Thursday, December 5, 2013

Missing attendance lists found

I don't know if anyone still reads this blog. But if there is, for your information I can now tell you that I found the missing attendance lists from the first two weeks of the course. I had put them in a pile of paper that belonged to my other course, that I gave in parallel with this course.

It feels pretty futile to go through the lists retroactively to see if/who should have had to do an extra assignment. So, I have no use for them any longer and it wouldn't make a difference anyway as the final grades have been reported and can't be changed.

Still, a mystery that I was thinking about quite some "back then" has been solved.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Home exam graded & reported + comment on question 3

I have reported all grades for all students in the course to the KTH administrators. It usually takes a few days for this info to go through KTH's administrative system and enter LADOK - but it's on it's way.

You produced a huge number of pages (that's the drawback of home exams) and it has unfortunately taken me a long time to read and grade them all. There is one remarkable thing I really do have to comment on in regards to your exams though and that is question 3A ("How many energy slaves does it take to run your TV for 8 hours?").

A substantial number of students have mixed up the units Watts (W) and Watt-hours (Wh or kWh). That's basically like mixing up speed (km/h) and distance (km).

The figures you have heard in the course (or that can find on the web) is that an energy slave can generate somewhere between 75-100 W. If you have a TV that consumes 75-100 W you will thus need one energy slave biking constantly for 8 hours to run your TV for 8 hours. If your TV consumes 150-200 W you'll need 2 energy slaves (and so on).

In real life, you might have to take into consideration that not all slave-generated energy can be perfectly transformed into electricity, that a slave might not be able to bike for 8 hours straight since he/she needs to rest now and then (and eat - which is a matter of energy too). But let's skip those complications for now.

A surprisingly large number of students have instead counted like this:
- My TV uses 100 W
- I will watch it for 8 hours - that's 800 Wh
- An energy slave generates 100 W
- 800/100 = 8 and I thus need 8 slaves to run my TV.

Some of you have even written 800 Wh (or 0.8 kWh) on one line and then on the next line changed the unit by unproblematically transforming those 800 Wh into 800 W so as to better align it with the measure of how much energy a slave can generate - despite the fact that these are two totally different units of measure.

The result is a "category mistake". It is equivalent to saying that if I drive my car at the speed of 100 km/h for 8 hours, the resulting speed will be 800 km/h. That's naturally not the case. The distance you will have driven after 8 hours is 800 km but and that's of course very different from the previous erraneous statement about "the resulting speed".

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Home exam grading info

Grading of the home exam depends on several different factors (for example if/how course literature is used in an appropriate and relevant way).

Points will furthermore be handed out depending on learning objectives that have been achieved according to Bloom's taxonomy (the further down in the list below, the better).

1, 2 - Remembering and Understanding:
Remember previously learned information and demonstrating an understanding of the facts.
Verbs that appropriately describes your answers on this level are: naming, outlining, selecting, giving examples, summarizing.

3- Applying:
Apply knowledge to actual situations.
Verbs that appropriately describes your answers on this level are; illustrating interpreting, relating, demonstrating, applying.

3 - Analyzing:
Break down objects or ideas into simpler parts and find evidence to support generalizations.
Verbs that appropriately describes your answers on this level are; comparing, contrasting, criticizing, infering, differentiating.

5 - Evaluating: 
Make and defend judgments based on internal evidence or external criteria.
Verbs that appropriately describes your answers on this level are; assess, argue, justify, contrast, value, defend.

6 - Creating:
Compile component ideas into a new whole or propose alternative solutions.
Verbs that appropriately describes your answers on this level are; construct, synthesize, combine, develop, create.

Other factors that are taken into account in relation to grading are:
Content (most important)
Language (not unimportant, but less important - unless it is difficult to understand your answers)
Typographic/graphic form (not so important - unless it is difficult to read your paper)

Content: The content should be adapted to the scope of the text (please don't exceed the limitations set on the length of your answer(s)). Clearly indicate delimitations ["gjorda avgränsningar"]. Complex reasoning should be explained and put into context. Sources that you make use of in your answers should be in the list of references at the end of the exam. You should show that you have understood and can utilize basic theories and concepts concerning sustainability, or better yet, that you show that you understand how these theories and concepts are interrelated, or better yet, that you can carry out abstract reasoning about theories and concepts concerning sustainability

Language: Your answers should be written in English or Swedish and be well formulated, correct and proofread before you hand them in. Your answers should furthermore be coherent and logical. Terminology and technical terms should briefly be explained where needed. Use terms and concept in a uniform and unambiguous manner and stick to the point you are trying to make (avoid verbiage). Be reasoning and reflective, evaluate and discuss sources you make use of. 

