6th Annual CIERA Lecture – Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

By Mike Curtis on 14 May 2015 – 8:32 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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An event over 5 months in the making, the day arrived with Dr. Tyson spending most of the day on campus, meeting with members of the campus and preparing for his talk in Tech Ryan tonight at 8pm.  The tickets for the event sold out in minutes and over 300 tickets were registered for the overflow rooms in Tech LR2 and LR3.

Students waited in line outside of Tech Ryan Auditorium well before 7:00 PM.

As Dr. Tyson arrived just before 8pm, he visited the nearby Tech LR2 and 3 rooms to meet and mingle a bit with the viewers.  Riling up the crowd and giving some of them high fives, the students welcomed him with a tremendous round of applause.

A combined effort between the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics group, NUIT AMPS and the Norris staff, the event went extremely well and the audience seemed highly engaged in the entertaining and always educational presentation.

Introduced by Professor Kalogera, Physics and Astronomy in WCAS, who in turn was introduced by Provost Linzer, Dr. Tyson discussed the Cosmos series with Fox, science in movies, the continued exploration of space, the new Kepler telescope, his discovery of Krypton and his subsequent appearance in Action Comics #14 with Superman .  He also suggested that everyone get over Pluto not being a planet anymore and poked fun at the media in how they portray astrological events such as the biggest moon in 18 years, an asteroid coming near Earth and the relationship in space distance between the Earth and Moon.


From our team, Stephen called the show, Zoran handled the stream, while Don and I, along with members of Don’s team, coordinated the event logistics with Dr. Tyson, with whom it was a true pleasure to meet.  Pete Dully and the Norris staff provided assistance wherever it was needed.

We took our professional hats off and posed for pictures with the science rock star during the rehearsal.



“Conversations with the President ” II – the webcast is live…

Conversations, Chicago Campus Edition is ready to go ....

By Harlan Wallach on 23 Apr 2015 – 9:00 am
Location: (41° 53' 46"N x 88° 22' 58"W)
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The NUIT crew is ready on site in Hughes Auditorium. The Webcast is live at: http://www.northwestern.edu/president/speeches/conversations-with-the-president.html







Conversations with the President, 2015 Edition

The livestream starts shortly ...

By Harlan Wallach on 16 Apr 2015 – 8:48 am
Location: (42° 3' 23"N x 88° 19' 29"W)
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Conversations With President Schapiro are opportunities for Northwestern President Morton Schapiro to discuss with staff, faculty and students key issues facing the University. The NUIT team is in place, the live stream starts shortly…






Residence Hall Virtual Tours

By Nate Bartlett on 10 Apr 2015 – 4:07 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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We were excited to work with Residential Services again after taking the Class of 2018 GigaPan photo and timelapse, which were a huge success.  We worked with them to create an interactive  Virtual Tour for three typical rooms in various residence halls on campus.  Users can view a 360 degree panorama of the room, and zoom into the image to view different parts of the room in more detail.

Nate photographs with shutter release

Here is Nate photographing one of the rooms with the shutter release for the Canon 5DmkII.

After planning and getting live tours of the rooms, we professionally lit each room and photographed 360 degree panoramas using our Canon 5DmkII DSLR camera. We then brought the images into a stitching program and fine tuned the images with the assistance of our stitching expert Joel Ness of the Newberry Digitization project. These images were sent to a program which generates interactive HTML5 panoramas which we delivered to Residential Services for use on their website. You can see the implemented virtual tours here:


1835 Hinman Double Virtual Tour

Click to view the 1835 Hinman Double Virtual Tour at the Residential Services site

View the 1835 Hinman Single Virtual Tour at the Residential Services site

Click to view the 1835 Hinman Single Virtual Tour at the Residential Services site

View the Elder Double Virtual Tour at the Residential Services site

Click to view the Elder Double Virtual Tour at the Residential Services site

A SOFI Hack-a-Thon

By Nick Gertonson on 10 Apr 2015 – 2:42 pm
Location: (42° 3' 36"N x 88° 18' 26"W)
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For the past few months, we have been working with the Solar Fuels Institute, under the sponsorship of the Office of Research at Northwestern University, to create an international repository for solar fuel research. This new repository will have metadata for over 77,000 scientific papers, but that’s not where this project ends. That’s just the beginning.

