Research

Create to Learn, Learn to Create /or/ Learn to Create, Create to Learn, (2006-Present).

This trajectory started with a simple question posed by my child, “Mamma, where does the tree end and the air begin?”

One of my first papers, submitted to CHI 2006, but eventually published with edits in, Harrington, M.C.R. (2006). Trees of life: Models of children's creative processes. Proceedings of the ACM DIS’06 Doctoral Consortium. June 28, 2006 State College, PA, USA. (PPT).

"The Poetics of Games: Art, Poetry and Storytelling in Modern Game Design," Maria C. R. Harrington, Ph.D., Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 2008.

This was a guest lecture I gave to art students in game design at the Art Institute, (I gave a similar talk to the ETC CMU crowd, at the invitation of Drew Davidson).  I wanted to challenge students to think about game engines as a new artistic and aesthetic medium. One that could be used to create beauty, open to new perceptual dimensions, and analysis of reality. Not only consistent with traditional linear stories in text, games also allow branching and exploration of multiple stories, futures, and paths, thus creating a new artist medium for the artist intellectual. My aim was to inspire new forms of visual expression and to fully embrace the emotional power of these high fidelity, multi-media, electronic paints, fluid temporal canvases, and digital printing presses, and to leave cultural records of meaning for future generations.

Art Insitute of Pittsburgh, Maria C. R. Harrington, 2008

IRB Approved Research:

2012-2013: Investigation and Evaluation of Virtual Worlds, 3D Environments, and Simulations for Alternative Learning, Collaboration, Co-creating, and Decision Support Formats: The Virtual SRU Campus Modeled in Google Earth and Second Life for a Course on Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

ABSTRACT:
The purpose of this project is to learn how to best build, deploy and generalize the use of 3D virtual worlds and simulations, specifically Google Earth and Second Life, for teaching and learning across multiple locations. Virtual environments may be used for communication, collaboration, decision support, creativity and educational assessment. Our proposed project is to learn and test such tools. We plan to embed the curriculum of a class on sustainable entrepreneurship. These tools extend traditional teaching methods.  They will be used to express future realistic scenarios in context, for team-based decision support tasks of current-state simulations and multiple future-state scenarios and are expected to add substantially to the educational experience. Just as a spreadsheet may express multiple financial scenarios; our project is envisioned to allow multiple scenario co-creations and investigations of large complex physical and logical systems, thus pushing the boundaries of 21st century skills that go beyond Desire2Learn (D2L) and into the high-fidelity training simulations.

Maria C. R. Harrington, Slippery Rock University, Job Talk Lecture on Serious Games, 2011.

This talk was inspired by a desire to shift my research to the institution's goals and strengths in Sustainable Entrepreneurship, their graduate programs in National Park Forestry, and programs in Information Systems and to offer new Art and Computer Science Department collaboration. I flipped my research on Educational Simulations for STEM, to a research program on using serious games and high fidelity simulations for the Information Systems program. At SRU, students in business are interested in using spreadsheets to forecast multiple future scenarios and to explore impacts on costs, revenue, assets and debt, and to explore concepts of risk, opportunity, and ethics. Serious Games too can be used to achieve that teaching goal, and in high fidelity simulations with teams, to explore decision making in real time with data analytics attached. Thus, this research direction yields rich data sets to explore in scholarly analysis. This work is tied to complex dynamics and system research, professional training, and online collaboration.

Slippery Rock University Job Talk, Information System Dynamics Framework, Maria C. R. Harrington, 2011