Virtual Reality Game Built By IUPUI Students Challenges Players To Escape Breakout High

Video by Samantha Thompson, Indiana University

Gamers in Indianapolis have a new virtual world to play in, one built by a team of IUPUI media arts and science students where players must use their puzzle-solving wits to escape the clutches of a villain who has locked them inside a school.

The game, “Breakout High,” is available for play at BlueWall VR, a virtual reality arcade at 5967 E. 82nd St. in Castleton.

After donning a VR headset, players find they have been locked inside a classroom in Breakout High by the villainous Mr. Jack. Players escape from a series of locked rooms, and eventually the school, by solving puzzles.

The students developed the game as part of a team-driven project-based learning course, N420 Multimedia Project Development. The student team was paired with BlueWall VR as a client, said Joshua Kottka, who led the student team as product manager.

“They wanted a VR game, so we met with them for a couple of weeks to brainstorm ideas about what type of game we should develop,” Kottka said. “We eventually narrowed it down to a puzzle-solving game, like an escape room.”

“I think we were all pretty excited to work on a virtual reality game,” Kottka said. “Virtual reality and augmented reality games are still not quite as popular as other types of video game genres, but they are new and emerging. The really interesting thing about virtual reality is that it is still super-new.”

Jonathan Renninger, who served as lead programmer, said learning the ins and outs of virtual reality programming was the most interesting part of the project. “I had to do a lot of research and learn how to program that kind of stuff,” he said.

That included designing puzzles that lead a player from one step to the next, such as a bookcase on which books have to be placed in a certain order, Renninger said.

“Breakout High” may be the first game Kottka and Renninger developed for a client, but it won’t be their last.

After he graduates from IUPUI May 11, Kottka said, he will be applying for internships at gaming studios around the country: “That’s really my goal after graduation, making more games and stuff.”

He believes his work on “Breakout High” will give him a leg up on that quest. “This will definitely help. For a year, I was project manager for ‘Breakout High.’ So I have that to put on my resume.”

Renninger, who is also graduating, hopes his experience developing “Breakout High” will burnish his portfolio. “It also helped me learn a bit more about how to work with a client. So I hope further on down the line this will help me deal with clients and with programming for other games in the future.”

Read the original story from IUPUI News’ Rich Schneider

 

IU Online Conference

The fourth annual statewide IU Online Conference will be held October 30, 2019, at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at Keystone Crossing.

Your conference hosts from the Office of Online Education, the Office of Collaborative Academic Programs, and eLearning Design and Services are seeking proposals from IU faculty, administrators, advisors, success coaches, and staff across the state who are innovators and collaborators in the online space.

We will consider proposals that address empirical research, showcase best practices, and/or describe lessons learned related to one or more of the following areas:

  • Program development and administration
  • Coaching, advising, student engagement, and co-curricular programming
  • Marketing, admissions, and recruitment
  • Teaching and learning innovation
  • Technology that advances digital learning

Of special interest are presentations describing intercampus and/or interdisciplinary collaborations and proposals that have application to multiple disciplines. Sessions will last for 30 to 45 minutes.

Proposals are due at 11:59pm on Friday, June 7th. Presenters will be notified in August.

Submit your proposals now! 

Mother Nature Inspired IUPUI Students’ Design For A Safer Football Helmet

The thick peel of a pomelo was one of nature's bio-inspired designs the students examined.
The thick peel of a pomelo was one of nature’s bio-inspired designs the students examined.

Two IUPUI students drew upon the wisdom of Mother Nature to create biologically inspired designs that could be used to create a safer football helmet.

Their research has been published in the Society of Automotive Engineering International Journal of Transportation Safety.

The student authors of the paper, “Cellular Helmet Liner Design through Bio-Inspired Structures and Topology Optimization of Compliant Mechanism Lattices,” are Jacob DeHart, a media arts and science student in the School of Informatics and Computing, and Joel Najmon, an engineering student in the School of Engineering and Technology.

