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Life With Pi: Microcomputing in Academia

This shared repo is used to collaboratively prepare a presentation with interactive demonstrations at the CUNY 12th Annual IT Conference on Friday, December 6, 2013.


The Raspberry Pi and Arduino—inexpensive and versatile credit-card-sized computers—have been embraced by the open-source and DIY communities. This presentation will describe and illustrate how these powerful microcomputers are now finding an expanding range of applications in academic and library settings.

Microcomputers consist of little more than a miniature processor (similar to those found in smart phones), memory, and a number of inputs and outputs. Yet they offer significant potential for use in facilitating IT education (for novice programmers, modelers, etc.) and in operating tools such as dynamic displays, experimental monitors, and library catalog search stations.

The size, affordability, and versatility of microcomputers make it easy to develop, deploy, and replicate projects. This presentation will introduce microcomputing technologies, describe the communities of practice that use them, and demonstrate original, interactive applications for research and instruction.


Stephen Zweibel is a Visiting Lecturer in the Hunter College Library doing work in Emerging Technologies. He likes to work on digital projects that increase access to library collections. He is also studying Digital Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center. Steve can be reached at or @zwounds.

Robin Davis is the Emerging Technologies & Distance Services Librarian at John Jay College of Criminal Justice by day and a Master's student in Computational Linguistics at CUNY Graduate Center by night. Robin can be reached at or @robincamille.

Junior Tidal is the Web Services & Multimedia Librarian at the Ursula C. Schwerin Library at New York City College of Technology. Junior can be reached at or @juniortidal.

Alevtina Verbovetskaya is the University Web & Mobile Systems Librarian in the CUNY Office of Library Services. Allie can be reached at or @alevtina.


Life With Pi: Microcomputing in Academia






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