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Postcards from Sweden: Global Computing Project
September 9, 2011
Computer Science & Software
Engineering Department Begins Eighth Year of Collaboration with
Sweden's Uppsala University.
Photos on Facebook.
Day 8: Friday, September 16, 2011
The students had a required presentation to the client about how
they understood the project and how they were going to approach
it. The finishing touches were put on the presentation this
morning and a rehearsal was held during the noon hour. The client
and two of his colleagues listened intently during the
presentation, and held a good dialogue with the students and
faculty members. Afterwards, the students broke into their
respective teams to begin working out strategies for their parts of
||Working Things Out: Students collaborate on approaches to
solve problems in the opening stages of this year's international
In the evening, the Rose-Hulman team hosted a gala dinner for
the Uppsala faculty members and three students that hosted
Rose-Hulman students during the week - thanking them for their
hospitality. The restaurant, located at the base of Uppsala
Cathedral, served upscale Swedish food and has an interesting
history. Most of the Rose-Hulman students tried reindeer for
the first time. The restaurant is located on premises that
date to 1330, and is thus the most ancient restaurant in Sweden,
although the restaurant was founded in 1930. There are
several rooms used for the restaurant. One is the "Kurran,"
which was used to hold drunk university students while they sobered
up in the 18th century. This is the room the group enjoyed
dinner during this evening.
The team flies back to Indiana tomorrow. It will be a very
long day -- approximately 26 hours from the time we leave our
hotel/apartment to the time we arrive on campus. The students
will then work long distance (via internet tools) to collaborate
before some students return to Uppsala in December to take part in
the final presentation to the client.
Day 7, Thursday, September 15, 2011
Today was a long work day. Students met to discuss the project
and the approaches they were going to take to solve it. After
several hours of discussion, four teams were formed to investigate
various aspects of the problem.
After dinner, many of the students gathered at Fyrishov, an
indoor water park, to relax in the swimming pools, hot tubs, and
sauna. It was a great way to unwind from the long day of work.
Tomorrow the students will make a presentation to the client
about how they will approach the project and get the client's
View today's photos on
Day 6, Wednesday, September 14, 2011
|Visiting History: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
students visited the 17th century warship Vasa, known for how fast
it sank on its maiden voyage due to poor engineering
This was our cultural sightseeing day in Stockholm, the capital
of Sweden. Stockholm, which dates its history to 1250, is
composed of 14 islands that form part of the Stockholm
Archipelago. It lies where the Baltic Sea meets Lake
Mälaren. After a 40-minute train ride from Uppsala, the
Rose-Hulman group walked through one of Stockholm's main shopping
areas and past the Opera House to get to the dock for a two-hour
"Under the Bridges of Stockholm" boat tour. The tour passed
through two locks connecting the two bodies of water and under 15
bridges. It was a great way to see the city and learn
something about this beautiful Scandinavian capital.
No visit to Stockholm is complete without visiting the Vasa
Museum, home of a 17th century Swedish warship that sank in
Stockholm's harbor on its maiden voyage in 1628 due to poor
engineering design. The ship was raised in 1961, and after
many years of preservation efforts (which continue to this day) the
ship is on display to the public in this museum especially designed
for it. The ship is very well preserved and 95 percent of the
ship is original material.
Later in the afternoon, the group walked around Gama Stan,
Stockholm's old town. The students did some souvenir
shopping. Located at the edge of Gamla Stan is the Royal
Palace, home of the business offices for the King of Sweden.
There are several guards stationed around the palace and the group
got to watch the changing of the guard at one of the
stations. We ended the day with dinner in Gamla Stan before
taking the train back to Uppsala.
Day 5, Tuesday, September 13, 2011
||Making Presentation: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
students discussed the challenges faced in developing software for
the American health-care industry.
Three student groups made presentations to the rest of the
class. First, a group of Swedish students informed the rest
of us about the Swedish healthcare system. Next, Rose-Hulman
students informed the rest of the class about the challenges in
developing software for the health-care industry. Finally,
Swedish students discussed some of the collaboration tools
available for everyone to use.
In the afternoon, the class started discussing the project in
earnest. After a brainstorming session with faculty members
about what the project should entail, the students went off on
their own to discuss what they wanted the project to cover.
The students' initial thoughts will be shared with the client
tomorrow. Then, feedback from the client will be discussed by
the entire group on Thursday.
The evening was spent having dinner at one of the student
nations. The dinner was jointly hosted by the Department of
Information Technology at Uppsala University and Rose-Hulman's
Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering.
