Archive for the ‘Martin Pendergast’ Category


Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

I’ve had this idea floating around for a while (since the derive presentations, actually), but until now I hadn’t really decided how I want to present it.

I suppose the best example to start with is water filtration; you pass water through something to separate out undesired impurities.

To extend this idea, I mention filters used in electronics; information passing through wires as electrical signals or through open space as radio waves are not received as they are transmitted – they pick up spurious information, or noise, which must be compensated for or eliminated to ensure that the information can be used by the receiver as it was transmitted, and a fair amount of effort is spent trying to compensate for this noise, so that the original information can be accurately isolated by the receiver.

The general idea I’m going to pursue with this is the act of losing a subset information from an entire body of information (either intentionally or unintentionally) to isolate some subset of that information – and I’ll give a few examples to try to explain myself.

1 – This is the one that really got me thinking about filtering. During the derive projects, Yagiz and Jordan took a picture and greyed out all of the buildings and roads to emphasize the natural contents of the image.

2 – Electronic hum – some electrical systems have a physical vibration induced by the electrical current passing through them. If you’ve ever heard an electrical light humming, this is an example of this phenomenon. In the US, this hum will probably be at 60 Hz, because that is the frequency that ordinary AC electrical signals are transmitted at in this country.
A – In another derive, TJ took a video of an electrical substation, and pointed out the humming sound produced by the equipment there.
B – While I was recording the derive presentations, we turned off the attenuator on the microphone – we removed some audio filtering as well, I suspect. If you listen to those videos, you should hear a background humming sound

Some audio equipment includes filters that specifically reject the sound of electrical humming. In the situation of case B above, this would be desirable, because the hum is spurious information, and is probably not desirable for anyone trying to listen to that video. On the other hand, in case A, such filtering would be undesirable, because the humming sound of the substation, which is one of the things TJ desired to communicate, would be lost.

Ultimately, I want to leave you with a couple ideas or questions.
– Is my means of communication ‘filtering out’ any information?
– What is less clear as a result of this? / What is suppressed?
– What is more clear as a result of this? / What is emphasized?
– What information is completely gone as a result of this? / What am I incapable of communicating by this means?

– Is the filtering my means of communication causes desirable?
– Do I want to suppress or emphasize the information that is suppressed or emphasized?

– What in my experience am I using to interpret the information that I will transmit that will not be available to the receiver.
– example : when you proofread a paper you wrote, you know what you’re trying to say, and your mind unconsciously corrects mistakes and fills in missing information that your audience may not have access to.

Also – List of senses according to Wikipedia: Senses
– Sight
– Hearing
– Taste
– Smell
– Touch
– Balance and acceleration
– Temperature
– Kinesthetic sense (Internal concept of where the body is, and where the body parts are in relation to each other)
– Pain
– Direction
– Internal senses (probably extremely difficult to communicate – read on Wikipedia for specific senses)

Also, not in the Wikipedia page : state of mind (say you’re in a good mood, or depressed, or thinking about your dog, etc.) will affect your perception of an event, and may be difficult to control in your audience.

– Martin

Martin’s lab hours

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Martin is available to work with the groups during the following times:

Mondays after 3:30pm
Tuesdays an hour or two before class starts
Wednesdays after 3:30pm
Thursdays noon – 4pm and after 5pm
Fridays before 3:00pm and after 5:00pm

Is this thing on?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Hello, everyone,

This is Martin.

I posted a little bit about myself in the biography section of my profile just a bit ago. (let me know if you think it’s too short)

I’m still thinking about when I will have lab hours to help all of you with your projects. I’m posting my class schedule so you can take a look and see when I’m not available.


I’ll also have a weekly meeting with a professor on either Wednesday or Thursday afternoons (still undecided for now), and I’ll have time that I schedule to work in the Envision Center that I will not be available. Generally, I’d like to avoid working on Friday mornings and Wednesday nights, although I will come in if you need me to and give me enough warning. I’ll put together an updated schedule when I get all of this figured out.

As I understand it, I’ll be working on this class from 5 to 15 hours a week (including the scheduled class period), depending on how much time you need me to be available, so I don’t need to have all of the times figured out immediately. Next week, I’ll probably bring by a sheet and try to figure out when everyone is or is not in class, so I can make rough plans around that.

Other than that, feel free to ask me questions or let me know what you think.

– Martin