Spring 2023 TIP Awards

The TIP Awards Committee selected the 2023 Technology Initiative Project (TIP) grant awards in June 2023. Ten eligible requests totaling $47,000 were received. Six requests were awarded some funding for a total of $20,200.

TIP grants are annual funding provided by the Campus to fund academic initiatives related to instruction, student usage, improving student usage, and/or improving student learning through technology. Priority is given to new and innovative or trial initiatives, which can later expand on campus, as well as collaborative and multi-disciplinary projects.

Awarded Grants

Biological Science, Award:  $1,500

Jinyan Guo

Rapid technological development in mixed reality and artificial intelligence is starting to transform human society and will eventually transform higher education. Using Virtual Reality (VR) technology, the metaverse is considered the next generation of an immersive internet. It is expected that online education programs that are currently offered through a “two-dimensional” internet (Learning Management System, video conferencing, etc.) will incorporate the “three-dimensional” metaverse with the advancement of the fast-growing VR technology. This proposal aims at applying this innovative technology to synchronous and asynchronous online courses to create an immersive, more engaging, and interactive online learning environment.

Management and Marketing, Award:  $2,000

Michele Thornton

This proposal seeks to retrofit a space in Rich Hall (Alumni Lounge) to make it suitable for live-streaming events, interviews, and fireside chats suited for a more personal setting than a classroom-style milieu. Beyond special event use, the space will be an innovative classroom for observation-based learning experiences. One example will be having students participate in mock interviews or practical simulations while being broadcast into a classroom for observation and feedback. In addition to mock interviews, the space can be reserved for students to use in interviews with potential employers. With an aesthetically pleasing and technologically-current environment, we anticipate students leaning into effectively communicating their ability to contribute professionally and capably.

Cinema and Screen Studies, Award:  $4,000

Tiffany Deater and Jarrod Hagadorn

This TIP grant will provide Cinema & Screen Studies funding to purchase a cutting-edge research computer capable of rendering VR, 350fps, and 4K video. The purchase of an Alienware Aurora R15 desktop computer with an Intel® CoreTM i9 processor and a NVIDIA® GeForce RTXTM 4080 will be used for editing high-resource intensive videos and VR software in projects similar to the film produced for Sterling Nature Center.

Technology Education, Award:  $3,200

Christopher Stein

Students new to the design ideation process often need help with the ability to draw and render their ideas in 3-D. Traditional mediums like pencil and paper or CAD require learning the software or skill before students can feel comfortable allowing their ideas to flow. Some more feature-rich 3-D modeling software can take the better part of a semester for students to learn on a PC. Adding VR headsets with a piece of gravity sketch software to our design studio gives students a new option regarding visual thinking and the ideation process.

Art & Design, Broadcasting, HCI, and Cinema & Screen Studies Award:  $3,500

Cara Thompson, Nathan Eaton, Michael Riecke, Damian Schofield, Tiffany Deater

This grant will allow for purchasing several 360° cameras used by students in the Department of Art and Design, Communication, Cinema and Screen Studies, and Human Computer Interaction. The Omnidirectional camera footage is a fairly new tool in visual communication and will allow for fully immersive experiences that traditional video cannot achieve. In addition to gaining the ability to capture 360 video, these cameras will also add value and new purpose to the Oculus Quest headsets that were purchased with a TIP grant in 2021 (HCI, Department of Art and Design and Theatre). With these cameras, we can enable students to fully realize their ideas for VR content without the limitations of creating solely virtual 3D environments.