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MAGIC News & Press Announcements

MAGIC affiliates create first interdisciplinary Minor in Free and Open Source Software and Free Culture

The FOSS@MAGIC initiative is pleased to announce the creation of the Minor in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Free Culture. This unique offering was developed in part by Stephen Jacobs, Professor in the School of Interactive Games and Media (IGM) and Associate Director of the MAGIC Center, as well as Dr. Amit Ray (associate professor of English and an affiliate of the Center), Dr. Jonathan Schull (research scientist in the MAGIC Center), and Mr. Remy DeCausemaker (lecturer in the School of IGM as well as the FOSS@MAGIC Research Coordinator), and is a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration spanning colleges, curricula, and research throughout the campus. Offered by IGM, the minor allows students from any discipline to gain expertise as contributors to FOSS and Free Culture communities. Our FOSS efforts have received support from Red Hat, Inc. and we are working in partnership with Red Hat’s University Relations lead, Mr. Tom Callaway to use MAGIC and IGM’s FOSS programs and activities as models for other academic institutions.

MAGIC Hosts Kick-Off for AT&T Rochester Civic App Challenge and Hackathon

AT&T, RIT, MAGIC, and partners Hi-Tech Rochester, Digital Rochester, and Hack Upstate announced the Rochester Civic App Challenge. New York Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle also gave remarks and lent his support to the event, as did RIT President Dr. William Destler and MAGIC Director Andrew Phelps. (more…)

MAGIC Director Andrew Phelps Named Advisor to Rep. Slaughter for House STEM App Challenge

ROCHESTER, N.Y. –1/24/14, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) announced that she will host the first annual House academic competition to promote innovation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The House STEM App Challenge calls on high school students within New York’s 25th Congressional District to submit ideas for a software an application, or “app,” idea related to STEM fields.

Andrew Phelps, director of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), is the 2014 STEM App Challenge Advisor to Rep. Slaughter. As an expert in this field, Phelps will provide guidance throughout the competition. “RIT and the MAGIC Center are deeply appreciative of the importance of STEM education to the Rochester region and the nation,” said Phelps. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Rep. Slaughter in support of the House STEM App Challenge, and to support this initiative on behalf of RIT. I look forward to seeing the creative and innovative ideas this challenge is sure to produce.”

MAGIC Sponsored Accessibility Project Heads to Silicon Valley and DC

Congratulations to the Motion Savvy team, who are one of the first ten teams to be part of the Leap Motion Accelerator program. The students created a finger-spelling translation app for the Leap and impressed the company so much that they have been awarded $25,000 to spend three months in San Francisco to take the first steps to expand it into a sign language translation system. They’ll take a short break in February to go to DC to present their work at the National Science Foundation’s ERN conference for emerging researchers. You can read more about the project in the university press coverage.

The team received mentorship and funding from MAGIC Associate Director Stephen Jacobs and the Simone Center’s Richard DeMartino and the Entrepreneurship Summer Program. We can’t wait to see what they do next. The team also got to demonstrate their prototype to Senator Charles Schumer during his recent visit to campus (pictured here).

Steam OS

Magic Lab is a Steam Hardware Beta Site!

This winter/spring we will be testing out, hacking on, and generally making a mess of the new Steambox, and you’re invited! We’ll have a beta unit from Valve, and a custom Steam login with a bunch of games to put the hardware through its paces… and the SDK for you to make some games of your own. So welcome to the MAGIC Lab, come see us spring semester!  Also, did you know that RIT has several alumni at VALVE, from GCCIS and CIAS (IGM, CS, New Media and more)?  It’s their involvement and engagement that have made this possible, so think of them and build something great for this exciting new platform…  see you Spring Semester 2013!

MAGIC Featured in University Research Magazine

MAGIC has a feature article in the University Research Magazine for the fall 2013 issue!  The article features numerous photos of the new space, Director Phelps, our projects, and most importantly our students.  It also features discussion of our recent event hosting the New York State Senate and the Honorable Martin Golden, and the kickoff of our speaker series.  We’re very thankful to all the support from our friends in Sponsored Research Services, and to all the writers and producers that helped with the piece.

