlook on my college career. My interest to edit this article came from noticing that much of the student life volunteering and academic requirements had been minimal and not up to date. I was curious to how I could personally expand upon the article, so I decided to look back on my experience and do some research. One of the major edits that I had contributed was adding a volunteering section detailing some of the general opportunities that most TAMS students participate in along with describing community projects founded by TAMS students themselves.

In my graduating class (the Class of 2015), we were able to expand on numerous TAMS non-profit start ups that promoted volunteering and community outreach. One of the most prominent that I was eager to write about included Forward Tutoring and PCS 2 Prosper. Forward Tutoring was a program that started around 2011 with a beta launch. Its mission was to tutor students from across the country through online services provided by TAMS students themselves. As a result, students who are tutored, give back to the community by pledging to volunteer at other non-profit organizations in need of assistance. I had the pleasure of working within the program as a tutor, and the impact that I was able to see from the students and the communities were promising. PCS 2 Prosper was another smaller organization that focused on helping volunteers collect donated laptops and computers, make any repairs, and distribute them to local schools and homes within the Denton area. This was another project founded by TAMS students that happened to be a success and has a decent turnout for participation even today.

Another major edit that I had the chance of making was to add statistics to the Academics section on some of the achievements that TAMS students have accomplished at the Siemens-Foundation Science Competition within the past 3 years. The data that was added to the article was referenced from the official Siemens-Foundation website along with a few articles from the TAMS website. My third and final edit consisted of adding to the academic curriculum section of the page that detailed minimum GPA requirements and academic privileges.  These edits were referenced in the official TAMS website academic policy page.

The assignment was a very challenging one at that, as Wikipedia is a constantly evolving resource. Finding the right article to edit and significantly contributing to it took some time. I searched through several articles on numerous topics. Initially, my interests were to edit an articleTexas_Academy_of_Mathematics_and_Science_Logo on a topic in medicine (viruses, antibiotics, diseases, etc.), but I had realized that so much information has been verified already that it would have been extremely difficult to effectively contribute to any of these articles. My knowledge of many of these subjects is also limited considering I’m not a physician (YET)! In the end, I felt that this article best suited me in that it was something that I personally had an experience to be apart of, and through my time as a student in the academy, I had gained enough knowledge that I felt confident in making a valuable contribution to an article that more accurately attributes to the vastness of opportunities that TAMS stands for.


Drawing Connections From Blogs

Digital worldRecently, I’ve been surfing many of my classmate’s blog posts. Naturally, like with many websites, the content and opinions expressed were all very fascinating. Most of the posts had a personality to them that really spoke for what each of them believed. One of the more interesting topics for me while reading the posts was the theme of internet “openness” and what it meant for the digital world on a global scale. Of all the posts that I had read through, the following three excerpts were three that I found to have a lot of say on the subject.

“In terms of education, being “open” means having access to as many materials as possible as long there is access to the internet. This excerpt is significant because it explains that. I believe open education is crucial in our society because there are so many bright minds out there who can make a difference, but don’t have the opportunity to. Open education allows individuals to connect to our society and access more knowledge. I hope one day that everyone worldwide has a way to reach the internet.”  -Nikita Patel


I very much agree with what she is saying here about the importance of education “openness”. The way in which a learning environment that promotes digital sharing across a web could potentially be beneficial for students in the long run. Through this connectivity, young minds will be able to be enriched with new information and data from other minds across the other side of the world. Having a completely “open” system is very difficult to achieve, however, due to certain foreign restriction policies. When considering this concept ideally, the statement brings up a great point for the argument that “working out loud”, as stated in a previous post, builds more connections and promotes collaboration of ideas to achieve a goal. Not only can people from across the globe learn from each other, but they can also discover and explore new concepts, thoughts, and ideas that any one of them may not be able to alone. In the end, these are all great points to claim when advocating for the use of an “open” environment.

The idea that not everything on the internet is free or open is very true, but I also think this statement is over exaggerated. Today the biggest web corporations use open source including Google, Facebook and Twitter, open source is basically the makers of a program giving the source code for their creation. The writer of the article gives an example of Facebook, yes Facebook has its privacy issues but it still does a pretty good job of allowing openness, there’s about 20-25 open sources available which stretches out about 4 platforms including IOS and Android.” -Adoba Yua


This statement provides some examples some relatively “open” digital environments. As stated by Mr. Yua here, the modern digital age thrives on the usage of social media applications like Google, Twitter, and Facebook (to some extent) to inform the public on global news, weather, politics, and advancements in the fields of science and mathematics. They also allow users to build a connective “network” of people through programs like Google +, Facebook profiles, and Twitter accounts. With this considered, there are some form of concern that I have with this claim, specifically when addressing the “openness” of Facebook. Over this past January Term, I have grown to learn a lot more about what it means to share and surf an “open” digital environment. Programs like Facebook are essentially applications that do to some extent restrict users to what can be available to them. It creates its own environment, and organizes links, advertisements, and social network according to your liking, ultimately creating a personal web environment to the user under their own domain. While the presence of some open sources exist, and the program itself is considered enjoyable for many, the ability to seek out information through the internet is limited by corporate influence. The amount of controlled sharing of content can be of concern when arguing for a more open web, so it is important to look at the facts on both sides of the debate.

