I'm Frédéric Pietowski and I'm full-time student at the KU Leuven, maintainer of this site and the person behind the Pi-Project. At 23 years old, I enrolled in the Digital Humanities programme at the KU Leuven, Department of Computer Sciences. I submitted the topic of the Raspberry Pi in april 2016 and started working on it during the academic year of 2016-2017. This website, the videos on it, the scripts and all documentation are part of the master's thesis I wrote during this year.
In earlier years I did the Master of History and the SLO:
- sept 2011 - sept 2014: Bachelor of History (KU Leuven)
- sept 2014 - sept 2015: Master of History (KU Leuven)
- sept 2015 - sept 2016: SLO (=Teaching license at masterlevel) (KU Leuven)
The inspiration to work out the Pi-Project is based on my experiences gained from my two master degerees. By doing the research for my first master I encountered outdated computer systems that weren't efficient in any way. In libraries and archives nearly all desktops were used for simple web-browsing tasks or querries. Notwithstanding the simplicity of their tasks, those machines are bulky, noisy, produce heat, gather dust and are expensive to acquire. At that time, I saw that problem, but didn't know of any solution.
When I started my Teaching License I got involved in debates about the modernization of the secundary schools in Flanders; these debates - which were borderline idealistic - often mentioned the words 'programming' and/or 'digital literacy'. The two terms kept lingering in the back of my head until I read an article about the Raspberry Pi. A few days of thinking were enough to 'connect the dots' and by april 2016 I submitted the topic for the MDH-programme and received the go-ahead to start the programma in september 2016.
Fueled by coffeeI started working on the thesis (and all other courses); often-times I ran into the limitations of exisiting hardware or my limited knowledge of programming, which was inexistent before I enrolled. From time to time this meant rethinking certain aspects of the thesis; in the end I was left with the idea of Pi-Lib and tie it to educational projects.
The central idea of that was to give public libraries free tools, clear instructions and cheaper/more costeffective alternatives for traditional windows desktops, in return I hope that this project shows that even simple Digital Humanities projects can have an impact outside the borders of academic institutions and use the public space in libraries to display the versatility of the Raspberry Pi. With this I wish to inspire young people to take up simple programming classes and introduce them to single board computers. This last goal can only be achieved if libraries are willing to inform the public of the Raspberry Pi and are able to develop a project that is simple enought to make, yet interesting enough to attract attention.
Please use a clear and descriptive subject!