Zebulun Wood, a lecturer in media arts and science, and Andres Tovar, an associate professor of mechanical and energy engineering and an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, are co-authors and co-directors of this research project.

“Our research and design algorithms show innovative, energy-absorbing cellular helmet liners,” Najmon said. “Cellular helmet liners are ideal for impact energy absorption, as their structures can mimic the excellent absorbing capabilities of foam and energy protective biological structures while maintaining the ability to be engineered for specific impact, dynamic responses.”

The two students were given the reins to experiment and explore different ways of making something that could be useful to people, DeHart said. “I took a more interpretative look at nature, mimicking functions and forms from nature, while Joel took a more scientific one, putting numbers into a program to get results.”

This work shows lessons learned from bio-inspired designs using protective structures such as pomelo peel, nautilus shell and woodpecker skull, Tovar said. “Our work explores a design approach to tailor the response of a cellular material subject to impact, an approach that offers the potential to mitigate head injury by decreasing acceleration, decreasing penetration and increasing specific energy absorption.”

“What this study really gets to is that nature, through millions of years of innovation and evolution, knows best,” Wood said. “We took some of nature’s hardest surfaces — surfaces that could be translated to helmet design — and re-created them in a way that can be simulated in engineering software.”

Nature may have provided inspiration for the cellular designs, but it took the students months to figure out how the bio-inspired shapes developed by DeHart could be re-created in a way that they could be used by Najmon in engineering simulation software that showed whether their helmet liner would reduce risk of injury.

The challenge the two students faced, Wood said, was to learn how to create geometric shapes that were inspired by nature but could also be simulated in engineering software. “Until our experiment, that was very difficult to do. It’s still difficult to do. Now IUPUI knows how to get those shapes to work together.”

The kind of collaboration that enabled the students to bridge the gap between the domains of media arts and science and engineering could only happen at a campus like IUPUI that encourages people in different fields to work together, Wood said.

The helmet liner study was supported by a grant from the Sports Innovation Institute at IUPUI.

Read the original article from IUPUI NewsJohn Schwarb and Rich Schneider

Digital Scholarship Team Gives Blind Students Unique Senior Portraits

Dressed in their emerald green graduation gowns and mortarboards, the 19 graduating seniors from the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired lined up for their class pictures.

Two queues occupied the cafeteria space inside the historic school: one for the traditional still-portrait photographer and another for a team from the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship manning two 3D-scanning stations. Most of the students sat down for both.

The scanning took only about a minute for each student. The digital composites will be sent to the school’s records as well as to the students, who can then 3D-print the scan.

Emma Parker, a biomedical engineering sophomore and 3D digital assistant for the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship, does a 3D scan of Kurt Stickradt, a senior at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Photos by Tim Brouk, Indiana University
Emma Parker, a biomedical engineering sophomore and 3D digital assistant for the IUPUI University Library Center for Digital Scholarship, does a 3D scan of Kurt Stickradt, a senior at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Photos by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

“We hope this becomes a new tradition for us,” said school superintendent Jim Durst. “A picture is worth a thousand words, and an object is worth a thousand pictures. Our kids can have access to information through 3D printing, but this really personalizes it at a level we hadn’t thought of or anticipated.”

The technicians used Creaform portable 3D scanners, which take about 1,000 digital photographs per second. The software stitches the images together to create a surface in staggering detail. The 3D scans can sharpen the details of a face — or any object — to a tenth of a millimeter.

The Center for Digital Scholarship has been busy for years with collaborations with the Benjamin Harrison Presidential SiteIndianapolis Motor Speedway MuseumIndianapolis Firefighters Museum, and several other institutions and programs. Typically, the team scans inanimate objects for virtual online museum experiences that users can access anywhere on the planet. At the 2018 Regatta, the team scanned 200 students’ faces, including one who 3D-printed a life-size version of his face to make into a Halloween mask. At the Jan. 24 50th Anniversary Birthday Bash, 400 students were scanned.

Steve Mannheimer, professor of media arts and science, had worked with the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for years as part of assistive, accessible and inclusive technology research with the Department of Human-Centered Computing. He met with Durst to plan the April 16 scanning session.