RIT Celebration of Research

On November 19th the MAGIC Center, as a part of Sponsored Research at RIT, will co-host a ‘Celebration of Research’ in our new research facility. This event is open to the campus community, and will feature remarks from Director Phelps, as well as Dr. Ryne Raffaelle, Vice President for Research, Dr. Richard DiMartino, Director of the Simone Center for Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and others.

MAGICs Evan Selinger on Mobile Etiquette

We’ve all done it, and we know it is (sometimes) wrong, as our faces are glued to our mobile screens while friends and family chatter in the background. RIT Associate Professor of Philosophy and MAGIC’s Head of Research Communications, Community and Ethics Evan Selinger writes this month in The Atlantic on “How Not to Be A Jerk With Your Stupid Cellphone.” And really, what could be more timely? Check out the article for an in-depth review of the pressures, forces, and behaviors that shape our acts, and ways in which we frame our use of these portable communication …

MAGIC’s Stephen Jacobs in WIRED on EEG-Gaming

MAGIC Associate Director and IGM Professor Stephen Jacobs writes this month for WIRED UK Edition on the subject of EEG Neurogaming. His article, “Hands-Free Neurogaming” is published under the tag “EEG-Neurogaming will provide an intimate interface between humans and machines” and features discussion and review of several products and solutions that are both available today and that are emerging in the coming year. The issue is available both on iTunes as well as online at Zinio. Check it out!

Smarter Than You Think

We are delighted to host the award-winning New York Times and WIRED Magazine tech writer Clive Thompson as he discusses the ideas presented in his new book, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better. Clive Thompson writes a monthly column for WIRED magazine on the everyday impact of new technologies. He is also a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. Thompson was a Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT. His work has been widely anthologized, and he has received two Mirror Awards for his coverage of digital media.

Clive Thompson will kick off the “MAGIC Speaker Series”, which aims to bring together thought leaders from industry, the academy, and journalism who are advancing the frontier of digital culture– folks who are creating the next generation of innovative devices and theorizing the profound ways digital innovation impacts society. In choosing speakers who are as highly regarded for their ideas as their communication skills, the MAGIC Speaker Series aims to spark inspired dialog across campus. Elizabeth Lawley, Professor, School of Interactive Games & Media and Director, Lab for Social Computing at the RIT MAGIC Center says, “we’re really excited to be starting off this year’s lecture series with one of the world’s best technology journalists–the New York Journal of Books recently described his wonderful new book as ‘required reading for anyone interested in, working in, or enjoying the culture of the Internet,’ and it’s full of ideas and research that are highly relevant to students and scholars in a range of technology fields. Clive’s wide-ranging mix of interests and knowledge are a perfect example of the kind of multidisciplinary work that MAGIC is all about.”

Becoming Visible by Jessica Catherine Lieberman

Becoming Visible is a photographic exhibition of visibility and illness, an experience in treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma, medical imagery, and personal testimonial about that time.

Please join us for the First Friday opening reception and book launch: Friday, 6-9 p.m., November 1, 2013 at Gallery r. The complete exhibition will run from November 1–27, 2013, at Gallery r, RIT’s Metro Showcase and Learning Laboratory for the Arts. The gallery is located at 100 College Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607. Open hours will be from 1-5 p.m. Wed–Sun. Jessica Catherine Lieberman is an Assistant Professor of Visual Culture in the College of Liberal Arts at RIT and an affiliate of the RIT MAGIC Center. There is also the Becoming Visible catalog available from RIT Press: ritpress.rit.edu

MAGIC Affiliate Elizabeth Goins of COLA Presents at Digital Heritage 2013

Dr. Elizabeth Goins, Associate Professor in the College of Liberal Arts and MAGIC Affiliate, is presenting her work on digital games with museums at the Digital Heritage 2013 conference in Marseille. DH2013 is “The largest international scientific event on digital heritage in history will take place under the patronage of UNESCO, in Marseille (France) from 28 October to 1 November 2013. Digital Heritage 2013 will bring together hundreds of participants to discuss digital technology applied to the protection, documentation and understanding of humanity’s shared heritage. Researchers, practitioners, cultural and digital professionals, students and teachers, as well as policy makers are invited to participate.” You can read more about the conference, and Dr. Goins presentation, at http://asemus.museum/event/digital-heritage-2013-conference-france/