Typographic/graphic form: The text should be easily accessible, clear, correct and follow typographic conventions. 

Åhman lecture + readings

At two students request, I hunted down Henrik Åhman's lecture slides from Oct 7 as well as two articles (suggested readings on social sustainability).

The slides are available in Bilda (Documents/Lectures) and so are the articles (Documents/Articles).

If you have any questions or comments about the home exam that you think are of general interest to the class, please post them here, in the form of a comment to this blog post. I will keep my eyes open for your comments and answer them in the form of a new comment here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Home exam is available in Bilda

The home exam is now available in Bilda (DM2573 Sust-MT-13/Documents).

I was told Bilda was to be shut down between 15-18 today, but it seems to be up and running.

The deadline is a week from now - see further information about the home exam in the home exam itself.

Finally, good luck!

/Daniel & Elina

Monday, October 14, 2013

Instructions for seminar 5 (Thu Oct 17)

Seminar 5 will be held:
- For group A on Thursday October 17 at 10-12 in Q36
- For group B on Thursday October 17 at 10-12 in Q36 
NOTE: Both group A and B will be in the same seminar room!

- For group C on Thursday October 17 at 13-15 in B24
- For group D on Thursday October 17 at 13-15 in B24 
NOTE: Both group C and D will be in the same seminar room!



This is the last seminar. We want to talk about the future. You have heard the panelists' discussions on Oct 14, and their views of the future.

We want you to prepare for the seminar by writing a position paper based on the panelists' discussions and/or the course literature. The theme of the position paper is: "What is your image(s) of the future?". If you want to, you can also reflect upon if or how this image have changed during the course.

Please submit your seminar question though this Google form. NOTE: The deadline is 16 hours before the first seminar groups will meet, i.e. Wednesday October 16 at 18.15Write/paste your "position paper" directly into the Google form. 


Position paper instructions:
- Your paper should be between 200-600 words long. Make sure that you in some way refer to and make use of (some of) the lecture/seminar course materials in your paper. It is not the job of the teachers to in detail query and make sure that you have prepared for the seminar - it is your job to convince us that you have.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Information about the home exam

The home exam will be made available in Bilda on Thursday October 17, right after the last seminars (i.e. sometime between 15-16). You will have one week to complete the home exam and upload it to Bilda.

Since you might be tempted to stay home and work on the home exam on Friday October 18 instead of attending the very last lecture, we have decided to award one bonus point to everyone who shows up on that occasion! That occasion will consist of a summary/wrap-up of the course and will be followed by a "gripe session" - a live interactive course evaluation of sorts.

Lecture 9 - panel discussion Mon Oct 14 (15-18)

Time and place: Monday Oct 14, 15-18 in lecture hall K1

Title: "Images of the future"
Moderator: Daniel Pargman, KTH/School for Computer Science and Communication/Media Technology and Interaction Design group

  • Peter Nöu, Senior Program Manager at The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova)
  • Sören Enholm, CEO of TCO Development
  • Elisabeth Ekner Petersen, ph.d student at KTH/Department of Environmental Strategies Research and the Center for Sustainable Communications (CESC)
  • Daniel Berg, ph.d student in economic history at Stockholm University and secretary in ASPO Sweden

Talk: Course participants have been presented with a variety of images of the future. This lecture won't be a lecture at all, but rather a discussion between invited guests who are expected to have widely differing ideas and opinions about the future, and about the future of sustainability. Can we imagine a future sustainable society? What would it look like? What are our chances and what is our best course of action in attempting to reach that future? Furthermore, what is the role of ICT and media in relation to these questions and issues? 