Decades of two-dimensional class photos line the school’s halls, but many of the students can’t see them. The goal of the class of 2019’s 3D scans is for that to change.

“One research question is, ‘Will the students recognize themselves?'” Mannheimer said. “Thanks to digital technology, we can provide tactual, acoustic, gestural opportunities to say, ‘How will this help somebody who may be differently abled to better interact with the world?'”

Durst was excited about what the 3D scanning will lead his students to.

“In the future, when they come back years from now with their children and grandchildren,” he said, “they can say, ‘Here’s my picture. This is what I look like,’ without depending on somebody else to find their picture.”

Visually impaired students had the option of keeping their eyes closed, as the handheld scanners emit bright lights while scanning. No sound is emitted during the process as the technician holds the scanner about an arm’s length from the subject.

Derek Miller, 3D project coordinator for the University Library Center for Digital Scholarship, scans a graduating senior at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The student will be able to send the file to a 3D printer. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

“It’s like a projector that slides across a surface’s mountains and valleys,” said Derek Miller, 3D project coordinator. “We can also capture color and texture of materials.”

Inspired by a few other assistive technology initiatives, Miller hopes to offer scanning services to the school again — not only to the graduating class, but for every class. From kindergarten to senior year, blind students will be able to realize their physical growth from their 3D-scanned portraits.

“It’s going to allow them to feel themselves tactilely,” Miller said. “Someday, hopefully, we’ll be able to scan a blind student at the age of 5 and then scan them every year. In theory, we could build a timeline of them growing that they can actually feel.”

Senior Cassondra Ernstes was one of the first students to get scanned. She was thrilled to be among the first class to have such unique senior pictures.

“That was pretty interesting. I didn’t feel anything,” Ernstes said. “I’ll be 3D-printing this. We’ve never had anything like this before. It’s pretty different, but pretty cool.”

Read the original story from IUPUI New’s Tim Brouk 

These scanners were supported by a grant from the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.

Kibo, Chatbot Tech That Enhances Interest In Books, Wins 2019 JagStart Competition

Radhika Ravindran pitches Kibo during the 2019 JagStart competition. Photo courtesy of the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Radhika Ravindran pitches Kibo during the 2019 JagStart competition. Photo courtesy of the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research

An idea that originated more than five years ago was developed and refined into a project that won IUPUI’s 2019 JagStart Student Idea Pitch Competition on April 12.

Radhika Ravindran, a master’s degree candidate in the School of Informatics and Computing, has a younger brother who doesn’t enjoy reading but likes using his smartphone, including sending text messages to friends. She wondered why the same activity couldn’t be used for reading books.

“While there are services to help consume books differently, nothing addresses the lack of attention span and engagement aspects of it,” Ravindran said. “My solution, Kibo, uses chatbot technology to make book-reading like a conversation and more engaging than ever.”

Ravindran delivered a three-minute elevator pitch and participated in a two-minute Q&A session with a panel of judges during the IUPUI student competition. Kibo was named the best of the 11 projects in the competition, and Ravindran was awarded $2,500 to further develop it.

“Originally I thought of making Kibo an application for home use,” Ravindran said. “But with the JagStart competition award and insights from two contacts I have made, I’m planning to turn it into an education application that could benefit students up to the university level.”

Samuel Kropp, a bachelor’s degree candidate in the Kelley School of Business, won second place and $1,500 for The Aquaponics Company. The company is based around the sustainable science of aquaponics — the combination of fish farming and hydroponics. The goal is to scale down commercial aquaponics to an in-house system to be sold directly to household consumers.

Eli Hoopengarner, a double bachelor’s degree candidate in the School of Engineering and Technology and the School of Liberal Arts, won third place and $750 for The FlexWheel. The product improves motorsport driver comfort, allocates stronger muscle groups to decrease a driver’s fatigue and provides energy dissipation upon impact.