“Currently the way many people are using the web is detracting from being able to connect one another in my opinion. People are making items of their work visible, however it does not necessarily indicate that connections are being made. Instead, I think it’s creating more of a niche- with people closing themselves off. Currently governments are still in the process of oppressing individuals from allowing their voices to be heard. These issues are hindering for not just the individuals wanting to share their thoughts and ideas, but for people willing and needing to hear the ideas being held back.” -Anjali Pullarkat


I believe that this statement is interesting as it takes a look at the opposite side of the argument that the web is considered more “open”. It restates the problem with forming an ideal digital world of sharing and connecting content and data among one another. To an extent, I understand where she is coming from in this post as she indicates that the way that many foreign policies work is that they restrict information sharing between its respective citizens and the outside world. The complications of how the internet and worldwide web are both viewed between various countries cannot necessarily be ignored. In an age where corporate control over major web domains are becoming increasingly more common, this is something to think about. Many of these organizations prefer to protect private information from the general public, even though some may even create products that promote public use. While I may not agree completely with the fact that people generally make items of their work visible primarily for self promotion and creating a niche, it is difficult to argue that such an intent is not a reason at all. Nonetheless, I believe that connections are being made with others who have similar interests and can create potential benefits from each other through these works. The internet and the worldwide web, however open it may be, does have its benefits in creating interactive communities in which people can learn, connect, and promote themselves across a global landscape!

Interconnecting of the Web

Observing Neural Synaptic Responses to Pain

During my Freshman Year at the Texas Academy of Math and Science, I took an introductory Biology course in Animal and Plant Physiology. As part of the laboratory section of the class, I, along with two of my research partners, Prashanth Ganesh and Jonathan Huang, was tasked to take on a research project involving an important field of study on one of the human body systems. Being a student interested in the studies on the Brain and Nervous System, I had suggested to focus our group’s research interests on the nervous system’s response and feedback mechanisms to pain stimuli. Fortunately, my group members were interested in the idea as well.

Recently, I had organized a prezi detailing the the mechanisms in how the nervous system interacts with external pain stimuli and responds with appropriate signalling. In the prezi, I organized the flow of the presentation in such a way that I could first clearly define what “Pain” represents in the perception of the human mind. In order to explain the nervous system’s mechanism to responding to this “feeling”, I first focused on the foundation of what constitutes the nerves themselves. Nerve Cells (Neurons) are constituted by axons, dendrites, axon hillocks, and cell bodies. Each part of the neuron is crucial in directing electrical signals from one neuron to another in order for the brain to gain input, process the information, and carry out the respective actions. By familiarizing the audience with these concepts and terminology, the biological processes in which the neurons communicate through signal transmission can be understood.

I then described the classifications of the different types of neurons that exist within the body. With regards to the interest of pain, I focused primarily on a type of sensory neurons known as nociceptors. These neurons acted as “response” cells for particular stimuli that were considered potentially harmful and/or painful to the human body. What my partners and I found quite interesting while we were researching the subject of nociceptors was that these particular neural cells’ activity could be regulated based on specific types of pain stimuli consisting of temperature variations (extreme heat or cold conditions affecting the extremities of the body), piercings or sharp breaks of the skin’s surface, or the presence of chemicals. Depending upon the severity and type of stimuli, the amount of activated nociceptors could vary from person to person, only testifying to the extreme complexity that the nervous system possesses.

From these facts, I continued the presentation to highlight the process of presynaptic and postsynaptic terminal interaction between  multiple neurons and the functions of neurotransmitters. This led into the topic of the molecular biology of neuron response signalling through the processes of depolarization and the creation of action potentials. I elaborated on how the excess of Sodium (Na+) ions flow inside a membrane of a channel, thereby increasing the charge of the overall membrane potential. Electrical signals are generated and flow from one synaptic terminal to the next until repolarization occurs and potassium (K+) ions flow out of the membrane of the channels decreasing the positive charge of the potential.

