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Uncover a Hidden Scientific Artifact Collection and See How to Conserve Energy From Your Couch at the Canada Science and Technology Museum

New exhibit shows how big data helps people use technology more intuitively

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/04/14 -- A new exhibit at the Canada Science and Technology Museum shows visitors how new technologies use complex data to help us more intuitively accomplish everyday tasks in the digital age.

From searching online to browsing books and conserving energy in the home, the field of information visualization marries artistic understanding with scientific knowledge to create intuitive ways of organizing and presenting complex ideas.

The exhibit, "Data: New Ways of Seeing the World," features the work of two Canadian researchers, Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale and Dr. Lyn Bartram, who are pushing the boundaries of discovery and innovation.

Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale (University of Calgary) explores how to manage the flood of information we face daily, and display it in ways that are intuitive. Visitors can see how she addresses the challenge of intuitive web-search through the Bohemian Bookshelf - and browse the Digital Museum she created with over 290 scientific artifacts from the Museum's collection, from train cars to kitchen appliances and musical instruments.

Dr. Lyn Bartram (Simon Fraser University) focuses on helping people interpret their energy use, and manage it easily in real-time. Her technologies fit seamlessly into modern living via visual displays that integrate into the home. These displays let homeowners see how much energy each part of their house consumes, so they can quickly take action to conserve it.


--  The exhibit is produced in partnership with the Natural Sciences and
    Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and runs until Fall 2014.

--  The Digital Museum includes 294 Museum artifacts. Notable entries
    include the Horton typewriter, one of the most important developments in
    the history of typewriters, and the Cooke theodolite, a surveying
    instrument developed in Canada, with a rotating telescope for measuring
    horizontal and vertical angles.


"Earlier today, Industry Minister James Moore unveiled Digital Canada 150, an ambitious path forward for Canadians to take full advantage of the opportunities of the digital age. I congratulate the Canada Science and Technology Museum, NSERC and Drs. Carpendale and Bartram on the opening of this especially well-timed exhibit, which does an excellent job of demonstrating to visitors how the massive amounts of data we generate each day can be harnessed and used to our best advantage."

--  The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"The work of Sheelagh Carpendale and Lyn Bartram highlights how ideas generated by working at the leading edge of science can spur technological innovation. NSERC is proud to support such Canadian research that opens doors to innovative solutions for everyday problems."

--  Janet Walden, Chief Operating Officer, NSERC

"The Museum is very pleased to unveil this Data exhibition, the latest from its fruitful partnership with NSERC showcasing Canadian cutting edge science. The work of Dr. Carpendale and Dr. Bartram proposes fascinating new ways to visualize and to conceptualize increasingly large sets of data handled by today's computing technologies. Improved data mining and interpreting are key to innovation."

--  Fernand Proulx, Interim President and CEO, Canada Science and Technology
    Museums Corporation (CSTMC).

"Through my research, I'm looking for ways to help people live more sustainably, particularly around resource conservation in the home, using some innovative approaches to visualization that both encourage people to conserve and encourage them to make resource awareness part of their information landscape."

--  Lyn Bartram, Simon Fraser University

"The focus of my research is to make information more accessible. As the amount of information and data continues to increase this challenge becomes more and more important. Through use of interactive visualization I explore ways of reinventing our interfaces. The Bohemian Bookshelf is an example that uses the touch activated interplay between five visualizations to bring serendipity into exploring a collection of books. This idea has also been applied to over 290 artifact from the museum's collection."

--  Sheelagh Carpendale, University of Calgary

About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

About the Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM)

The largest of its kind in Canada, The Canada Science and Technology Museum fulfills its mission through its collection, permanent, temporary and travelling exhibits, special events, school programs, workshops and demonstrations, publications, loans, conferences and lectures, expert advice, and joint action with other museums and organizations with similar goals and interests. A visit to the Museum will allow the visitor to push buttons, turn dials, and pull levers to experience science and technology first-hand, as you discover artifact-rich exhibits featuring marine and land transportation, astronomy, communications, space, domestic technology and computer technology. Science and technology have changed Canada and influenced its people. The transformation of Canada, from the period of early exploration and settlement to the present, has been marked by achievements in science and technology. The special role of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation is to help the public to understand the ongoing relationships between science, technology and Canadian society.

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