Kristina Tinsley, a bachelor’s degree candidate in the Kelley School of Business and a member of the Honors College, and Madhura Mhatre, a master’s degree candidate in the School of Informatics and Computing, won the audience choice prizes and $500 apiece. Tinsley pitched Archived, a smartphone app that increases visitor engagement at museums and helps maintain museum inventory. Mhatre pitched Swelter Produce, which addresses the challenge of desert farming by using renewable resources to generate clean energy from heat and to extract water from humid air in arid environments for irrigation.

JagStart is organized through IUPUI’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. It has undergone different iterations, including a business pitch competition, since it started in 2012. Simon Atkinson, vice chancellor for research, said it is important that resources like JagStart are available for innovative IUPUI students.

Simon Atkinson
Simon Atkinson

“These students are future entrepreneurs and leaders for Indiana,” Atkinson said. “Competitions like JagStart and other resources offered by IUPUI help them hone the soft skills that will carry them far in whatever career they choose.”

Other competitors in the 2019 JagStart Student Idea Pitch Competition and their projects were:

  • Michael Daniells: Breeze Microloans, a mobile application platform that provides access to short-term, low-principal, low-interest-rate loans.
  • Sneh Khatri: Kidzie, an application that promotes the development and well-being of young children through features that enhance parent-child communication.
  • Dakota Merkel: Rest in Peace, a social media platform that allows people to actively remember their loved ones years after they pass away.
  • Yi-shan Tabitha Tsai: epiQ, a mobile application that helps students achieve basic furniture needs.
  • Natalie Woods: Green Roofs, a product designed to allow residents in an urban environment to have their own green spaces.
  • Szu-Yu Yang and Swaroop John: Pickcart, an online-shopping-style mobile application for university students to access free food items from their on-campus food pantries.

Read the original story from IUPUI NewsSteve Martin 

Opening Eyes: Students Learn About Neighborhoods That Predated IUPUI

Anthropology professor Paul Mullins leads the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class in University Library. The course explores the history of neighborhoods that existed where IUPUI is today. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University
Anthropology professor Paul Mullins leads the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class in University Library. The course explores the history of neighborhoods that existed where IUPUI is today. Photo by Tim Brouk, Indiana University

Alysa Meyer’s sobering research project began with a 1978 article about an Indianapolis man found drowned in Fall Creek.

The tragedy and the life of Dr. George Watkins was part of the new Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis class, which focuses on the histories of racial displacement and urban transformation along Indianapolis’ downtown canal in commemoration of the IUPUI 50th Anniversary and Indiana University Bicentennial. The class explores the rich history of the Indiana Avenue Cultural District and the nearby Ransom Place neighborhood as well as the contentious displacement and gentrification that occurred when IUPUI was established in 1969.

Meyer and research partner Kyle Turner dug up what they could with the random address they were assigned: 402 W. Vermont St. Watkins’ home also held his practice, once standing where parking lots are now paved near Inlow Hall.

As their research will soon be published online, Turner and Meyer were guest presenters at the April 12 Butler Undergraduate Research Conference. Their findings shocked their peers from other Indiana institutions. Though Meyer grew up in Indianapolis, she, too, was unfamiliar with the history of the area before the university, which included Watkins’ sad story.

This house that once stood at 402 California St. belonged to Dr. George Watkins. It was located where parking lots for Inlow Hall and the Science and Engineering Laboratory Building now exist. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection

“He was very involved in the community and worked a lot with the YMCA,” said Meyer, a biology senior with an anthropology minor, of Watkins. “We found articles that said he would often give his chiropractic services for free in a way to give back to the community. In his later years, he would wander around the old neighborhood, searching for his house, according to another article. It was thought he had developed Alzheimer’s.”

The Digital History and Community Change in Indianapolis course is led by the team of Andrea Copeland, associate professor of library and information science; library and information science lecturer Kisha Tandy; and anthropology professor Paul Mullins, whose 2009 book, “The Price for Progress,” pays tribute to the neighborhoods that once bustled before IUPUI’s establishment. The final projects are being managed with the help of Herron Art Library digital services specialist Danita Davis and librarian Sonja Staum, who is also the director of the Herron Art Library.

