Research

Presentation at the Materials Science Engineering Congress in Darmstadt

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Research | 0 comments

Presentation at the Materials Science Engineering Congress in Darmstadt

I had a great time at the Materials Science Engineering Congress in Darmstadt on September 29 2016. I met with Frank Fischer and had some great discussions about future projects. The event was extremely well organized. Below is the recording of my keynote.

Here are some more pictures:

160929_dgm_0892 dgm-congres-photo-bartneck-fischer

Read More

Quincunx LEGO GBC Module (Galton Board)

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in Featured, LEGO, Research | 2 comments

Quincunx LEGO GBC Module (Galton Board)

Today I would like to show you my latest GBC module, a Quincunx also known as a Galton Board, named after its inventor Sir Francis Galton who used it to demonstrate the central limit theorem in 1894. The balls are being transported up with a conveyer belt and a light sensor counts how many balls have passed. The balls then roll down the board and at each peg they can either bounce left or right. After the last peg the ball is caught in a repository. Once 100 balls made their way down, the gate opens and releases all the balls. Probably no GBC module could deal with 100 balls at a time, so I queued them up and deliver them one at a time.

Read More

LEGO bans large weapons from their Ideas Process

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in LEGO, Research | 0 comments

I am not sure if our study had any influence on this, but the LEGO company just updated their LEGO Ideas Policy and they now explicitly exclude submissions of large or human-scale weapons or weapon replicas of any kind, including swords, knives, guns, sci-fi or fantasy blasters, etc. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

Read More

Generating Bibliographies On Your Home Page

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Research | 0 comments

The ACM is running the Author-Izer project to enable authors to generate and post links on either their home page or institutional repository for visitors to download the definitive version of their articles from the ACM Digital Library at no charge. So here are my ACM publications free to download. It is a pity that they do not provide an automatic updating services. You need to add the links to your new work manually. You can also use Endnote’s Bibliography tool to export your bibliography in an html format that you can then paste into your web page. Again, an automatic synchronization is missing. You can also use the excellent Academic Blogger’s Toolkit to upload your bibliography to your web site and then generate the list from there.

There are several services that allow you to manage your references online, such as Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote Web, CiteYouLike. You can use these to host your bibliography off site. You can also use their local clients to work on your references, such as to CiteWhileYouWrite in your Word or LaTeX documents. These clients sync with their online accounts.

But what you really want is to integrate a bibliography of your own work on your own website. Some of the services offer plugins for WordPress (Zotpress, Mendeley) which allow you to embed their data on your own home page. Here is an example of using Zotpress to display my 2015 publications:

Read More

Radio NZ Interview on LEGO violence

Posted by on May 21, 2016 in Press, Research | 0 comments

Wallace Chapman interviewed me about our study “Have LEGO products become more violent?” on Radio New Zealand. Wallace certainly did his research since he also discovered my LEGO Unikitty. You can listen to the broadcast right here:

In the meantime, Huw Millington over at Brickset reported on his website about the study, which sparked a vivid discussion. One of the main discussion points seem again the question whether the increased violence in toys also make children more violent. We explicitly excluded this question from out study, but it seems that this is one of the main question that is on everybody’s mind. I also noticed that many blame the increase of violence in LEGO to licensed themes, such as Star Wars.

Read More

Have LEGO Products Become More Violent?

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Featured, Research | 1 comment

Have LEGO Products Become More Violent?

We just published our article “Have LEGO Products Become More Violent?” at PLOS One. Here is the abstract:

Although television, computer games and the Internet play an important role in the lives of children they still also play with physical toys, such as dolls, cars and LEGO bricks. The LEGO company has become the world’s largest toy manufacturer. Our study investigates if the LEGO company’s products have become more violent over time. First, we analyzed the frequency of weapon bricks in LEGO sets. Their use has significantly increased. Second, we empirically investigated the perceived violence in the LEGO product catalogs from the years 1978-2014. Our results show that the violence of the depicted products has increased significantly over time. The LEGO Company’s products are not as innocent as they used to be.

 

Read More