April 29, 2013
Drexel University’s Expressive & Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center is taking a step forward in efforts at the intersection of the arts, technology and science thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The ExCITe Center’s proposal was chosen from a field of more than 1,300 initial submissions to receive funding from the foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge. Support will help engage and develop new audiences for the arts by developing a a series of live music concerts enhanced with audio-visual technologies spanning various musical genres.
The focus will be on three major programming initiatives at the ExCITe Center: producing technologically augmented and interactive live concerts like the recent “Science of Jazz” concert during the Philadelphia Science Festival; creating hackathons for art-related apps; and launching an artist-in-residence program to co-develop new works. Each element is an integral part of ExCITe’s mission to create a space where creative people can work together on innovative projects directly benefitting the Philadelphia region.
“Everyone loves live music, and most of us carry a powerful computing device - a smartphone - in our pockets,” said Dr. Youngmoo Kim, director of the ExCITe Center.
April 20, 2013
Organized by Azavea and presented by NASA, the International Space Apps Challenge is a two-day hackathon (April 20-21, 2013) where citizens from around the world work together to solve current challenges relevant to both space exploration and social needs. In Philly judges were Franklin Institute Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts, NASA Deputy CIO Deborah Diaz, and City of Philadelphia Chief Data Officer Mark Headd, who awarded prizes at the end of the event.
The International Space Apps Challenge weekend kicked off on Friday at First Round Capital with the 120 registrants picking challenges to work on. Over the course of the two day event, 15 different challenges were tackled head on by teams of enthusiastic hackers. Such challenges included; ISS Orbit Skirt, Whats Up Voyager, Tunnel Vision, Earth Tile Creator, Tracking Curiosity, and more. One such example of a challenge solution was Dr. Youngmoo Kim's Listening to the Stars hack, which was a modification of the Magnetic Resonator Piano. Dr. Kim used sonifications of Keplar data from several stars which drove the MRP to produce music. Each star has its own unique sound as each had its own data. You can listen to the MRP play from one of the star's data below.
Over the course of the weekend, NASA astronaut Leland Melvin stopped by the ExCITe Center. Leland is an engineer and has flown two missions on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. While here, Leland socialized with the teams of hackers and was deep in discussion with the youngest hacker, who was 14 years old. As the Philly International Space Apps Challenge was the global main-stage , Leland held Google Hangouts with other astronauts and international space apps challenge locations. Leland, an accomplished pianist, also took the chance to try out the magnetic resonator piano. You can see Leland talk about the International Space Apps Challenge and his interview with the youngest hacker from the Reel Inspiration challenge.
After two days of hardwork, the teams gathered to present and demo their hack to everyone. The judges then adjourned for careful deliberation to pick the winning team. That team was ISS Base Station, which was the largest group as well as the group with the youngest hacker. The ISS Base Station team won flight training passes for each member, provided by Nastar. The challenge that the ISS Base Station tackled was Spot the Station. This challenge was to create a visualization from the Spot the Station website data or to extend the functionality of the site by building an app that lets you share and browse ISS sightings.
The second place team was EarthKAM Explorer. This team tackled the Earth from Space challenge. They created a web-based 3D exploration of satellite images taken by middle school students through the ISS EarthKAM program. The top two teams have placed in NASA's second round of global judging and have until MAY 1st to submit a 2-minute presentation of their solutions. Each team also received prizes for their important contributions, ranging from Amazon Web Services credits, K'NEX kits, and a Leap Motion controller.
Special thanks to the organizers, sponsors, participants and judges for the International Space Apps Challenge!
This event would not have been possible without:
Andrew Thompson and Amelia Longo and the entire team at Azavea
Mike Brennan from Second Muse and
Deborah Diaz and Nick Skytland from NASA
Additional gratitude is due to:
Brienna Henwood from Nastar
Derrick Pitts from the Franklin Institute
Mark Headd from the City of Philadelphia
Azavea, First Round Capital, Amazon Web Services, Global Advantage Consulting, NASTAR Center, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, University City Science Center, Chariot Solutions, Github, Jarvus, K'nex, and Ticketleap
For more information, visit the Space Apps Challenge website or follow them on Twitter @spaceappsPHL.
Check out the Space Apps Tumblr photo wrap-up: Day One and Day Two.
April 19, 2013
The video game that started them all will come to life on Philadelphia’s largest array of LEDs in a visual spectacle that is sure to inspire wonder while plucking at the heartstrings of nostalgic video gamers throughout the city. On the evening of April 19, Cira Centre’s 83,360-square-foot, north-facing wall will be transformed into the classic arcade game Pong to open festivities of the third annual Philly Tech Week presented by AT&T from April 20-27.
Dr. Frank Lee, a teaching professor in Drexel’s College of Engineering and co-founder of the Drexel Game Design Program, is the man behind the bouncing ball. Lee, who co-directs Drexel’s nationally recognized gaming program, had a vision of turning the building into his personal game console. With some help from Technically Philly, Brandywine Realty Trust, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Knight Foundation, Lee’s dream is becoming a reality for all of Philadelphia to see – and play.
