About "Prof. Alvaro Cassinelli"


Alvaro Cassinelli was born in Montevideo (Uruguay) in 1972. In 1990 he earns both a French and Uruguayan B.Sc., and a grant to pursue his studies in France. He obtains a Graduate Engineering diploma from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécom(now Télécom ParisTech) in 1996, completing the same year a Doctoral Qualifying Degree (DEA/Master) in Physics (Laser & Matter Interaction) from the University of Paris-XI, Telecom and Ecole Polytechnique. In 2000 he receives a PhD degree from the University of Paris-XI Orsay. From 2001 to 2015 he works as Research Fellow, Research Assistant and then Assistant Professor at the Ishikawa-Watanabe Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, where he co-founds and leads the Meta-Perception group, a multidisciplinary research unit exploring new paradigms and custom hardware interfaces enlarging the vocabulary of HCI and the Media Arts. He was also co-founder and organizer of the “Devices that Alter Perception” international workshop (from 2008-2011), and the first “Taller de Arte y Computación Física” in Uruguay (2008). Until 2017 he was CTO at SinergiaTech, the first certified FABLAB and private Physical Computing Academy in Uruguay. He is presently RCAST Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo, certified SNI Researcher in Uruguay. From June 2019, he will be Associate Professor at the School of Creative Media (SCM) in Hong Kong, where he co-founded and will co-direct the Extended Reality Laboratory (XRL).

Alvaro is routinely invited at international conferences either as keynote, visionary speaker, PC member or Jury in areas related to HCI, AR/VR and forums about Science and its relation to the Arts. He has being Visiting Professor/Researcher at renowned institutions such as KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), NAIST (Nara Advanced Institute of Technology, Japan), ESPCI and LANGEVIN INSTITUTE (Paris), CEIBAL (OLPC Uruguay & IT R&D center). He has presented at MICROSOFT RESEARCH(Seattle), SAMSUNG THINK TANK (Mountain View), SCHOOL OF CREATIVE MEDIA (H.K.), WIRED NEXTFEST (N.Y.), as well as the MIT MEDIA LAB among other research centers and universities.

He maintains ties with the corporate world, as consultant and/or collaborator for medium and large firms (Art+Com, Electric Factory, OMRON, Samsung Electronics, Hamamatsu Photonics, Nissan Research Center, Sony Labs, the Vision Chip Consortium in Japan, etc), as well as startups including EXVISION (a spin-off company from his former laboratory).

His research interests spans physics, fundamental aspects of computing, high/slow-speed robotics & nanobotics, augmented and virtual reality, cognitive sciences, artificial intelligence, wearables, augmented perception, prosthetics & rehabilitation, and in general human-machine interfaces using novel principles and custom technology—areas in which he holds five patents and one trademark.

Independently experimenting in the field of Media Arts, he has been awarded important international prizes, including the Panasonic Prize [2005], an Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica [2006], the Grand Prize [Art Division] at the 9th Japan Media Art Festival [2006], the Excellence Prize [Entertainment Division] at the 13th Japan Media Art Festival [2009], the NISSAN Innovative Concept Award [2010], the Jury Grand Prize at Laval Virtual [2011], the Digital Content EXPO Prize at SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies [2016], among others.

Personal website: www.alvarocassinelli.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alvarocassinelli

Videos: www.youtube.com/user/alvartube

Slide Share: www.slideshare.net/alvarocassinelli

Meta-Perception: www.k2.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/perception


About lecture


Magic New Media: augmenting or diminishing the World?

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This talk will discuss the good and the bad of the magic black box model in research and the arts, and its consequences on a society heavily relying on technology. A “black box” is a pervasive tool whose working most people, if not all, would be incapable of describing - let alone understand. A smartphone is a good example, and a hammer is a perfect counter-example. The motto of the Maker movement is “if you don’t break it, you don’t own it”; the famous physicist Richard Feynman did not say anything different when he declared that “what I cannot create I don’t understand.”

I see this as a timely call to re-empower individuals (in particular researchers, scientist, and artists). It is also a plea to rethink alternatives to the way we learn and teach about the complexities of the natural world. In a word, an opportunity to reminds us why we like to call ourselves Homo Faber.

As a researcher and practitioner in the field of the Media Arts, I know a bit about the inner workings and principles of today’s state-of-the-art human-computing interfaces – their lenses, transistors, machine learning algorithms... Breaking and looking inside is the essence of research, but breaking an iPhone is expensive and totally futile because a chip is a chip. No pulleys or gears to be seen!

My goal, my pastime, my self-imposed responsibility is to expose the guts of our technological tools and ways of thinking about these “black boxes.” This talk will deal with these important and controversial topics by presenting my own idiosyncratic voyage, some of my inventions, creations, and prototypes. www.alvarocassinelli.com