About the panelists:

Peter Nõu is Senior Program Manager with The Swedish Government Agency of Innovation Systems (VINNOVA). He is central in defining and administering sectors of 'Information Society' and 'Sustainable Cities' within the 'Vinnova Grand Challenges Program'. Open data, crowd sourcing and intensive prizes are other initiatives he’s been driving since joining Vinnova in late 2008, as a senior expert in the ICT and services sectors. Prior to joining Vinnova, Peter worked 15+ years in CTO and CIO roles in various industries and startups, always engaged in implementing strategic advantages of Internet technologies. This became a passion of his already 20 years ago, when as employed by the Swedish Government, he saw the birth of the Internet economy in Silicon Valley during the years 1992-94. He later joined Telia Research and helped launch Passagen, the Swedish 'First Wave Large Portal'. Peter has also worked in the strategic management consulting firm SMG. His degree is in Engineering Physics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Sören Enholm is the CEO of TCO Development, the organization behind TCO Certified, the international sustainability certification program for ICT products. The vision of TCO Development is that ICT is a solution in the development of a more sustainable society. Besides its certification program, TCO Development is also assisting organizations in becoming more sustainable with ICT as well as making their use of ICT more sustainable. Sören has a background in the ICT industry and has worked at several companies, including Sun Microsystems, Apple and Netscape. Sörens has a big interest in sustainability issues and wants to raise the awareness of possibilities and problems in regards to ICT and sustainabilty.

Elisabeth Ekener Petersen is a Ph.D. candidate at KTH and is one of the leading researchers in the area of social life cycle assessment (Social LCA). She has carried out the first Social LCA study on a complex product (a laptop computer) with UNEP/SETAC's guidelines and published it in a peer-reviewed journal. Elisabeth has also conducted Social LCA in two additional studies on vehicle fuels and e-waste management and is currently working on a ph.d. thesis on Social LCA. Elisabeth was part of the Swedish delegation in the international working group that developed the ISO 26000 guidance standards for Social responsibility that were issued in 2010.

Daniel Berg is a Ph.D. student in Economic history at Stockholm University (SU) and a has been a member of ASPO Sweden since 2008 (The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and gas). Daniel is also a journalist who writes about energy and finance from a long historical perspective and he is also working on a forthcoming book about the present-day "triple crisis" (energy, ecology, economy). His ph.d. thesis concerns the history of the opium trade, with a special interest in the regulation of desires in the transition from trade capitalism to industrial capitalism, and the default promotion of other desires that were better aligned with capital accumulation in an industrial energy-intense society. Daniel is a lecturer in a SU course on ICT and its economic impacts when seen as one of several industrial revolutions ("Den gamla och nya ekonomin"/"The old and the new economy"). 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Instructions for seminar 4 (Thu Oct 10)

Seminar 4 will be held:
- For group A on Thursday October 3 at 10-12 in M31
- For group B on Thursday October 3 at 10-12 in M32
- For group C on Thursday October 3 at 13-15 in Q33
- For group D on Thursday October 3 at 13-15 in Q34.


This is the second to last seminar and the course is drawing to an end. Next week is the last week of lectures in the course. It is time to start to wrap up and discuss all the issues that we have touched upon in this course and we will do so in the last two course seminars. 

Before seminar 4, you will have heard two more lectures. Beyond reading the literature connected to these lectures (here and here), you should prepare for the seminar by:
- 1) reading two (short) text
- 2) thinking about/writing a seminar question and a "position paper" and
- 3) entering your question and position paper into a Google form

---------- 1 -----------

Please read the following two texts before the seminar:
- Hoffman, A. (2012). "Climate Science as Culture War"
- The latest (just-published) 2-page IPCC summary.

Optional: By all means have a look at this 18 minutes long TED talk by Jonathan Haidt,  "The moral roots of liberals and conservatives"

---------- 2 -----------

Write a seminar question and a position paper. This week, your seminar question does not necessarily have to build upon or lead to your position paper. It should however be based on this week's readings and lectures.

Position paper instructions:
How would you as a media technology engineering student formulate a plan to engage others in a sustainability-related topic of your choice?

For example and based on this week's seminar readings, could  you be a "climate broker" and if so, how? Or based on the IPCC report summary, how could it be presented in different ways to different audiences?

Tip: It might be easier if you target and address one of the "six Americas" that is presented in Hoffman's article. 

- Your paper should be between 200-600 words long. Make sure that you in some way refer to and make use of (some of) the lecture/seminar course materials in your paper. It is not the job of the teachers to in detail query and make sure that you have prepared for the seminar - it is your job to convince us that you have.

---------- 3 -----------

Please submit your seminar question though this Google form. The deadline is 24 hours before the first seminar groups will meet, i.e. Wednesday October 9 at 10.15. Write/paste your short seminar question and "position paper" directly into the Google form. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lecture 8 - October 8 (10-12) - Daniel Pargman


Time and place: Tuesday October 8, 10-12 in lecture hall E2.

