Funded by the UT LIFT Grant Fall 2015.

The College of Fine Arts offers “Visual and Performing Arts” (VAPA) courses required for all undergraduate majors on campus, resulting in very large class sizes. Some of these classes, including ARH 303, require visits to sites such as museums so that students can experience art and artifacts in situ. The iBeacons: Scaling and Enhancing Location-Based Learning and Aesthetic Experiences project investigates the use of iBeacons, low cost Bluetooth emitters, mobile app technology and the Canvas LMS to solve the problem of humans required to be docents for students in the Blanton Museum. The goal of the project is to know how much time each individual student spends in the museum each week, what the students sees in the museum, and the ability to push contextually appropriate content to the students when visiting. This will also provide valuable aggregate data to the instructors, allowing them to learn about the museum experience using the combined data of the entire class.

Participants: Dr. Paul Toprac, GAMMA Program; Koven Smith, Jack S Blanton Museum of Art; Dr. Bruce Pennycook, Center for Arts and Entertainment Technology (CAET); Matt O’Hair, Simulation and Game Applications (SAGA) Lab; and Jim Kerkoff, College of Fine Arts.

Rapid Design Pivot

In 2014, a research project, funded by a MIT-Skoltech Initiative Innovation Ideaslab research grant began to explore the intersection of new materials and artistic expression. Rapid Design Pivot addresses how an institution or government can seed, grow and maximize technological innovation and entrepreneurship. The project initiates and facilitates partnerships between artists, scientists and inventors to discover new applications for emerging materials, science and technology. Through the activity of making art, the researchers anticipate that artists and scientists together will discover usages for emerging materials that would otherwise not be explored.

Participants: James Sham, M.F.A., College of Fine Arts; Dr. Brian Korgel, Department of Chemical Engineering; Dr. Adam Bock, the University of Edinburgh Business School.

Simulation and Game Applications (SAGA) Lab

The Simulation and Game Applications (SAGA) Lab is part of the Center for Arts and Entertainment Technology (CAET), within the College of Fine Arts, under the leadership of Dr. Paul Toprac (GAMMA Program) and Dr. Bruce Pennycook (CAET). Our focus is to the production of simulations and games for the greater good, such as Environ: a grant funded educational game promoting sustainability and high-level decision making skills. We partner with faculty at the University of Texas at Austin on research projects that require simulation or game-based software solutions. SAGA Lab staff and UT faculty design the software and ensure quality while student interns assist with all stages of production. Learn more.