The SOFI team, led by Dick Co, is interested in standardizing the way in which solar fuel researchers access and categorize papers. Essentially, the goal is to take all 77,000 of these papers and collect organized information to help enrich the resources.

“What type of catalyst was reported in this paper?”

“Is an electrolyte used?”

“Well then, what was the Faradic Efficiency?”

To answer these questions, the NUIT A&RT AMPS web team is leveraging crowd-sourcing and gamifcation techniques. With a few clicks, experts in the field can register and begin entering information to the Knowledge Map, collecting points and badges along the way.

But it’s not just expert solar scientists who will be earning those points and badges. The Knowledge Map will scale to a varied level of user expertise. A high-school student, for example, could log-in to the Knowledge Map and contribute by categorizing papers and entering whatever information can be ascertained from an abstract.

This project marks the largest ever development for the NUAMPS web team, and in order to stay on track with our deadlines, we’ve been working in an agile development workflow. As part of this workflow, and in the spirit of “early delivery and continuous improvement” we just recently wrapped up our first ever “SOFI Hack-A-Thon.”

The SOFI team provided fresh donuts, and we received very valuable feedback on an even fresher version of the SOFI Knowledge map.

Our helpful Alpha testers exploring the Knowledge Map

Our helpful Alpha testers exploring the Knowledge Map.
















This is something Rodolfo and I would love to do again with future projects. It was incredibly valuable to see how real-world users interact with a site from this early on in the development process. This means we have plenty of time to refine and enhance the user experience before moving on to final launch.

Coursera Partners Conference – staff meeting update

Using Storify & Slideshare for this...

By Harlan Wallach on 10 Mar 2015 – 2:10 pm
Location: (33° 36' 47"N x 118° 7' 7"W)
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Last week seven of us from Northwestern attended the Coursera Partners Conference in Newport Beach California. Four of us presented in panels in three different tracks. Below is my Storify twitter report and at the end of this post are the conference slides for my panel (used for the staff NUIT A&RT all staff monthly briefing today).


Northwestern University Dance Marathon

By Nate Bartlett on 9 Mar 2015 – 3:08 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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This past weekend, we provided live video streaming services to one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the nation, Northwestern University Dance Marathon, now in its 41st year. Over 1000 dancers and committee members turned out for 30 hours to #MakeLifeBright for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, raising over $1.13 Million this year alone. Over the course of the 30-hour live-stream, 10,000 unique viewers tuned in from 48 countries, including a continuous 237 for the final three hours of Block 10.

The live stream is an important component of the success of the event.  It provides the ability for those who cannot dance for 30 hours straight (which is most of us) to watch comfortably from our homes, and more importantly to provide a view for those who are donating gifts to contribute to the fund-raising goals using the website.


Here, Zoran connects the AJA converters and checks the stream before the event begins.

This is the 11th Dance Marathon which we’ve supported here in NUIT A&RT NUAMPS, and we’re looking forward to the next one!

A Weinberg Faculty Canvas Success Story: Biology 216

By Nate Bartlett on 2 Mar 2015 – 2:37 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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This Canvas success story profiles a Weinberg biology class, and the faculty’s use of our new LMS from Instructure.  We hear from the students in Professor Eric Weiss’s class Biology 216, Cell Biology

A Medill faculty Canvas Success Story: Journalism 321

By Nate Bartlett on 24 Feb 2015 – 4:27 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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This Canvas success story profiles a Medill journalism class, and the faculty’s use of our new LMS from Instructure.  We hear from the students in Professor Karen Springen’s class Journalism 321, Storytelling: Magazine & Feature Writing.

Animation Workshop Part 2

By Laura_Kick on 19 Feb 2015 – 4:42 pm
Location: (-0° 0' 0"S x 0° 0' 0"E)
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Workshop Part 2

Workshop Part 2

Stop Motion created by Students

Stop Motion created by Students


Today, in Part 2 of our Animation Workshop, we did a quick overview of Premiere (combining audio and video, changing the speed of clips, basic editing) and After Effects (adding text, basic animation and keyframes, shapes).




Hand drawn animation created by students.

Hand drawn animation created by students.

We’ve created a great Canvas site full of materials for students who want to review and learn more.  You cannot fully cover either of these complex programs in one workshop, let alone both of them – the aim of this session was to introduce students to the programs, give them enough information to put together a video, and hopefully spark and interest in exploring video post and computer animation further.



Hand drawn animation created by students


Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 4.21.44 PM

Stop motion created by students