Plastics: Call for Collaborators 

We are building a team of collaborators from art, design, engineering, and related fields to develop processes for recycling plastics. For more information or to find out how to join us, click here.




Liberty starry night

IAC Partners with Texas Target Communities to Engage Youth in Initiatives

Two teenage residents of Liberty County, Texas are posting ideas about improving their home county in a multimedia blog, “Trinity Time Hop,” one of a set of ongoing Texas Target Communities initiatives aimed at helping residents of the rural area northeast of Houston shape their futures.

Blog contributors Sam Addington, a home school student, and Emily Connelly, a freshman at Liberty High School, chosen for the project after winning an essay contest, are posting text, photos and videos to "Trinity Time Hop," which was launched in fall 2015. Continue Reading




NAS Board on Workforce

SEAD network joins National Academies workshop to launch a formal study on integrating the arts and sciences

On December 2, the National Academies hosted a workshop entitled, “Integrating Education in the Arts and Humanities with Education in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Medicine.” Plans are now in progress to launch a formal study on this topic by the National Academies, a process with a two-year timeline. With state support, the NAS report can lead to significant changes in undergraduate and graduate education.

Workshop participants represented college and university faculty and administrators, scientists and engineers, health professionals, humanists, artists, federal agency officials, business leaders, Congressional staff, and other stakeholders interested in exploring the benefits of more integrated educational experiences at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Member of the Network for Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design contributed with enthusiasm.

Topics included assessing the value of incorporating curricula and experiences in the arts and humanities--including history, literature, language, philosophy, and the arts--into college and university STEM education and workforce training programs. A focus was understanding how these experiences prepare STEM students and workers to be more effective communicators, critical thinkers, problem-solvers and leaders; and prepare STEM graduates to be more creative and effective scientists, engineers, technologists and health care providers. Concurrently, the group discussed the value of integrating more STEM curricula and experiences into the academic programs of students who are majoring in the humanities, arts and related disciplines. 

Relative to both approaches, intersections of arts and sciences in education were examined as to how this might better prepare students for success as both citizens and workers, and help prepare them to responsibly address the most compelling grand challenges facing our society, such as global stewardship, health care for our youngest and oldest citizens, and gene editing.  

The workshop was hosted by the Board on Higher Education and Workforce of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 




Theo Jansen and students


Visit and lecture by Dutch kinetic artist Theo Jansen

Dutch kinetic artist Theo Jansen visited campus on November 18 for two lectures and meetings with students and faculty. Architecture and Visualization students gathered at Blue Baker for breakfast and discussion. Architecture faculty Negar Kalantar Mehrjardi and Alireza Borhani Haghighi shared work on fabricated, adaptable, and transformable design. Theo Jansen explained how Strandbeests will achieve autonomous evolutionary life, through open source 3D printing of beests by current and future generations. Jansen’s visit was co-hosted by the Institute for Applied Creativity, the College of Architecture, the Department of Visualization, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and The George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy.



Microsoft HoloLens


Visualization faculty awarded Microsoft HoloLens research grant

Professors Carol LaFayette and Frederic Parke are among 10 academic research teams  awarded support for HoloLens development by Microsoft. They will explore how the Microsoft HoloLens might be augmented to extend human perception into the near ultraviolet light spectrum and into the ultrasound sonic spectrum. Inspiration comes from their work with immersive simulations of how one might experience movement through environments while perceiving augmented ranges of sight and sound. The goal is a wearable, free-ranging augmentation system that allows humans to explore and experience environments with extended senses comparable to those of a variety of birds, insects and animals.

A press release stated, “We were blown away to observe such creative, compelling and promising academic applications for HoloLens across art, medicine, visualization, education and more. From leveraging HoloLens to correct for visual impairment to mobilizing mixed reality in the classroom for trade-based education, the submissions truly capture the spirit of the program and point to the scope of what’s possible with Microsoft HoloLens.”



NAKFI conference

Keck Futures at National Academies 2015

The IAC, LIVE Lab, and the Vizlab gathered at the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) conference on Art, Science, Engineering, and Medicine in Irvine on November 11-14. It was organized as a think tank to collaboratively address national grand challenge problems from multiple points of view. NAKFI also showcased intriguing art and science exhibits addressing multi-modal experiences, including sight, touch, smell, and taste. It is the first time artists have been invited to participate in a NAKFI annual conference.

Schaefer Mitchell, Fermi Perumal, André Thomas, and Carol LaFayette exhibited an interactive roster, the result of a mobile app that encouraged attendees to call each other before the conference. Participants collectively created a story about a day in the life of certain characters living 100 years from today, as a result of this gathering. Visualization students from Time Based Media contributed short animations scripted by participants.

Dan Goods, artist in residence at NASA, exhibited "Refraction," an interactive display of light, water, and motion. Brandon Ballangée, artist, biologist, and environmental activist, exhibited "Love Motels," a sculpture that attracts insects to ultraviolet light. David Edwards, a Harvard professor who founded Vapor Communications with former student Rachel Field, demonstrated his OPhone and Ardvard Haar, a scent-based experience that delivers the olfactory and taste equivalent of whiskey, chocolate, and cotton candy. 

Think tanks gathered to address seed challenge topics. Participants are eligible to apply for seed funding to continue developed project ideas.




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