The class of 17 undergraduate and graduate students majoring in science, museum studies, library science and public history utilized digitized newspapers, databases, old city directories, and Sanborn insurance maps from the late 1800s and early 1900s to monitor what kind of homes, businesses and landmarks once stood where IUPUI is today.

Museum studies graduate student Hannah Lundell had no idea of the history that was once literally beneath her feet as she prepared for her class, which takes place in University Library.

“It’s been a consensus with the class that a lot of people weren’t fully aware of the extent of the neighborhood that used to exist here,” said Lundell, a Florida native. “But we’ve been able to talk to former residents, which is rare when working in archives and piecing together stories.”

‘Study our city’

As the student projects are nearing completion, the research is being uploaded into a digital map from 1908. Users will be able to scroll along the map and click on the houses to learn more about the structures and the families who once inhabited them. Some of the content was acquired in collaboration with Indiana Landmarks.

A Civil War-era mansion once stood at 538 W. New York St., near where Inlow Hall is today. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection
A Civil War-era mansion once stood at 538 W. New York St., near where Inlow Hall is today. Photo courtesy of Indiana Landmarks Central Canal and IUPUI Image Collection

Copeland said her students have learned about an early, hyper-local example of gentrification and displacement, which occurs in cities all over the country. These final projects give needed history, images and data to one of the most historically underrepresented parts of Indianapolis.

Copeland hopes the class will help pave the way for an Indianapolis history minor, specialization or certificate at IUPUI.

“There is a need to study our city,” she explained. “We don’t have a permanent course with the word ‘Indianapolis’ in it. Geography, history, social issues, current events, economics in our city — it’s all intertwined.”

Dr. Watkins’ story to live on

Meyer and Turner’s work filled in not only Watkins’ story, but that of his neighborhood.

“I think this is really eye-opening for a lot of people because I don’t think they realized this was happening,” Meyer said. “I think it’s a good way to teach people about displacement. You get to read about people’s lives and who it affected.”

Since publishing his book, co-authored with Glenn White, Mullins gets calls and messages from relatives of former area residents who are curious about their former homes. He hopes his class’s digital research project will answer questions for those relatives as well as for Hoosier historians.

“In general, we are interested in putting as much of this history as possible in an accessible, digital place,” Mullins said. “We’re building like genealogists would. We have so much digitized. Now, it’s about helping people understand how to use it and what they can do with it.”

Read the original story from IUPUI NewsTim Brouk 

For the record: IUPUI Talks Favorite Albums In Time for Record Store Day

From connecting with family members to influencing their research at IUPUI, music has played an important part in the lives of IUPUI staff and faculty members.

With Record Store Day sweeping into Indianapolis record shops on Saturday, April 13, we wanted to know what some of your favorite records are and why.

Jordan Munson, Department of Music and Arts Technology
“OK Computer,” Radiohead

A senior lecturer in music and arts technology, Jordan Munson teaches synthesis and sound design classes while leading the student performing group Electronic Music Ensemble. He also oversees the performance studios’ use within his department.

Radiohead’s epic 1997 release, “OK Computer,” directly influenced his professional aspirations. The record was groundbreaking in terms of the possibilities of electronic music and recording studio experimentation. Munson has pursued electronic music since then, creating for IUPUI and his solo performance work.

“It was influential in recording and production and all of these things I think about all the time now here at IUPUI,” Munson explained. “It was an interesting turning point. This was a milestone in terms of albums, production and concept.”

Check out Munson’s new, original music live at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Indy CD and Vinyl‘s Record Store Day celebration.

Carolyn Springer, Herron School of Art and Design
“Kind of Blue,” Miles Davis

For most of the 21st century, Carolyn Springer‘s academic work has focused on color and design. She has worked as an adjunct instructor since 2005, primarily teaching color theory in the elective arts program.

