‘First Steps in VR’ is a popular experience on the Oculus Quest headset and most first-time users, irrespective of age, are literally taken to ecstatic childlike moments.
Integrating immersive technology into learning environments is an effective way to enhance learning experiences to help students stay engaged and connected via diverse learning styles. This picture was taken during TECH DEMO at The Krannert Center, where local companies and student developers showcased lots of amazing tech ranging from virtual reality, video games, engineering, and more. To the next generation of students and researchers, exposure to technology that provides educational entertainment and access to information could be a game changer. Events such as these also provide the opportunity for one-on-one interactions with the people behind these technologies which could bud research interests in kids from a young age.
The first time I realized there was a vegetable and fruit market stand at UIUC, I was concerned whether these products came from organic farms. Before buying, I asked about their agricultural practice. I was happy to learn that students at UIUC have a 5-acre educational farm where they can grow fresh food, using organic practices.
A student practicing guitar in his free time, studying the song "Whipping Post" by the Allman Brothers Band.
The student, who is a Kinesiology major, spends his time off-campus honing his guitar skills. He started his music education by watching YouTube tutorials, and reading online tablature. Since this photo was taken, the student has has decided to take his music education more seriously. He is now pursing a minor in Music at the University, and is getting weekly lessons at the school of Music. Through his pursuits in music, he has evolved from learning blues inspired songs, to practicing jazz standards ranging from Miles Davis to George Gershwin.
Preparing for a 360-video project, a student gathers some ideas while watching a 360 documentary.
This photo was taken during lab period for my class in Immersive Technologies (JOUR 460) taught by Dr. Christopher Ball. I first had the experience of using a VR headset in this class. Being an international student, this class has opened me up to the world of immersive technologies, how it applies and is used in fields of journalism, advertising, and media studies. Leveraging on the power of technology, we have lots of experiences ranging from deep sea explorations to virtual tours of places all over the world; all done without leaving the classroom. Through this class, we are also equipped to go from consumers of these techs to contributors and designing content for 360 videos, VR and AR experiences.
EnterpriseWorks, the startup incubator at the University of Illinois, offers an open atrium for student interns to study in.
The atrium is also home to a multitude of Research Park events, including Women in Tech and the Summer Intern Workshop series. This study environment is ideal for students because of the open space and natural sunlight from the ceiling. Though not pictured, the kitchen has coffee, tea, and instant ramen, so student interns can get their fix 24/7. It's a unique space that is different from the typical library study environment, and taking a break from studying can involve you having a casual conversation with a startup CEO.
Going through a Ph.D. and having a small kid are very similar. Both anxious and time-consuming.On top, none of them will let you sleep at night 🙂 This picture was taken during a midterm reviewsession in the evening when I had to bring my toddler with me to learn multiple regression analyses.Tough learning process never last, but tough Ph.D. mothers do!
As an English and Community Health dual degree student, I get asked frequently by friends and family about how I managed to fit into a startup-focused environment.
I fit because of companies like PSYONIC; by working at EnterpriseWorks, I have learned about biotech, agtech, and everything in between. In this photo, I'm holding one of the many iterations PSYONIC went through while developing their Ability Hand. This startup is truly "Redefining Human" and has redefined what technology is for my college experience. By working with startups like them, I've realized that I don't need to be a Grainger-based student to be a startup consultant. My blended humanities and science background helps me appreciate their work while providing holistic feedback. PSYONIC is a specific example of health technology, since their Ability Hand is an affordable and accessible prosthesis, and the business is just one of many that I have come in contact with. Given the opportunity, I'd love to work with health technologies in the future and continue being amazed like this.
In this image, students take a tour of the Abbott Power Plant in Champaign, which produces electricity and steam heating for University buildings.
Students in departments including Civil to Mechanical Engineering were able to smell the natural gas, feel the direct heat of boilers, and observe damaged sections of the plant students, learning far more than what is possible in a classroom. They witnessed the true costs of fossil fuels, but also discovered the reasons why they still must be used in the world today. In striving towards a carbon free Illinois, this solid grasp on the current state of fossil-fuel power generation is crucial. From it, students are better equipped to ideate and develop new green solutions which consider challenges from cost to efficiency to reliability.