Bridget B. Baird
Professor Emeritus of Computer Science
Joined Connecticut College: 1982-2013
B.A., Bryn Mawr College; M.A., Ph.D., SUNY at Buffalo
Virtual reality and archaeology
Motion capture and multiple modalities
Applications of computers in the humanities
"The underlying theme of my professional life has been the liberal arts tradition of crossing boundaries and making connections: between teaching and research, between math and computer science, between computer science and the arts, between theory and application. Humor, hard work, and creativity are absolutely essential." - Bridget Baird
Bridget Baird retired from Connecticut College in 2013.
Professor Baird's current research has concentrated on the recent technology of virtual reality as used in archaeology, motion capture and multiple modalities; and on applications exploring uses of computers in the humanities.
Working with several colleagues and students, she has been using virtual reality to explore archeological sites; employing motion capture to enhance and explore virtual worlds; using multiple modalites of haptics (touch) and audio to examine interactions; and examining ways in which computers can enhance research in the digital humanities.
Baird took her research into the classroom, teaching classes in both computer science and mathematics. She also supervised numerous student research projects, both during the academic year and during the summer. Recent student projects involved archaeology as well as motion capture. Baird traveled to Ecuador with a student, Erin Okabe-Jawdat '10, to collaborate with Ecuadorian colleagues to perform research in archaeology and virtual reality. The results of that research were presented at a conference in Granada, Spain. In recognition of her work, Erin received the Dean of the Faculty's Harold Juli prize for student research.
Baird is also interested in issues about gender equity and ways to increase the participation of women in computer science and mathematics.
Baird has published and made presentations extensively, including "Cochasquí, Ecuador: A Multi-Faceted Approach" at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference in 2010, "Expanding CS1: Applications Across the Liberal Arts" at the Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges Northeastern Conference in 2010, "Signs matter: Signage, auditory distractions, and wayfinding success" in Proceedings of the 40th annual conference of the Environmental Design Research Association, in 2009, "One thing Leads to Another (Interdisciplinary Antecedent/consequent Explorations)" at the Eleventh Biennial Arts & Technology Symposium at Connecticut College in 2008, "Web Design: Interface to the Liberal Arts, at the Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges Northeastern Conference in 2006, "Web Design: Interface to the Liberal Arts"at the Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges Northeastern Conference in 2006, "Red Ball: A Collaboration to Develop an Interdisciplinary Interactive Space" at the Tenth Biennial Arts & Technology Symposium at Connecticut College in 2006, "Attribute Correlations between Haptic and Auditory Modalities" at the 9th International Workshop on Immersive Projection Technology and 11th Eurographics Symposium on Virtual Environments in 2005, "Haptic and Sound Correlations: Pitch, Loudness and Texture" at the International Symposium on Non-visual & Multimodal Visualization in 2004.
Baird received many grants, including a Fulbright grant to teach and study in Ecuador (2009), a Mellon Foundation (2005-2007) grant to foster cooperation in computer science among Wesleyan, Trinity and Connecticut College; a Sherman-Fairchild Foundation (2006-2008) grant to encourage cooperative teaching in the arts; a Citizens Bank and AT&T grant to support the arts and technology symposium and outreach to local teachers (2006-2007); a National Science Foundation (2002-2006) grant to increase enrollments (particularly of women and minorities) in math and computer science; a Center for Teaching & Learning grant at Connecticut College (2003-2005) to develop curricula in ethnomathematics; an AT&T grant for professional development of local arts teachers (2001-2003); a National Science Foundation grant for visualization and immersion modules of scientific principles (1998-2000).
Baird was the 2008 recipient of the Helen B. Regan Faculty Leadership Award, which recognizes faculty members who exemplify the College's commitment to shared governance, democratic process and campus community development.
She delivered the Convocation address, "Liberal Arts 2.0" in August, 2008.
Baird was the recipient of the Student Government Association Excellence in Teaching Award for 1994.
Baird was awarded a Fulbright faculty grant in 2008 and spent the spring semester of 2009 at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Baird taught a mathematics course that focused on computer applications and a project-based seminar in virtual reality, focusing on the Ecuadorian archaeological site of Cochasqui.
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