Digital Scholarship Center to open in library

Shannon Beauregard

Contributing Writer

The technology team in the library will soon open the Digital Scholarship Center, which will introduce new technologies to students as soon as next semester.

A $700,000 grant awarded to the University this summer from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided funding for the center.

Sometime during the spring semester, students may have the opportunity to work with the MakerBot, a user-friendly 3D printer that will be located at the Digital Scholarship Center. The engineering department already owns a 3D printer.

The 3D printer spits out real, three-dimensional plastic objects. Students can go to and design the plastic object they want to create.

“Maybe if a student was in a sculpture class and needed something to look at while sculpting, he or she could use the printer,” Digital Scholarship Coordinator Andy Famiglietti said. “Or, if a student was in a management class and wanted to give a class presentation about a new device to market, he or she could actually hold the device in his or her hand.”

Along with the 3D printer, the Information Technology (IT) department wants to have 3D glasses available at the Digital Scholarship Center.

The 3D glasses would allow students to “access information that they would otherwise only be able to access by looking at a screen,” Famiglietti said. “Using the glasses, you can channel information to particular places.”

The 3D glasses essentially display information or search results, in front of your right eye. This eliminates the need to “double screen” and makes multi-tasking substantially easier.

“We want to see how students will use them in classes, and how both students and professors will use them while completing their research,” Digital Scholarship Coordinator Diane Jakacki said.

The IT department has already conversed with faculty members about the new technology and will soon start to talk to the student body as well.

“The goal is to see how the technology can be brought into a humanities or social science context,” Jakacki said. “For lots of humanities folks, technology is straightforward, yet this new technology could transform their coursework.” 

The IT department is currently running trials to explore the effectiveness of the new technology in the classroom and hopes to utilize student feedback when the new Digital Scholarship Center opens.

(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)