IST researchers introduce wireless community for Arts Fest

University Park, Pa. -- Students and faculty from Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and Center for Human-Computer Interaction have developed location-sensitive mobile computer services for this year’s Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

As part of a project in wireless community networking sponsored by the Knight Foundation and Intel Corp., the group is investigating strategies to promote community engagement by making use of new computer and networking infrastructures.

During the past year, they have worked with several civic and municipal organizations including the Schlow Centre Region Library and the Rotary Club of State College, as well as directly with citizens, to understand the hopes, concerns and expectations about how wireless networking can contribute to the State College community.

The group has developed software that will allow people to interact with an online community during the arts festival. Participants can use handheld devices that will allow them to interact with other festival patrons and search for artists and activities by topic and current location. Participants will also be able to contribute blogs about their festival favorites.

During the festival, go to to access the site. The site is designed for smartphones, but others can interact with the site as well. For more information, contact Craig Ganoe at

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Last Updated March 19, 2009