MFA Lighting Projections in the Snite Museum

Skylights digitally recreated in the gallery.

Skylights digitally recreated in the gallery.

Academic Technologies recently assisted student Allison Evans with lighting projections for her MFA project, on display in the Meštrovic´ Gallery at the Snite Museum of Art.

Evans’ project explores the relationship between light, space and perception by recreating the quality of light that existed in the Meštrovic´ gallery in the 1950s. At this time, the space served as a sculptor’s studio, featuring skylights that brought in abundant natural lighting.

Using three projectors, each using a Raspberry Pi as the video source, the skylights and lighting effects of the 1950s are brought back into the space, transforming its atmosphere. The projectors are controlled by the Pi to turn on at sunrise and off at sunset true to the calendar of the 1950s. In addition, each Pi is Internet-connected and syncs its clock to the US Atomic Clock multiple times per day to ensure that each Pi’s time is the exactly the same.

Allison’s project will be displayed in the Snite Museum until May 17th, 2015. To read more and see images from the installation, check out information about the exhibit on Evans’ personal site or in the MFA exhibition supplement and visit the Meštrovic´ Gallery in the Snite.

Arduino Workshops at Notre Dame

IMG_0679 Arduino is an open source physical computing platform that allows you to interact with the physical world from your computer. As an open source platform, Arduino focuses on sharing knowledge and ideas between makers. It is an affordable option that can be used with many operating systems. Experienced hobbyists can extend and improve upon the system as they use it in projects, and beginners have an inexpensive way to start experimenting with the technology. Incorporating electronics and simplified microcontroller programming through Arduino creates a unique opportunity for innovative solutions to real-world challenges.


“With Arduino, communities can come together to solve the problems they are facing,” said Matt Willmore, who coordinated a two-day workshop on Arduino programming basics for the Notre Dame community at Innovation Park. The sold-out event had fifty participants. Each participant received an Arduino clone kit that included the board, breadboard, wires, transmitters, and a remote. The workshop was sponsored by AT&T and SAP, so attendees only had to pay a $20 fee for the cost of their Arduino clone kit.


“The events we have held were very successful, and we are looking to hold additional workshops in the future,” Matt says.

In addition to repeating the Arduino basics class, Matt hopes to have follow up events that build upon the introductory workshop. Future classes may include a workshop geared towards families and advanced classes focusing on programming and hardware. Keep a look out for additional Arduino events at Notre Dame this summer and fall.

Horizon Report 2015: Notre Dame and the Digital Horizon

In February, the Hesburgh Library Center for Digital Scholarship hosted the Horizon Report 2015 Event: Notre Dame and the Digital Horizon, which looked at emerging technological trends and how they will affect teaching, learning, and creative inquiry at Notre Dame over the next three to five years.  The Horizon Report is published annually, in collaboration with the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The event was a collaboration with the Hesburgh Libraries, the Kaneb Center, OIT, and the Office of Digital Learning. It consisted of a welcome lunch followed by lightening talks that focused on:


Online Learning

The value of online learning is now well understood and set to impact education with its flexibility, ease of access, and integration of sophisticated learning technologies. How can Notre Dame use online tools to enhance the excellent education we already provide?


Badges / Blending of formal and informal learning

Badges allow for reward incentive and progress monitoring with online learning. Incentives like this are increasingly prevalent with blended learning environments. The term flipped classroom refers to a pedagogical model where the in-class time with students is primarily focused on problem solving activities, rather than presentation of information.  The prerequisite information is reviewed by students prior to coming to class.  Many classrooms are being flipped in an attempt to integrate active learning. Blending this with traditional lectures promotes hands on, real world application of concepts that foster curiosity-based learning among students.


Data-Driven Learning and Assessment

Online applications and tools generate a lot of data as faculty and students use them.  Universities around the world are developing tools to help analyze the data in ways that can help us understand and predict student success or failure.  Learning progress can be monitored through data analytics services, providing a more personalized learning experience.



Makerspaces are workshops that offer the tools needed to carry out ideas from start to finish.  These tools often include traditional shop tools used in woodworking, but they also include newer technologies conducive to rapid prototyping such as 3D printers, laser-cutters, and CNC machines. Makerspaces help students develop critical skills in design, engineering, and creativity, preparing for their careers.