Title: "Rebound effects"

Guest lecturer: Daniel Pargman, KTH/CSC/MID.

Talk: Increased efficiency can despite our best intentions oftentimes have counterintuitive negative indirect effects that decreases or even reverses the hoped-for positive effects. We build better roads (to reduce bottlenecks and queues and to make the trip smoother and save gasoline), but what happens? People settle further away from the city, leading to more traffic and more time lost in queues instead of less. These perverse effects are as devious and difficult-to-fight as the mythical hydra (see picture below) - cut off one head and two new grow out. These are examples of the dreaded "rebound effect" that threatens to foil our plans even when we try to do good for the environment. Do read the literature and be amazed/shocked!

- Owen, D. (2011). The Conundrum: How scientific innovation, increased efficiency, and good intentions can make our energy and climate problems worse. Various very short chapters. Note: Available in Bilda.
- Hilty, L. (2012).  Why energy efficiency is not sufficient - some remarks on "Green by IT"", In: Arndt, H. K. (ed.): EnviroInfo 2012, Proceedings of the 26th Environmental Informatics Conference, Federal Environment Agency, Dessau, 2012. Note: Available in Bilda.
- Huesemann, M and Huesemann, J. (2011).  Techno-fix: Why technology won't save us or the environment, Chapter 1, "The inherent unavoidability and unpredictability of unintended consequences" and part of chapter 2, "When things bit back: Some unintended consequences of modern technology". Note: Available in Bilda.

Optional literature:
- Walker, R. (2011). Replacement Therapy. Atlantic Magazine (September issue)
Comment: A very short text about how "our gadgets can't wear out fast enough" - how we have a "gadget death wish" and wish that our gadgets wear out/die as soon as a newer version (think iPhone, iPad) is released.
- Crosstalks (2013). "Compensation for our lifestyle: How shortsighted can we afford to be?"
Comment: KTH's own TV show!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Lecture 7 - October 7 (15-17) - Henrik Åhman

Time and place: Monday October 7, 15-17 in lecture hall D2.

Title: "Social Sustainability: Society at the intersection of maintenance and development"

Guest lecturer: Henrik Åhman, Ph.D. student at KTH/CSC/Media Technology and Interaction Design.

Talk: Since the late 1980's, much of the debate on sustainability has been dominated by ecological perspectives. However, the last decade has seen an increasing interest in the social aspects of sustainability. While, to some extent, general consensus has been reached regarding the definitions of ecological sustainability, the definition of social sustainability is still in the making. This lecture will be an attempt to describe some of the more influential suggestions on how we could understand the concept of social sustainability.

About: Henrik Åhman is a Ph.D. student at KTH/CSC/MID. His research focuses on using poststructuralist theory to gain a deeper understanding of the relation between people and technology.

- Henrik will provide one or two texts after the lecture.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Instructions for seminar 3 (Thu Oct 3)

Seminar 3 will be held:
- For group A on Thursday October 3 at 10-12 in L21
- For group B on Thursday October 3 at 10-12 in L22
- For group C on Thursday October 3 at 14-16 in E36
- For group D on Thursday October 3 at 14-16 in E53.


At the seminar, we will look closer at the connection between energy and our daily computing/social media habits. You will also have heard two more lectures relating to this topic. Beyond reading the literature connected to these lectures (here and here), you should prepare for seminar 1 by:
- 1) reading a number of (short) text
- 2) thinking about/writing a seminar question and a "position paper" and
- 3) entering your question and position paper into a Google form

---------- 1 -----------

There are a number of texts you should read, but they are all pretty short:
- Pargman (2009) on The energy footprint of Google searches - published as a blog post in the course companion blog.
- Pargman (2008) on The energy footprint of online avatars - published as a blog post in the course companion blog.
- McAfee's (2009) report on The carbon footprint of spam email.
- Bloomberg's (2013) article on The carbon footprint of Bitcoin ("Virtual Bitcoin mining is a real-world disaster")
- The first 8 pages of Mill's (2013) report "The cloud begins with coal - Big data, big networks, big infrastructure and big power: An overview of the electricity used by the global digital ecosystem". You should read only the first 8 pages - you are welcome to read the rest but it's optional.
- Watch at least the first minute, preferably the first 12 minutes and optionally the whole television program "Bang goes the theory" (Season 1, episode 11, "Human power station").