Tomorrow the Rose-Hulman group is off to Stockholm for a day of
cultural activities in Sweden's capital.
Day 4, Monday, September 12, 2011
We have met the entire class of Swedish students and faculty
members, Mats Daniels and Åsa Cajander. An expert on cross-cultural
communications, Helena Bernáld, spent yesterday with us and
conducted a seminar that exposed the students to many of the issues
they will face while working with each other.
| A Day At The Museum: Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology students visited the anatomical theatre at the
University of Uppsala museum. Among the items at the museum
is the original thermometer used by Anders Celsius in his
After lunch, this year's project client, Benny Eklund, met with
the group. Students in the 2009 fall class produced a white
paper on access to electronic health care records. The report
was submitted to the European Commission, and it convinced
commissioners about key issues involving patient accessibility to
medical records. In March, the Commission launched a $3.5
million (Euro) project showing all of Europe the potential of such
a concept. The Commission nearly copied the services that
were presented in the December 2009 seminar by the project students
(exceeding Eklund's expectations). This year students have
been asked to look at interoperability - how do we accomplish the
goal of patient access to health-care records when there are many
different versions of electronic health care records being
used. The project will be challenging.
Following dinner everyone got together for an evening of
bowling, to socialize a bit and get to know other even
better. It was a very successful first day of collaboration
View photos from the trip at:
Day 3, Sunday, September 11, 2011
||Rose-Hulman Goes Global: Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology students proudly display the school banner in front of
the Uppsala Cathedral in Sweden.
Our first full day in Uppsala started with a visit to the
project workroom in the Mathematics and Information Technology
Center buildings on Uppsala University's Polacksbacken
campus. This is where we met several of the Swedish students
on the project. Later, we enjoyed a guided tour of the Museum
Gustavianum, Uppsala University's museum (http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/en/).
The museum portrays the history of the university, which dates to
1477 and is the oldest university in Scandinavia. On display
in the museum are the original notes of one of the first students
to attend the university, as well as the original thermometer that
Anders Celsius used in his temperature experiments. Celsius
was on the faculty at the university at the time. Here is an
interesting fact - Celsius originally proposed that the boiling
point of water be 0 degrees and the freezing point of water be 100
Following the museum visit, we walked through Uppsala Cathedral,
the largest cathedral in Scandinavia. We then went on to view
Uppsala Castle, which overlooks the Botanical Garden. After a
couple of hours rest, the team ate dinner at Max Burger, Sweden's
answer to McDonald's.
The project and the collaboration begin tomorrow!
View photos from the trip at:
Day 1, September 9, 2011
| Program developer, Cary Laxer
Eight students enrolled in this fall's Computing in a Global
Society course, and they're learning about globalization in
the computing industry through a cross-cultural project with their
peers at Uppsala University in Sweden. The students and the
course instructor, Department of Computer Science and Software
Engineering Head Cary Laxer, left on September 9 for a week of
collaboration and cultural activities with students in Uppsala's IT
in Society course.
The project client is Benny Eklund, a member of the Uppsala
County Council. One of the council's responsibilities is
administering the Akademiska Sjukhuset (literally "academic sick
house" or university hospital). This year's project will look
at services that require the ability to extract (and perhaps store)
information from medical records no matter where and in what form
they are kept. The focus will be on interoperability.
Two years ago, students taking the Computing in a Global Society
courses produced a white paper on accessibility to electronic
health care records. This year's project will extend that
work. There is a possibility of a European Union-wide
project, based on this work, being funded later this year. The
client believes there are many technical and other challenges
associated with this issue. Attempts to address these issues
have already begun in Sweden, Europe and the United States.
Last year's trip (Photo: Cary Laxer)
The Rose-Hulman group will be kept busy while in Sweden.
In addition to the project work, the students will attend a
seminar by Helena Bernáld, an expert on cross-cultural
communication. These students will make presentations on the
challenges of developing software for the health-care
industry. They will also attend presentations by the Uppsala
students on the Swedish health-care industry and collaboration
tools. There will also be time for cultural sightseeing in
both Uppsala and Stockholm.
Several of the Rose-Hulman students will be hosted by Uppsala
students in their apartments, adding to the experiences for all
students and helping everyone to better understand each other's
Postcards will arrive regularly -- return here for updates,
along with photos, throughout this exciting journey.
Postcard from Sweden #5; today's photos are on