Michael Karlesky

A cabinet of wonders. Minus the cabinet. And possibly the wonders.

Filtering by Category: News & Updates

Dr. Surly’s School for Mad Scientists—A New Online Course

Earlier this week my friend and fellow mad scientist Mark VanderVoord and I launched our new online class Dr. Surly’s School for Mad Scientists: Unit Testing & Other Embedded Software Catalysts [enroll here!].

Mark and I met a bunch of years ago working on embedded software projects at his former employer. I was contracted to help out as an extra developer and as a coach to help his department incorporate Test-Driven Development practices in their firmware projects. We worked on testing tools together. We watched this every Friday. We became friends. Eventually Mark evolved into our testing tools master and is now the primary maintainer of the freely available Unity, CMock, and CException. I went on and did more training and speaking on the practices as applied to embedded and systems software.

We worked on this online course for months and months, and we are quite pleased with the final product. We've gotten positive response and a steady stream of enrollments. And we're only getting started.

Now to take over the world. Mwuhahaha!

15 Minutes of Fame: My work in the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has published a wonderful article on my Fidget Widgets work. And they went all out with videos, animation, and illustrations. So fancypants. A friend told me that I’m famous because my name in print is now “Mr. Karlesky.”

The author of the article, Sue Shellenbarger, did a tremendous job and was so enjoyable to talk with. Thank you, Sue.

Get Creative at Your Desk With a Little Playtime:

The research holds clues to how people who feel restless or confined by computer work might find the physical stimulation and stress release they need in behavior that they would have been scolded for in elementary school—fidgeting.
Researchers at NYU are studying how 40 workers use various gadgets, from infant chew toys to Slinkys, gobs of adhesive putty and ballpoint pens, to help focus, ease anxiety and jump-start creative thinking, says Michael Karlesky, a doctoral student at NYU’s engineering school. He is conducting the study with his adviser, Katherine Isbister, research director of NYU’s Game Innovation Lab and author of two books on computer game design and research.
Many of the gadgets in the study inspire vigorous activity, Mr. Karlesky says, and participants describe them using words like “squishy or poky or springy, with lots of “eeeeee’s at the end,” he says.

“Playing Around, Taken Seriously”: A talk at d:Tech and now a blog series

I recently gave a talk at Cornell’s d:Tech series entitled Playing Around, Taken Seriously. It was an hour on what Play is*, why it matters, and just what Playful Technologies can be. Over at Note the Smile, I’m beginning a whole series of posts on all of this, entitled, well, Playing Around, Taken Seriously. The very first post is up.


*Incidentally, this is an incredibly difficult question to answer. It’s also entirely fascinating.