In the Spotlight: Energy and Environmental Simulation Laboratory

logo  for Energy and Environmental Simulation Laboratory

This week we’re spotlighting City Tech’s Energy and Environmental Simulation Laboratory (EESL). EESL is a research group organized by Professor Masato R. Nakamura in the Mechanical Engineering Department at City Tech. Though a research group, this group is open to anyone interested in conducting research on energy, environmental engineering and computing for sustainability. We’re spotlighting EESL’s site this week because of their clear presentation of content. EESL’s site is very easy to follow. Their site cleanly houses information on the group’s goals, work, activities and membership. Each page is organized around images, information, and links that can connect readers to more information. In addition to being easy to follow on its own, the consistency in style across pages helps the reader navigate the site more efficiently, feeling familiar on each page before taking in the content. The significance of this style of site presentation is that it is easily translatable in professional environments. In this way it offers Professor Nakamura and his colleagues a place to send other scholars and researchers if they are interested in learning more about their work. Additionally, it provides students with documentation archived chronologically overtime that speaks to – and shows – the work they’ve completed for the group. In sum, EESL is an example of site that has a strong public, professional face that can be interfaced with by an array of others – who might find the work interesting, might consider joining the group, might be assessing one of the member’s skills in relation to another position. In this way, it is an example that speaks to the reach of what OpenLab can offer its users, beyond their experiences here at City Tech.

the team at the energy and environmental simulation laboratory

In the Spotlight: RoboQuín

profile of RoboquinThis week we’re spotlighting CityTech’s own “Roboqn”. In addition to being a seemingly futuristic mannequin robot fashion model that can interact with people via Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity, Roboqn is also a larger multidisciplinary project composed around the construction and showcasing of the mannequin robot (hereafter the robot will be referred to as RoboQueen and the project will be referred to as Roboquín). Though supervised by Professor Farrukh Zia of the Computer Engineering Technology department, this project is comprised of professors and students from a range of departments including Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science Technology. In this way, Roboqn is an excellent example of how OpenLab can facilitate cross-disciplinary communication and workflow.

In addition to a description of the project and its members, the group uses their site for two purposes. First, they use the site to showcase ‘the travels’ of RoboQueen – from the 2016 World Marker Faire in Queens to CityTech’s own Annual Open House – and the visitors it has dazzled.

Second, Roboqn’s project site hosts images and information detailing the construction of RoboQueen, and includes links to resources that could be used by another team in the construction of their own ‘RoboQueen’. Beyond the potential for visitors of Roboqn’s site to replicate the designs, this information is emblematic of the kind of transparency OpenLab affords its users.  

Together, these two qualities allude to another important affordance embedded in OpenLab’s infrastructure – the ability to archive information in a centralized, organized and chronological way. Beyond sharing information, archiving is a critical process in project development as it allows one to see where a project has been and envision where it might go in the future. 

In the Spotlight: L4 – Living Lab Learning Library

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Faculty members — Will you be planning spring courses over the winter break? Do you intend to use the OpenLab next semester? Would you like fresh ideas for your pedagogy? If so, check out L4: Living Lab Learning Library! L4 is a resource exchange for innovative teaching practices, where City Tech faculty can interact with each other and a community of educators at large. As the site says, the grant-funded project was designed to re-envision General Education as a “living laboratory” using City Tech’s signature strengths — hands-on experiential models of learning and our vibrant Brooklyn Waterfront location. Brought to you by the Gen Ed Seminar, the OpenLab, a Culture of Assessment, and the Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center, the site offers a one-stop shop for teaching and education resources — including tools for research and assessment. Want to learn more? Check out the site or contact L4 Coordinators Profs. Anna Matthews and Laura Westengard.

In the Spotlight: Our Places: How We Commemorate

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In Our Places: How We Commemorate, students in Prof. Mary Sue Donsky’s course LAW 2301 Estates, Trusts and Wills, a research class, explore memorial sites of the deceased. Taking their legal study out of the classroom, they research and photograph these sites, taking a close look at the ways that we commemorate the dead. Then they share their learning and reflections with each other. Examples include memorials for celebrated baseball player Tony Gwynn, for the actress Anita Ekberg, and for those lost in 9/11. Take a look to see more.

In the Spotlight: ARCH 3640 – Historic Preservation

In Inna Guzenfeld’s Historical Preservation course, students are considering questions such as how historical significance is determined, and researching examples of cultural heritage preservation.  They’ve also done field research at a historic district in NYC, documenting their observations about the site and its architectural significance.  The course site is clean and well-structured, making everything easy to find.  Take a look!

In the Spotlight: Not Only the Dead Know Brooklyn

This week we’re featuring Professor Rob Ostrom’s ENG 1101 section, Not Only the Dead Know Brooklyn.  Students have just posted some excellent multimedia presentations, in which each group researched a neighborhood in Brooklyn and explored the changes in that neighborhood over time. Students did a great job, and have posted their work on the course site in multiple formats including video, sound, and Prezi and PowerPoint presentations.  Take a look!