Experience, Explore, and Experiment
Studio X will be where the latest related extended reality (XR) technologies— including virtual, augmented, and mixed realities—come to life. The new space will serve the entire University of Rochester community, too, and will foster exploration, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and peer-to-peer learning. Studio X will soon be located on the first floor of the Carlson Science and Engineering Library near the VISTA Collaboratory a high-tech data visualization area. Within the new space, students, faculty, and other users will be equipped with the latest XR technologies. They also will be guided by experts who will help them experiment and gain the skills to lead new, innovative approaches to research, teaching and scholarship.
Join the Lam Library Challenge now.
University of Rochester trustee and honorary member of the University Libraries National Council, Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) recently established a $250,000 challenge gift program—the Lam Library Challenge—to support Studio X and honor Mary Ann Mavrinac, vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries. Because of Lam’s leadership and generosity, the new space will be named the Mary Ann Mavrinac Studio X. Join Lam now and honor Dean Mavrinac—who will retire in the fall of 2021 after 10 years of service to the University’s River Campus Libraries—while supporting leading-edge innovation and learning at the University.
What is XR?
What is VR?
What is AR?
What is XR?
What is VR?
What is AR?
Studio X will facilitate new learning opportunities. For example:
- Art history students can walk through an art exhibit in Paris and virtually hold and examine works of art.
- Engineering students can design and build digital structures and actually walk through them, using staircases and sitting on furniture.
- Anthropology students can visit ancient cities to understand life in the time and place they are studying.
Studio X will provide faculty and students like me an ideal opportunity to explore, learn, and develop XR. Studio X’s staff will help us, too, by providing the support, expertise, and a variety of events that will equip us with critical knowledge and further position the University of Rochester as a leader in XR.
–Muhammed El-Sayed ‘22, A Karp Library Fellow and a computer engineering major and history minor
Duje Tadin, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences; Jeffrey Bazarian, professor of emergency medicine; and Feng (Vankee) Lin, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, are working together to see how VR can help treat people with Alzheimer’s disease and those suffering from concussions. Through access to technology and training, Studio X will prepare students to collaborate on and conduct cutting edge research.
Andrew White, assistant professor in the chemical engineering department, and April Luehmann, associate professor and director of secondary science education at the Warner School of Education, are collaborating on research that explores how AR can enhance the way students learn about engineering. Studio X will provide a much-needed space where educators can develop new approaches to increase student learning and engagement.
What We Can Do Together
Together we can change the way we teach, learn, and conduct research. Join us now and help facilitate access to expertise and technology, robust programming and curricular integration, and high-impact student engagement and research.
For More Information
Do you have a question about XR or Student X? Have you ever experienced XR? Tell us about it here. One of our Studio X-perts will get back to you.
Go back in time to experience two historic landmarks. Immersive technologies, like those that will be available in Studio X, will expand opportunities to explore and learn about places like these.
In “Digital Elmina,” three University of Rochester faculty members—Renato Perucchio, professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering and director of the archeology, technology, and historic structures program; Michael Jarvis, associate professor of history and director of Smiths Island archeology project; and Christopher Muir, professor of mechanical engineering—created 3D reconstructions of Elmina Castle, which were then visualized through Unity Gaming Engine.
Built in 1482, Elmina is the best-preserved and most complete example of early European masonry construction in Ghana and served as an active commercial outpost over four centuries. Immersive technologies help us understand Elmina Castle’s past, convey this knowledge in the present, and ensure the castle’s survival in the future.
The Temple of Jupiter
Elizabeth Colantoni, associate professor of religion and classics, wanted to visualize ancient Roman topography to explore how the Temple of Jupiter fit within the larger context of Roman society. To do that, she collaborated with others at the University of Rochester to create the virtual reality experience seen here, which provides scholars and students new perspectives and expands scholarly conversation.
The experience is based on a model of the temple that Daniel Weiner ’16 (a dual major in computer science and classics) created as an undergraduate, using a program called Sketch-up. Then, in the fall of 2018, Blair Tinker, the Digital Scholarship Lab’s GIS specialist, built this virtual reconstruction, using combined spatial analysis and 3D modeling in Unity Gaming Engine.
Virtual reality (VR) uses advanced display and immersive audio technologies to create an interactive, three-dimensional environment. Think of experiencing a roller coaster without actually being on one. Or walking through the great pyramids of Egypt from the comfort of your living room.
Augmented reality (AR) uses digital technology to overlay video and audio onto the physical world to provide information and embellish our experiences. Think of using AR to help you assemble a piece of furniture. Or use it to see if a table would fit in your dining room.
Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term encapsulating AR, VR, and everything in between.
“I’m interested in learning how to build 3D collections of historical objects and recreating historical spaces or experiences. Knowing how to do this will help me stand out in the job market but without access to the right equipment, this won’t be possible.”
–James Rankine ’14 (MA), PhD candidate and Mellon Fellow in the history department
Join us now
The potential for immersive education through XR is nearly endless. Providing access to XR spaces, programs, experts, and experiences is a University priority. Philanthropy—and your generosity—will provide vital support.
We seek funds and corporate partnerships so that we can offer robust programs, rich technology, and the latest equipment. We have naming opportunities available for Studio X and its interior spaces including the heart of the space, known as the project room, along with collaboration rooms and a learning and salon hub.
We invite you to be part of changing the way we teach, learn, research, and discover.