A group of science learners from the Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt visited the MIH Media Lab last week to experience first-hand what we do in the Lab.
The learners listened to a talk from Leendert Botha on his work experience at Google in San Francisco and then Stephan Gouws, another Lab student, gave a short presentation on “Teaching Computers to Think and Talk”. After the presentations, the students had a mini tour of the Lab and received a brief overview of all our various research areas.
Luke Taylor, South Africa’s finalist in the Google Science Fair competition, was one of the students who visited. Luke’s entry for the science fair was “Programming in Plain English”, a way of instructing the Mindstroms Robot using simple human language. He researched topics such as Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing to come up with Simple – a tool that could help the robot understand commands written in natural human language.
Says Gert-Jan van Rooyen, director of the MIH Media Lab: “It was encouraging to see how impressed our doctoral students were with Luke’s project idea for the science fair. It was not only a normal school visit, but a chance for mutual interaction between our students and the learners who visited”.
Visits like these are part of the Lab’s mission to encourage learners from a young age to consider new media technology and engineering as a future career choice.