Hands-On (Eyes-On) Access to VR at TU

Smiling male with a VR headset onIntrigued by extended reality? Fatigued by actual reality? There is a place on campus, deep underground, where faculty and students can try-out virtual reality hardware and software. OTS Student Computing Services (SCS) is hosting weekly “Reality Checks” in Cook 35 through the end of the semester. Curious students and faculty are invited to sign-up via the SCS Online Resource Booking System (ORBS) or just drop by. Available systems include Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony Playstation VR, and Samsung Gear VR. Continue Reading

The SpecPhone: 3D Printing Technology for a Chemistry Course at TU

Researchers from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Akron published a lesson plan in 2015 to the Journal of Chemical Education that included production of a Spectrophotometer, an instrument used to measure the intensity of light. They were kind enough to provide the lesson plan which included a link to a downloadable object file that can be accessed for free and can be reproduced by anyone with a 3D printer. They called the file the “SpecPhone” because it can turn a regular smart phone in to a Spectrophotometer.   Continue Reading

360 Video for Equitable Assessment and Instruction

Every semester, dozens of classes with hundreds of students in the dance department need their midterms and finals video-recorded. Faculty use the recordings to assess their students’ improvement, give feedback, grade their performances and form their pedagogical plans.  

The traditional method of recording dance performances includes placing a stationary camera at the edge of a room or theatre, never crossing the imaginary line of performance, the proscenium line, and hoping that the performers do not block each other. This has proven to be a problem for equitable assessment. It is impossible to record every performer equally as it is easy for performers to go out of focus, block each other or not be correctly lit.  

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Meet the GoPro Fusion Spherical Camera

photo of a GoPro Fusion spherical camera on a white backgroundAmong the four different spherical cameras (a.k.a., 360-degree or omnidirectional cameras) available to TU students and faculty via SCS Gear2Go*, the GoPro Fusion promises the highest quality output. Its 5.2K resolution is a step-up from the competition’s 4K models, and its unique design produces better stitching—the process by which the camera joins two hemispherical images into a single spherical image.

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Sweet 3D Printing

Sure you can print in plastic, but did you know that it is also possible to print in chocolate? In the spirit of the most dentally dangerous holiday, here’s an interesting diversion from the usual discussions of 3D printing. As fabrication technologies continue to advance, we can only imagine what other medias we might eventually “work” in. Happy Halloween!

All3DP Article: “Chocolate 3D Printer – All You Need to Know”


Stand-Alone Virtual Reality

There is a new wave of devices that are revolutionizing the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in education: Stand-Alone Virtual Reality headsets. The Oculus Go comes with the headset and controller pictured below. Unlike the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive that must be used in conjunction with a computer, the Oculus Go has an internal computer, battery, 1440p display, tracking sensors, storage, and speakers for as little as $200. It runs on the same operating system as the Samsung Gear VR and offers a similar, high end, comfortable experience. The internal computer may not match the power of the desktop connected Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, but the resolution actually exceeds that of these much more expensive headsets. Also, the screen is positioned at the optimum distance from the lenses so that you get the most out of the 1440p resolution.

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2018 Cybersecurity Event

Kick off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month on October 2nd from 10 AM – 3 PM in West Village Commons Ballrooms A & B (4th floor) with the TU Office of Information Security (OTS), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

Join us for expert presentations, a vendor fair, refreshments, and giveaways—including a pair of Ravens tickets!

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The Modern Centaur

If you have not heard the term centaur used in the context of human computer collaborative decision making, this brief article by Mark Stefik from PARC should be interesting. Some jobs in the future will be computer accomplished tasks, but for many others AI assistants will partner with skilled humans and human teams.

Conversation starter: How will AI augmented human effort, effect the meaning authenticity in higher ed? Fred Zimm from UMass Amherst tackles this question in his 2016 blog post.