To help illustrate the process of the nervous system mechanisms, I used several diagrams on the makeup of a neuron as well as video describing the processes in even further detail. All the media used in the presentation were accredited to the respective original sources.  Since the videos were made available for public use and viewing under Youtube, the content was assumed to be used under the Fair Use Doctrine.

To wrap up the information that my group and I had researched, I concluded with an article that we had found rather interesting and very relevant to future research on synaptic control to pain. The original article was appropriately accredited within the presentation. The research described is still being conducted to this day, and it is only a matter of time until we can reach valid results that can further our understanding of neural synaptic communication and responses to stimuli.

To View the prezi on the official website, click the link attached:

Thinking About the Meaning of Working Out Loud

Brain Gears

When looking at the picture above, you might be asking yourself, what exactly do you mean “Working Out Loud”? Does it mean to express your thoughts openly as you work? How about verbalizing exactly what you are doing as you do it? Maybe you are thinking about the famous Ed Sheeran song!?!? (Actually, that’s more like Thinking Out Loud) Well in a way, yes (except for the Ed Sheeran Song of course), but it’s more than just that. In order to really analyze the meaning, we have to look at the concept of an “open network”.

The idea of openness on a network sharing community is something that is important to think about. When talking about this definition in such a perspective, it can usually be emphasized by the legal definition. It essentially states that an open network is one in which any person can access, use, modify, and/or share freely without the use of specific permission for any sort of goal or purpose. This definition was later clarified by David Wiley, Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer of the Lumen Learning Organization. He stated that in order to consider content as “open”, it must adhere to the 5 requirements:

Open Network

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download,duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend) (Wiley, n.d.)

He explained that the more the content possesses each of these 5 characteristics, the more “open” it is considered to be. This is an important for the concept of “Thinking Out Loud”, as it expands on sharing of ideas through a community network and opens up more opportunities. In an article touched upon Thinking Out Loud, author John Stepper explains that the importance

Making Connectionsof this idea is beyond the scope of simply blogging and reflecting. It is a way in which one can visibly share his or her work to others with the intent of creating a connected network of people who can build and expand upon the original content. With this in mind, a network can be considered more effective and new connections can be made between the original content creator and the other contributors. From these specific connections, opportunities arise to better a work and more meaningful thoughts. This open model also reflects on the concept of leading through sharing. Not too many people may initially think about this, but accrediting and sharing content as a collaboration of people can lead to more interactions and appeal from others. Most generally like to focus on works in the interest of self promotion for better opportunities, but as Stepper comments, the open nature needs to favor leading by generosity, and not in self interest. One of the final major points that I personally found interesting while reading John Stepper’s article is that the open network model allows for more people to help each other accomplish an envisioned end goal. Sometimes a goal may be harder to reach with one person alone, but with a network of many, it may not seem to far of a stretch. Whether that may be to promote a work for an organization successfully, find more projects to work on within a career field, or meet new people who can help find new and exciting jobs within an industry, collaboration can increase one’s chances of finding sincere help. Of course, there are always loopholes and concerns working within this mentality within a practical situation, but it is nice to think about when working on projects. I feel that this is a model that, with practice and experience, could give one a better understanding of the pros and cons of.Networking-Cartoon


Looking Back at the “Dynabook”-A Precursor to Smartphones and Mobile Devices of Today

“Devices” which variously store, retrieve, or manipulate information in the form of messages embedded in a medium have been in existence for thousands of years. People use them to communicate ideas and feelings both to others and back to themselves. Although thinking goes on in one’s head, external media serve to materialize thoughts and, through feedback, to augment the actual paths the thinking follows. Methods discovered in one medium provide metaphors which contribute new ways to think about notions in other media.”

Recently, I was able to find a paper that really fascinated me on some early concepts and ideas of what eventually led to projects like the development of laptops, tablets, and smartphones. In the late 1970’s (aroundDynabook Concept 1977 to be exact), a paper was published by researchers Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg of the Learning Center Research Group of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, highlighting the benefits of producing a personalized mobile communications system that would be able to meet the needs of the consumer in numerous information related ways. They described its main capabilities as being able to handle problem solving and basic programming capabilities, contain memory and storage of large amounts of data files, edit word documents, generate paintings of concrete or abstract drawings, and playback audio and music. The quote taken from above was a paragraph in the paper that clarified the definition of what an electronic device should represent to a user. It stresses the notion that thought, ideas, and communication itself can be molded in such a way that it can be perceived through the use of media.

