The Department of Computer Science and the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga, are now linked by way of virtual hallway.
The virtual hallway is an always-on video and audio connection between the Bahen Centre (on the St. George campus) and Deerfield Hall (on the Mississauga campus). Students can use the virtual hallway to communicate and share messages and goings-on, between campuses.
CONTEST: U of T computer science students on both campuses are invited to share their experience or creative use of the Virtual Hallway by tagging #UofTVirtualHall (on Facebook or Twitter). Posts shared by #UofTCompSci on Facebook or Twitter will be eligible to win prizes. Contest closes March 31, 2017.
In the 1980's and 90's, video-based extensions to architectural space became a compelling subject of interest. Bill Buxton (MSc 1978, Hon. DSc 2013), a pioneering researcher in Human-Computer Interaction with the Dynamic Graphics Project at the University of Toronto, conducted extensive research in telepresence and ubiquitous media. His pivotal 1990 Ontario Telepresence project, based on research done earlier at Xerox PARC, explored the social relationship between communication technology and architectural space. This work was transformative, influencing society, industry and culture in often surprising and unexpected ways. Bill transcended the concept of a computer as an interface to computation, transforming it instead into a tool seamlessly integrated into the social environment, providing rich functionality to extend human interaction.
Teaching and learning thrives when social interaction and collaboration are given the opportunity to flourish. Technology, used in the right way, has the potential to transform the social environment. Buxton posited that successful technology requires innate social acceptance: it must be clearly useful in an uncomplicated way, in the same way as a desk or a chair is useful. For stationary technology, the goal is ubiety (being in a particular place, there-ness): the technology succeeds if it is understood and accepted as an integral part of the space where it operates, in a way that is simple and unambiguous.
The use of technology to extend physical space itself is still a frontier, the stuff of science fiction and of Hollywood movies. This virtual hallway is an experiment. By connecting space through the technological linking of two disparate locations, we hope to explore how technology can enhance social interaction and human community across physical divides.
This project is part of a broader desire to enhance interaction between the campuses. We are looking for creative ideas to do this! Send your thoughts, comments or questions to