Many institutions and organizations are supporting the use of personal devices. Students and educators are bringing their own devices into the classroom and connecting them to the University’s network.


Understanding the findings of the Horizon Report is important for the Notre Dame community.  These trends are set to have great impact on teaching and learning in the coming years. Implementing them properly and understanding their impact will prepare our students for the future.

Digital Week Wrap Up

Notre Dame Digital Week wrapped up on Thursday, October 9th. The week was an opportunity to explore emerging technology, and engage in lecture and discussion around the ever changing digital world, and the role of technology in education. In case you missed any of the week’s exciting events, here is a brief recap:

  • The week kicked off on October 3rd, with a lecture by Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, an online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT. Agarwal’s talk explored the place of digital learning in reinventing education.


Anant Agarwal’s lecture during Digital Week. A participant was able to watch the presentation remotely using the Beam device!

Anant Agarwal’s lecture during Digital Week. A participant was able to watch the presentation remotely using the Beam device!


  • Other lectures and discussion took place throughout the week, alongside weeklong events, such as a Digital Scavenger Hunt and 3D printing contest.
  • There was an opportunity to explore the Beam robots and Lightboard technology.


Tweet from @ND Digital Week showing the light board and Beam devices in action.

Tweet from @ND Digital Week showing the light board and Beam devices in action.


  • The Students as Developers event was geared towards parents, showcasing the growing interest among Notre Dame students in developing software.
  • There were demonstrations of Notre Dame’s Digital Visualization Theater, which allows viewers to be emerged in high-resolution images projected on a 50 foot diameter dome in Jordan Hall.
  • Professor Elliott Visconsi discussed “Online Learning and the Future of Higher Education”.


 Professor Elliott Visconsi using the Beam during ND Digital Week

Professor Elliott Visconsi using the Beam during ND Digital Week

  • A workshop using Pixon helped participants learn to create their own digital comics.
  • The final event of the week was a roundtable discussion on Going Digital to Improve the World. Participants explored how academics are utilizing digital technology in education to improve our world.


We hope that you enjoyed Digital Week, and that you continue with us in exploring emerging technologies and their place at Notre Dame.

Hackathon 2014

This weekend, stop by Innovation Park on Angela Blvd for the Notre Dame AT&T Hackathon. This free event will be running from Friday, September 26th at 6:00 PM to Sunday, September 28th at 12:00 PM.


The Hackathon will assist attendees in deploying their own apps through presentations, code samples, and technical tips. Food will be served, and cash prizes will be awarded for the best Hackathon App, and the best use of an AT&T API.
This event is a great opportunity to network and fine tune your development skills. All are welcome to attend. For more information, or to register for the event, click here.


Notre Dame Fall Mobile Summit

One of the most common rules in any classroom is “Put away those cell phones!”  As a Notre Dame student, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard this phrase. Yet, as classrooms filled in the Eck Hall of Law on Friday, September 28th for the Mobile Summit, it was clear that this was not your typical Notre Dame lecture. Not only were cell phones encouraged, they were integrated into many of the presentations. Rather than sneakily checking Facebook under the table, attendees could play bingo by checking numbers sent via text message,or by using the #mobilend hashtag on Twitter. This unique integration reflects the changing attitude towards mobile devices in the classroom. Once seen as only a distraction, mobile devices are becoming increasingly valuable learning tools. At the Mobile Summit, discussion focused on this evolving view of mobile technology and its role in daily life.


Mobile in the Classroom:
Mobile technology has the potential to change the future of research and teaching. Services like and are paving the way for innovation and collaboration on campus. Notre Dame is using iBooks Author to bring course content from the classroom to the iPad. Faculty, such as Professor Julian Velasco, embrace mobile technology as a more effective way to present material and engage students.

He says, “At least 75% of my job – from teaching, to reading, to drafting – I do with the iPad rather than a traditional computer or laptop.”

Using mind maps and interactive polls, Velasco can clearly present important ideas and gauge how well students are grasping the material. He can also search hundreds of scholarly articles for key terms, and go on to highlight, mark, and type right on these documents so that students can follow along during lecture. This utilization of technology keeps students involved and active in the learning process.