Color is her thing, so it’s fitting that Miles Davis’ legendary “Kind of Blue” would resonate so much with Springer, an Indiana University alumna. After all, the record’s compositions include “Blue in Green” and “All Blues.”

“It has this warmth, even though it’s ‘Kind of Blue,'” Springer said. “The rich tones … it just felt like it was inside my soul.”

Jasdeep Bagga, School of Science
“Chunga’s Revenge,” Frank Zappa

Jasdeep Bagga is the webmaster for the School of Science, developing and upkeeping sites for the program’s nine departments. Before he became adept at coding, he was putting the needle to the groove on an impressive record collection.

Bagga goes by the nickname “Jazz,” which is also an ingredient in the eclectic sounds of the late Frank Zappa. Bagga was a freshman at IU Bloomington when he first dove into the discography of the man who composed such works as “My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama,” “Dirty Love” and, of course, “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.” He took a music history class that focused on Zappa’s music, career and life.

“The music blew me away,” Bagga remembered. “I did this crazy deep dive of Zappa, fell in love — and there was no going back from there.”

John King, Department of Media Arts and Science
“Copper Blue,” Sugar

A lecturer in media arts and science, John King has collected music since his teens, but the 1992 album by noted alt rockers Sugar has stuck with him through the decades and format changes. It’s the only record he has several copies of; he first bought it on cassette, then CD, then LP — and then all of the reissues, international pressings and promotional copies. When he was a high school student, King said, “Copper Blue” was one of the first albums recommended to him that went beyond pop or classic rock radio.

“My buddy Ryan said I would like it because it was so loud and distorted,” King recalled. “After I bought it, I kept going back to it so many times. There were certain songs that spoke to me lyrically. To me, there isn’t a bad song on the album or one I skip every time.

“Today, when I see it in clearance bins at Half Price Books or something, I’ll get it and then give it to people: ‘I got this for $1. Here, take this.’ I feel like I am rescuing it from oblivion.”

King, who teaches video production, scriptwriting and digital storytelling classes, believes vinyl records still hold a place in modern music consumption. You can listen to Spotify, but holding an LP still strikes a chord.

“The tactile, the idea of holding it your hand — there are marks of character on it,” King said. “I like that there is a loud pop on this record between tracks. You get another copy, and it’s not going to play like that. There’s a significance to ‘This one is mine.'”

Mandy Porter, Division of Student Affairs
“Tapestry,” Carole King

The soothing sounds of “Natural Woman,” “I Feel the Earth Move” and “It’s Too Late” echoed through the Porter household near Portage, Michigan. Mandy Porter, the IUPUI coordinator for student success and outreach, said she grew up in the “CD era” and consumed music accordingly. But her parents’ massive collection of LPs always fascinated her. The old records have become an anchor to childhood memories of her home. She also had to listen to her dad explain — at length — the superior sound of vinyl over CD and digital.

Porter started buying current acts like Adele and Sam Smith on vinyl, but she always went back to those old tunes from “Tapestry,” which has sold 25 million copies and become an iconic title in 1970s soft rock.

“Just listening to an album my mom listened to when she was my age,” Porter explained, “brings me back to multiple times in my life and my mom’s life. Hearing music the way she heard music is relating to my family.”

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Tim Brouk

AI for Conservation: AI and Humans Combatting Extinction Together

Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf 

The School of Informatics and Computing’s Data to Action (D2A) lab cordially invites you to attend the first event in its speaker series. We especially welcome students to attend, and we can arrange attendance-taking and reporting for class credit at an instructor’s request.

Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf of University of Illinois Chicago will be presenting in the Data to Action Lecture Series on Friday February 22nd at 11am in the Lilly auditorium in the University Library. (lower level).

About the Lecture 

Photographs, taken by field scientists, tourists, automated cameras, and incidental photographers, are the most abundant source of data on wildlife today. Dr. Berger-Wolf will show how computational methods can be used to turn massive collections of images into high resolution information database, enabling scientific inquiry, conservation, and citizen science. Dr. Berger-Wolf will demonstrate how computational data science methods are used to collect images from online social media, detect various species of animals and even identify individuals. I will present data science methods to infer and counter biases in the ad-hoc data to provide accurate estimates of population sizes from those image data.