---------- 2 -----------

Write a seminar question and a position paper (see below). You are free to find a question of your own based on this week's readings and lectures, or you might want to consider the following two questions (which some of you might have discussed when you played GaSuCo):

- Is it sustainable to have free Internet services (mail, twitter, facebook)? Can/should/will such services (by all means include Google searches, calendar services, Youtube etc.) continue to be free?
- From an environmental point of view, what are the pros and cons of Facebook building a huge server hall in northern Sweden?

To gain maximum points on this seminar assignment, you should either:
- write a text that explicitly refers to and makes use of a majority of this week's readings and lectures, or,
- use the seminar texts as a starting point for either doing detective work and updating the examples you  read about above, or, make a back-of-the-envelope calculation of some other example that relates our daily use of ICT/Media technologies to their energy/CO2/environmental footprint. 

Position paper instructions:
- Make a stand (take a position) and write about it in the position paper. Your paper should be between 200-600 words long. Make sure that you in some way refer to and make use of (some of) the lecture/seminar course materials in your paper. It is not the job of the teachers to in detail query and make sure that you have prepared for the seminar - it is your job to convince us that you have.
- There should preferably be some connection between your position paper and your seminar question. Your position paper should ideally lead up to you seminar question, or, your seminar question should be "grounded" and explained in your position paper.

---------- 3 -----------

Please submit your seminar question though this Google form. The deadline is 24 hours before the first seminar groups will meet, i.e. Wednesday October at 10.15. Write/paste your short seminar question and "position paper" directly into the Google form. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lecture 6 - October 1 (10-12) - Baki Cakici


Time and place: Tuesday October 1, 10-12 in lecture hall V22.

Title: "Designing ICT for future generations: The case of the Stockholm Royal Seaport"

Guest lecturer: Baki Cakici, Researcher at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS).

Talk: Stockholm Royal Seaport [Norra Djurgårdsstaden] is a future urban district under development in Stockholm. Its designers aim to create a residential area with zero fossil fuel emissions by the year 2030. Using examples from systems proposed for implementation within the district, I will present the potential benefits of ICT in meeting sustainability goals, and discuss some lingering issues that arise when designing technological systems to materialize grand visions.

About: Baki Cakici is a researcher at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), Software and Systems Engineering Laboratory. He is also a PhD candidate at Stockholm University, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences. He has previously worked at the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet) on the design and developemnt of CASE, a computer supported outbreak detection system. He is currently interested in surveillance studies and the critical analysis of information and communication technologies.

- Darby, Sarah. (2010). Smart metering: what potential for householder engagement?. Building Research & Information, Vol.38, No.5, pp.442-457. 
Note: Available in Bilda.

- Suchman, Lucy. (2003). Practice-based design of information systems: Notes from the hyperdeveloped world. The Information Society, Vol.18, No.2, pp.139-144. 
Note: Available in Bilda.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lecture 5 - Sept 30 (15-17) - Elina Eriksson

Time and place: Monday September 30, 15-17 in lecture hall V3.

Title: "Energy, IT and Design"

Lecturer: Elina Eriksson, Researcher at Green Leap, CESC/MID, KTH

Talk: Energy is one of the major issues in the sustainbility discourse, and the question is how media technology and ICT can help (or hinder) lowering our energy consumption and/or lowering our carbon emissions. In this lecture I will talk about the smartness of things, micro-generation of energy and the role that Human-Computer Interaction has to play in the development of the future energy system.

About: Elina Eriksson is working as a researcher at Green Leap and at the Center for Sustainable Communications (CESC) at KTH. She has a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction. Her research interest has been in change issues, and user-centred design. However, on a personal level, the survival of the human race and her children in particular has pushed her into climate-sustainability-zombie anxiety. Now she wants to continue to do research, not only to save the user, but also to save the planet. 

Literature to read before the lecture:

1) Zapico, J, et al. (2007), "Climate persuasive services: changing behavior towards low- carbon lifestyles". Note: available in Bilda.

2) Brynjarsdottir, H, et al. (2012), "Sustainably Unpersuaded: How Persuasion Narrows Our Vision of Sustainability".  Note: available in Bilda.

3) Broms, L, et al. (2010), "Coffee Maker Patterns and the Design of Energy Feedback Artefacts". Note: available in Bilda.