Getting Technical:
For tech savvy attendees, there was discussion about coding and creating digital content for mobile devices. Speakers provided insight into responsive web design and designing for multiple platforms using the LiveCode tool or jQuery Mobile. Apple consulting engineer Steve Hayman spoke about Apple’s new operating system. With good humor, he apologized for the poor map quality on the new version of iOS, before explaining how the new system’s features can be used in app development. The new developer tools make it easier than ever to create a new app. With Xcode 4, the interface builder is completely built in making it easier to edit code, debug your app, and see the result. Leaving his presentation, even I, with no prior coding experience, felt empowered to create a mobile app that would top App Store charts.


Living Mobile:
As a computer programming major, senior Cedric Strickland is no doubt familiar with coding. Yet, Strickland chose to focus on how mobile technology affects student life.  Any Notre Dame student would be hard pressed to imagine campus life without access to their cell phone. They have become more than phones, serving many critical daily functions for most students. Strickland surveyed Notre Dame students and found that in addition to calling and texting, over almost all students surveyed use their phones for the Internet, as an alarm clock, a camera, or GPS. Mobile technology has become so vital in daily life that it is difficult to imagine a single day without it. As people become more and more reliant on mobile devices, it is perhaps even harder to conceive what the future of mobile technology has in store.


Is this rapidly increasing prevalence and dependence on mobile technology disturbing? asked one audience member.

“Yes,” Strickland immediately responded. “All of it.” Indeed, it can be troubling to wonder where mobile is headed and how dependent we will become on it.  Though daunting, the wide open future for mobile technology is exciting, with the potential to continue revolutionizing the way we teach, learn, and live.

Notre Dame Mobile Summit

R U thinking Mobile First?

Come to the next Notre Dame Mobile Summit, Friday, September 28 in the Eck Hall of Law, to hear how Notre Dame is thinking mobile first to improve teaching, learning, research and university services.

Sessions Include:

  • “Mobile U” Mobile devices and the future of research and teaching. Elliott Visconsi, Associate Professor of English at Notre Dame
  • “Mobile at ND” Where we are and where we are going.
  • “Lightning Sessions” Presentations for coders, producers and users.
  • “Building Apps” How to get started with Apple app development tools. Steve Hayman, Apple Consulting Engineer


Whether you know how to write code or not, this event is for you! Presentations will cover: how to use mobile devices, to how to deliver content and services to mobile devices, and how to write code for mobile devices. The Mobile Summit is also a great opportunity to talk with others in and around the Notre Dame community that are passionate about mobile – all in the context of seizing opportunities and solving problems.

Have to go to class or meetings during part of the summit? No problem – come and go to different sessions throughout the day as your schedule allows.

On February 24, Notre Dame hosted the first Mobile Summit in the Mendoza College of Business. Events included presentations by faculty, staff and students as well as brainstorming and discussion sessions. Watch presentations and see photos from the first Notre Dame Mobile Summit.

NewTech ’12 Student Open House

Friday, February 3, 2012
2:00-5:00 PM
Basement of DeBartolo Hall

Yes, DeBartolo Hall has a basement! Didn’t know that did you? Well, come downstairs on Friday, February 3, 2012 from 2:00-5:00 PM to explore the Academic Technologies Lab and the new classroom. Add this event to your calendar.

We have a lot of new learning technologies, including the Kindle Fire, Gigapan, Siftables, and more. We are also beginning to look into Apple TV/Airplay, so come and join us in part of the process. For those who weren’t able to make it the Student Open House last year, the technologies showcased will still be there, including some Kinect games. Snacks will be provided.

NewTech ’11 Student Open House

NewTech '11 Student Open HouseDid you know there is a classroom in the basement of DeBartolo that has 12 displays, nine computers, rolling tables and chairs, and more? Did you know there is a technology lab in the basement of DeBartolo where you can see and experience the latest learning technologies being investigated for use at Notre Dame?

Come visit the new experimental classroom and Academic Technologies Lab to see and try out some of the latest learning technologies. Light snacks provided.

February 4, 2011
2:00pm – 5:00pm
DeBartolo Hall B011 & B003


Featured Technologies:

  • iPad
  • Surface
  • Xbox Kinect
  • DeepZoom
  • Augmented Reality … and more!