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NSERC Presents 2 Minutes With David Humphrey
School of Information and Communications Technology,
Seneca College, in Partnership with Mozilla Foundation


Summary

Video Name

2 Minutes with David Humphrey

Author

NSERC Communications

Duration

2:23

Release Date

February 17, 2015

Description

Mozilla, the company behind popular web browser Firefox, is working to make the online gaming experience richer.

Mozilla’s open access platform lets students at Seneca College contribute their own ideas to help make Firefox more interactive by bringing console-like features to the web so that gamers have the ability to use a mouse for navigating 3-D environments with dynamic sound effects, for example. Their innovations have helped keep Mozilla on the leading edge of the highly competitive web browser space by producing animated graphics within Firefox and, most recently, developing a new file sharing system similar to Dropbox and Google Drive. This research team won one of NSERC's Synergy Awards for Innovation in 2014.

Transcript
Mark Sermon

Partnerships like the one we have with Seneca give us a tremendous amount as an organization. We’ve had new ideas we never would have imagined because Dave’s basically got a lab full of young people who are trying to solve, you know, some of our most cutting-edge problems.

David Humphrey

It’s been my passion to try and make it possible to bring students into this kind of environment, working with great engineers and with creative people, people who are pushing the limits of what’s possible with technology.

Mark Sermon

An open source project is the best classroom that anybody could ever hope for. It’s a place where you can take a student, throw them in there; you get peer review from other coders, and you actually learn by doing.

David Humphrey

A lot of the technologies have related to things to do with media and interactivity: using the web as a platform for doing video games, being able to use your web browser and go and run a video game on the web or on your phone. And to do that we have to have advanced controls, so being able to use game pads or joysticks, being able to use your mouse to rotate around in 3D world. So we’ve worked for a number of years to build technologies into the web and into browsers, into Firefox from Mozilla, to make it possible to do those things.

Mark Sermon

He lets his students loose in Mozilla. They work on bugs, they learn how to code, we get volunteers and contributions back. Everybody’s better for it. We’ve had people working on new technologies for actually teaching and learning using the web, and now they’re working on something called MakeDrive, which is a brand new file system.

David Humphrey

When I was in school, I wish I could have worked on projects like this. Having the ability to collaborate with world-class engineers, designers, creative people, business people, there’s nothing like it.

Mark Sermon

With the NSERC piece, we’ve really been able to build a lab around what was happening in the classroom, take the best students, put them in the lab, and work with them over a couple of years. And the innovation parts of what’s come out of the partnership with Seneca come because that NSERC funding, that collaboration as a business, collaboration with the school, and the students working through the summer, that’s only been possible because of NSERC.

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