Reading this article made me realize how far back innovation of portable media devices had been planned. “We envision a device as small and portable as possible which could both take in and give out information in quantities approaching that of human sensory systems. Visual output should be, at the least, of higher quality than what can be obtained from newsprint. Audio output should adhere to similar high-fidelity standards. There should be no discernible pause between cause and effect.” Kay and Goldberg’s team of researchers described functionalities with their tested “Dynabook” as a means for allowing users to connect with digital media on the go wherever they may be. They focused on the concept that visual and auditory commands would be able to get a direct and immediate response of carrying out the wishes of the user. They explained that in order for a portable device to be able to  process commands and respond with the correct set of actions, there needs to be a flow to the way it carries out the tasks. The paper compared the response and accuracy of such a device to that of a flute. Just like a computer, the flute would be Dynabookowned by the user and operate exactly to what the user commands.

As great of a concept as the Dynabook was, there were some limitations in its initial design. One of the more prominent thoughts on creative limitation was that it was primarily focused on acting as an educational digital device for children. This approach brought some concern for the use of the key features for a wider audience. Nonetheless, the basic aspects of the product were still seen as something truly beneficial.

As I read through the article on the “Dynabook”, I was astounded at how much of the proposed features have already been made possible today. Programming and problem solving skills are already prevalent in numerous applications on all modern laptops, iPads, tablets, and smartphones. Enough data storage for numerous computers of that time could fit into a simple Dell laptop or Apple iPad today. Google Drive and Microsoft Word are common applications for word processing and editing. With visual and auditory web sources so common in the modern age, music playback, paint, and video are all accessible through the uses of Spotify, Microsoft Paint, and built in recording cameras. What’s so amazing about this situations is that the proposals that Kay and Goldberg had originally envisioned were finally able to be implemented in the technology of the 21st Century.

Many of the ideas outlined in the article were later brought to fruition through the arrival of the prominent portable home computer known as the laptop. With the direction of home computer technology aiming for processing larger amounts of data and functional capabilities in smaller space, the future of portable devices are slowly moving towards mobile smartphones and tablet devices. Through the use of apps and touch screen interfaces, a wider appeal for these portable electronics are becoming common. However, that’s not to say that laptops are still not popular by today’s standards. When looking at the statistics, it is amazing to realize that as of today, more than one billion units of smartphones alone have been sold globally! Only time will tell where the consumer interest in “on the go” technology will take us.

Mobile Devices



Important Contributions to the World Wide Web

Recently in my web design class, each student was tasked to research three important contributions to the history of the worldwide web and to collaboratively create a timeline to highlight all of the events in their respective order of occurrence. For my contributions, I focused on the topics of first domain name being established on the web (, the first picture ever posted on the web, and the establishment of Internet Explorer Version 1.0. Of all of the topics that I had researched and added to the timeline, I found the history of Internet Explorer to be particularly fascinating. This may be in due part to the fact that the web browser was such a major search engine throughout the late 1990’s and well into the mid 2000’s. The type of technology of having such a tool at the fingertips of users on a home computer was astounding! Billions of web pages on endless subjects could be found throughout the surface web interface. Personally speaking, I remember a time where Internet Explorer was the most common browser used within my public school, home, and after school learning center. For me, the idea that I could search and learn on any topic that I was interested in captivated my attention and left me in awe.

Internet Browsing

August 19th, 1995 was a day that revolutionized web browsing. It was an ambitious project that Microsoft, known for its leading production in computer software, sought to use as a way to build off of the organization that previous web interfaces had tried to accomplish. Version 1.0 of Internet Explorer was very influential in the early days of web history as it set the standards for viewing large pools of resources and websites and through an ease of accessing the browser, allow people from long distances to share information between one another in a more effective way. Later updates throughout the years would expand on its capabilities to maximize the user experience. Because of this, the browser became very popular, especially between the early to mid 2000’s, with the majority of users with home computers using Internet Explorer as a primary tool when surfing the worldwide web.

Internet Explorer Version 1

With time, however, comes competition and a more effective means of surfing the web. That’s exactly what happened with Internet Explorer when major browsing services like Firefox, Safari, and Chrome were established in the latter 2000’s. Faster broadband speed, more advanced user capabilities, and more user friendly applications for mobile devices, laptops, and tablets naturally led to a shift toward such programs for browsing. Internet Explorer continued to produce updates well into the year 2013 as computer technology advanced . By March of 2015, however, Microsoft announced that the Internet Explorer brand would be coming to an end, after already pushing for its relevance since 2009.

Web Browser Logos

While in the modern day of programs like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari have overtaken Internet Explorer as a dominant web browser for their advanced program structure, one cannot deny that projects like Internet Explorer pioneered the idea of bookmarking large volumes of data and web content, organizing them accordingly based on search topics, and creating a user friendly experience when searching through the worldwide web. Even though the program may not be as prominent as it once was, it is nice to look back at the legacy it created for the web and observe the successor web browsers that have followed since. Only time will tell where internet browsing will take us into the future!