2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday December 14, 2022

Updated on Wednesday December 14, 2022

portrait of Jorge Cardoso

Jorge Cardoso

Professor , University of Coimbra

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Editorial Officer , Europeana Foundation

Professionals in Focus - Jorge Cardoso

Europeana Network Association Members Councillors have diverse jobs and experience across the heritage sector, but are united by their passion for digital cultural heritage. In our ‘Professionals in Focus’ series, we speak to Councillors about their roles, working lives and plans for their time on the Members Council. Today, Jorge Cardoso tells us about his work with virtual and augmented reality.

Photo of Jorge Cardoso
Title:
Photo of Jorge C. S. Cardoso CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
Creator:
Jorge Cardoso
Date:
30/10/2016
Institution:
Personal
Country:
Portugal

How did you enter your profession?

I am Assistant Professor at the University of Coimbra’s Department of Informatics Engineering. I teach web technologies, interaction design and virtual and augmented reality. Before joining the University of Coimbra in 2015, I was a professor at the Portuguese Catholic University, which I joined right after finishing my degree in Informatics. 

I have always had an interest in Informatics from the point of view of understanding how people use the technologies we develop and also from the point of view of creating new possibilities for interaction. More recently, this interest has focused on virtual and augmented reality and the cultural heritage domain.

What are you currently working on? 

Too many things! But let’s focus on a few of the most important ones.

I am currently coordinator of the Bachelors degree in Design and Multimedia in the Department of Informatics Engineering. This more managerial role comes at the cost of having less time for research and for preparing teaching materials, but allows me to better understand the needs of the students and of the institution and to have a more active role in setting the current and future vision for the bachelor program.

I am also currently setting up a Virtual Reality Lab at our department. This entails getting funding for equipment and installations, and promoting activities around this area within the department’s community - but also outside of it.

Research-wise, my students and I have been working on applications of virtual and augmented reality to different kinds of cultural heritage areas. A beautiful example (in my opinion) is the Kairos project in which we used photogrammetry to digitise three locations in the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra and then created a virtual reality experience that tries to recreate the ambience of the garden.

Title:
Camera alignment for the Tília tree CC-BY-NC-ND
Creator:
Maximilian Rubin
Date:
12/10/2022
Institution:
Personal
Country:
Portugal

And last, but certainly not least, I continue to try out new ways of teaching and creating new teaching materials for my students. In many of the courses I teach, I have tried to promote a connection with cultural heritage (and with Europeana, more specifically). For example, in the last edition of the Interactive Media Design course, I asked students to propose and design a mobile app that would take advantage of or contribute to the contents of Europeana. The results were a series of prototypes, some of which were very creative. For instance, ARTence is a proposal for a mobile app that fetches pictorial references from Europeana for art students to exercise their drawing; or Artican, a mobile game where players are asked to recreate scenes from paintings found in Europeana.

What are some of the challenges in your role? What are some of your favourite elements?

University professors, as in many other professions, end up taking up many roles, each with slightly different challenges. Perhaps the main challenge is exactly the number of different roles one needs to take on and the amount of work that one is expected to accomplish. Juggling teaching, grading, jurying, research, management, etc., feels at times overwhelming. Fortunately, these difficulties are often shaded away by the positive appraisal of students, or by the achievements of the students themselves.

What was your motivation for joining the Members Council? 

I got to know the Europeana Network Association a bit by chance (a reference from a colleague) and felt that by joining the Members Council I could understand it a bit better and maybe also contribute to it in a more objective way.

What do you plan to do as a Members Councillor? 

I am still navigating my way around the Europeana Network Association and Members Council, and trying to find the best way to contribute. I would like my contribution to be in promoting the use of virtual and augmented reality for the exploration of cultural heritage.

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