To read the full article, visit DrexelNow.
April 11, 2013
Genevieve Dion works at textile engineering's cutting edge at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ahead of the Smart Fabrics conference in San Francisco, California, she talks about knitting robots, permanently pleating silk and charging mobile phones from shirts... Read Full Article*
*(Full text may be restricted to University networks or Nature subscribers.)
April 5, 2013
Friday Arts is a 30-minute arts, culture and entertainment magazine produced by WHYY-TV that features three segments: "Art," "Art of Life" and "Art of Food." Friday Arts casts a light on some of Philadelphia's best-kept secrets in the arts. In April's episode, which aired Friday April 5th, Drexel's ExCITe Center was featured, along with Mary Wilson: Come See About Me and The Perfect Brew.
Check out the video featuring the ExCITe Center below.
Mobile Friendly Video
February 11, 2013
The Philadelphia Science Festival hosted a unique jazz concert held in the Bossone Research Center’s Mitchell Auditorium. This event allowed the audience to experience the science behind the music via an interactive smartphone app and as well as insight into the powerful connection music has in the structure and function of the brain presented by Dr. Aniruddh Patel, Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology from the Neurosciences Institute. Renowned saxophonist and astrophysicist Stephan Alexander lead an ensemble of award-winning musicians, including Grammy award winner Will Calhoun of the band Living Colour, prolific keyboardist Marc Cary, and multi-instrumentalist and producer John Benitez. Dr. Youngmoo Kim, the director of The ExCITe Center and the Music Entertainment Technology lab which developed the visualization app, emceed the concert and surprised the audience singing "The Girl of Ipanema."
Check out some stills and the summary video below.
November 26, 2012
Anchored by research teams from Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, the College of Engineering, and the iSchool-College of Information Science and Technology, the ExCITe Center represents a step forward in the ambitious plans of Drexel and its partners in the community to develop an “Innovation Neighborhood” in University City and West Philadelphia. The flexible space for the highly collaborative work housed within the University City Science Center building at 34th and Market streets, was designed by local firm UJMN Architects + Designers.
“The opening of the ExCITe Center reflects Drexel’s commitment to re-imagine the urban research university for the 21st Century,” said Drexel President John A. Fry. “We seek to foster creativity, innovation, collaboration and a commitment to community. The ExCITe Center will be a place that brings all of those core values together to create real economic opportunities for our city and region as well as a significant impact in society.”
The new facility will serve as the physical hub for ExCITe activities. It will provide space for research and projects, host events and workshops and nurture the potential of the digital creative economy in the region. ExCITe will house the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab, a lab that allows designers, artists and engineers to use computerized knitting technology. The Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab is supported by a donation from Shima Seiki of Japan.
ExCITe will also house researchers from Drexel’s Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI), a university-industry consortium dedicated to the development of visualization technologies that will make the enormous quantity of digital data decision-actionable.
The grand opening event on November 28, 2012 included remarks by President John Fry, Stephen Tang, President of the University City Science Center, and the honorable Mayor Michael Nutter as well as a ribbon cutting for the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab.
September 12, 2012
Dr. Youngmoo Kim presented at Ignite Philly 10. Speaking about the ExCITe Center in their beloved short format, he touched on The Hubos and the MRP, as well as the other great work of our partners.
Watch his 5 minute talk below.
August 22, 2012
Dr. Youngmoo Kim, director for the ExCITe Center, associate professor of electrical & computer engineering, and assistant dean of engineering for media technologies, was among the many members of Philadelphia’s vibrant geek community on the red carpet at the Academy of Natural Sciences for Philadelphia’s Geek Awards on August 17th. Not only did Kim rock the red carpet in his tux and show his inner geek pride, but he took home the award for Scientist of the Year.
Read more here. For more information on the Geek Awards, visit the site. Photo compliments of Clever Girl Photography.
June 1, 2012
The first three seed funded research projects were announced on June 1, 2012. The awarded projects were: "Virtual Opera" led by the Opera Company of Philadelphia with the Curtis Institute of Music; "Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation Gaming" led by Drexel University Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design with the School of Biomedical Engineering and the College of Nursing and Health Professions; and "Sonic City" led by Neighborhood Narratives Project with Breadboard, Azavea, and Drexel University Goodwin School of Education. These projects were selected from a pool responding to a solicitation for new collaborative projects that would have $5000 for supporting the development of their work. A showcase of the research is anticipated in the Fall of 2012.
April 28, 2012
Many attended Science Night at the Ballpark and cheered on the Phillies as they took on the Chicago Cubs all while learning about the science of sports. The event featured Hubo, a humanoid robot from Drexel University, who tossed out the first pitch. Participants were able to partake in dozens of activities throughout the stadium during the first three innings.