Dr. Berger-Wolf will show how it all can come together to a deployed system, Wildbook, a project of tech for conservation non-profit Wild Me. Dr. Berger-Wolf’s research team has built Wildbooks for over 20 species of animals, including whales (flukebook.org), sharks (whaleshark.org), giraffes (giraffespotter.org), and working on elephants. In January 2016, Wildbook enabled the first ever full species (the endangered Grevy’s zebra) census using photographs taken by ordinary citizens in Kenya. The resulting numbers are now the official species census used by IUCN Red List and the research team repeated the effort in 2018, becoming the first certified census from an outside organization accepted by the Kenyan government. Wildbook is becoming the data foundation for wildlife science, conservation, and policy.

About the Speaker 

Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she heads the Computational Population Biology Lab. Berger-Wolf is also a director and co-founder of the conservation software non-profit Wild Me, home of the Wildbook project. She has received numerous awards for her research and mentoring, including the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Association for Women in Science Chicago Innovator Award, and the UIC Mentor of the Year Award.

About Data to Action

The Data to Action (DATA) Lab is an interdisciplinary team of SoIC faculty and student researchers who study the impact of data practices and labor in a variety of contexts. Data are empowering artifacts that, when properly collected, aggregated, managed, and analyzed, have immense value. Data can bring tangible reward to individuals, communities, organizations, and businesses. Our work characterizes data not only as a statistical input or technological byproduct, but as a socio-technical construction with inherent contradictions, problems, and ethical implications.

Informal Gathering: There is another opportunity to informally interact with Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf, from 9:30 am to 10:30 am on Friday 22nd at IT 266. Students and faculty from other department across the campus are welcome to attend. Right refreshment and coffee will be served.

WE’LL SEE YOU THERE!

5 Tips For Getting Into Grad School

For some of us, graduation means no more grades or homework. For those who can’t get enough of the college experience, it means the cycle is about to start all over again with graduate school.

If you’re going to graduate school and you know it, clap your hands — and give these tips a try.

Students who have questions about graduate school are encouraged to reach out to others for guidance. Indiana University

Research the program
Whether or not you know what you want to study in graduate school, it’s always a good idea to research any program you’re interested in. Find out what the program offers and what’s required to get in. You should also look up the faculty and their interests and strengths. This will help you create your personal statement and cater it specifically to the program you want to enter.

Take the GRE early
Similarly to taking the SAT when you were looking past high school, it’s a good idea to take the GRE your sophomore or junior year in college. That way, if your score is lower than you want, you have time to retake the test. Also, some of your general education classes, such as math and English, help prepare you for the GRE questions, so it’s good to take it when the information is still fresh in your mind. If you missed this mark and are taking the test later, it’s not the end of the world. It only means you have a little less time than people who started earlier.

Write, revise and tailor your personal statement
Your personal statement is not something you should write overnight. You might have several drafts throughout the process, and that’s OK. The more revisiting and revising you do, the more satisfied with the final product you’ll be. This is your chance to showcase your accomplishments and goals and explain why you’re a perfect fit for the program.

Ask for strong letters of recommendation
Making sure to ask the right people for “strong” letters of recommendation is key. Ask people who will promote you and your abilities in an effective way. It’s important to choose people who know how you work, what your accomplishments are and what your future goals are. Specifically requesting a “strong” recommendation letter shows that you’re serious about this program, and it encourages the recommender to put real thought and effort into what they write for you.

Ask for help and pay attention to deadlines
Getting all your materials turned in on time is extremely important. Make sure you know when the deadline is and have everything done a little early. That way, if you have questions about the application process, you’ll have time to ask people who know. Reach out to the admissions staff in your program, and they’ll help you create a successful application. The IUPUI Graduate Office offers workshops on getting into graduate school; see the website for details.

Read the original article from IUPUI News’ Ashlynn Neumeyer