In a world of pure imagination. That’s where students want to be. Or rather, they want to put their imagination into our world. And it’s possible with the redesigned Imaginarium lab. The lab has recently combined with the WAVE High-Performance Computing Center and moved into the Heafey building as part of the new Sobrato Campus for Innovation and Discovery to house student projects that explore the world from new angles.
“We’re trying to build a peer-to-peer, collaborative network where students learn and teach other virtual reality, augmented reality, game development, graphic design, animation, storytelling, all of these different skill sets,” says David Jeong, assistant professor of communication and faculty co-director of the Imaginarium. “It’s been my dream goal to start a VR lab where we could teach students, hold guest speaker seminar series, basically popularize the tech to a wider audience, and reduce the intimidation factor around it.”
He’s getting closer, it seems, as there’s plenty of student interest in using the lab and a growing number of faculty who want to incorporate VR into their classes. Several projects have already found great success—three have been accepted by the International Communication Association’s 2022 conference in Paris.