Call for Curriculum of Art/Science/Humanities

Kathryn Evans, Roger Malina and Eun Ah Lee of the ArtSciLab at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) are announcing the launch of CDASH 2.0, a new website for curriculum in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities.

The CDASH project is interested in the collection of a broad range of curriculum that combines the performing and visual arts (music, dance, theatre, film, visual arts and new media) and the sciences. Of most particular interest are curriculum submissions of in-person, on-line and hybrid blended courses taught during formal graduate, undergraduate, primary/secondary and informal education.

This new website allows teachers and professors to easily enter the details of their course(s). Users must register and create a login before submitting a course and those who submit syllabi will gain entry to the Cloud Curriculum, where they have access to view/download other syllabi, find resources, and participate in on-line discussions and projects.

Please submit your course today!
For more information, contact us at cdash@utdallas.edu.

 

 

Our international collaborators are Robert Root-Bernstein (Univ. of Michigan, USA), Paul Thomas (Univ. of New South Wales, Australia), Annick Bureaud (OLATS, France), Lucinda Presley (Innovation Collaborative, USA), Meredith Tromble (San Francisco Art Institute, USA), Julia Buntaine (Rutgers Univ and Exec. Ed., ScuArt Magazine, USA), Jane Prophet ( Univ. of London, UK), Laurie Baefsky (Exec. Editor, A2RU, Univ. of Michigan, USA), Joao Silveira (Univ. Fed. do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Alex Garcia-Topete (UTD, USA and Mexico), Yvan Tina (UTD, USA and France), and Sharath Chandra Ram (UTD, USA and Bangalore).

 

This project is co-sponsored by The ArtSciLab at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), the UTD School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, and The UTD Center for Teaching and Learning.

 

Newest Lab Member’s Summer Experience

Editor’s Note: Freshman JoAnn Nguyen recently joined the ArtSciLab in an ongoing project role- but her first experience working with us was last summer through the Clark Scholars Program. Read on below to hear JoAnn’s first-hand account of her summer experience. Sound interesting? Contact us about opportunities for Summer 2018.

My first day of summer had nothing to do with my regular summer routine of binge watching Netflix on my living room couch while eating an obscene amount of unhealthy food. Instead, spent it at UT Dallas two and a half months before officially began college. I and 27 other Clark Research Scholars had signed away nine weeks of our summer break to begin research on campus.

My summer home away from home

This summer, I started interning for the ArtSciLab located in the ATEC (Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications) building at UT Dallas and it was nothing like any other jobs I had before. I am an upcoming business student that has a knack for learning about computers and experience with sculptural art so being assigned to work for the ArtSciLab was a good fit for my background.

The first week I started interning I explored the posh looking lab and got caught up with what projects the lab was working on such as ARTECA and Creative Disturbance. After meeting Professor Cassini Nazir and Emma Newkirk, the lab manager, I was assigned to work on CDASH, Curriculum Development in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities. The website is run by Dr. Kathryn Evans and is intended to display interdisciplinary courses globally that cross between the disciplines of art and science. As more and more professors became interested in the site, Katheryn realized there was a need to update the current webpage. I was assigned to redevelop the site which required utilizing WordPress, a website development tool, and implicating the elements of user experience to increase the site’s usability.

At first I was utterly lost. Although I had a bit of knowledge in java and design, web design was something completely new and I was scrambling around to find anything I could understand. It was daunting thinking about where to even start but luckily my professor stepped in to guide me through the process. I had so many questions throughout the CDASH project –  from making a prototype to using WordPress and HTML and every time he answered all of them patiently and with genuinely. I was lucky to be working in the lab during the summer when my professor had more free time to answer any of my concerns. Before weekly CDASH meetings Professor Cassini made sure I was prepared and that I wasn’t left astray and it was nice knowing that I had someone to reach out to when I was utterly lost.

As the summer progressed I was making progress. I created a prototype and a content map for the site and presented it at a meeting with the CDASH team and both helped with planning out the development of the site. Things were moving at a fast pace and I was trying to hold on. By the end of the summer I had created a basic website that could be expanded and core functionality. The site is still being in development and I have hopes that it will be up and running by the spring semester.

Although my summer was mostly about developing a website for the lab there were other things I got to participate in. NAEA, National Art Education Association, held its annual meeting in the ATEC building this summer and I got to volunteer with Emma. I witness the principles of design being implemented and talked to art educators across the nation. I even ran into Debra Moore who is part of the Edith O’Donnell Foundation that had hosted an exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art that I was a part of. I also got the opportunity to sit in at a lunch meeting with local business leaders that were part of a group called XD Leadership Alliance and I would have never gotten these opportunities to be exposed to the professional world had I not been interning in the lab this summer.

Overall my experience in the ArtSciLab was a great experience. The biggest lesson I learned is that there are so many ways to solve a problem and for the first time in my life there isn’t a set right answer. Creating the CDASH website was challenging at times but it was worth knowing that I was learning and contributing to something.

 

About the author

JoAnn is an undergraduate student studying Finance and Marketing at the University of Texas at Dallas.  She interned at the ArtSciLab during the Summer of 2017 as a web developer for CDASH.

 

 

 

Lab Alumna Wins Big Idea Competition

Student Veena Somareddy won the top $15k prize as well as the $2.5k Diversity and Inclusion Award with Neuro Rehab VR

ArtSciLab alumna and Arts and Technology PhD student Veena Somareddy is this year’s UTD Big Idea Competition winner. Veena is Neuro Rehab VR co-founder and software engineer at Fort Worth’s Neurological Recovery Center.

Neuro Rehab VR is a startup working to disrupt the field of physical therapy with virtual and augmented reality games leveraging the brain’s neuroplasticity.  Suffering a stroke or traumatic brain injury can leave a person with long term disabilities. Neuro Rehab VR has developed three games that focus on different areas of the body and brain. Patients at the Neurological Recovery Center have been using them, and there are plans to expand to five more clinics across the U.S. by the end of the year. Winning a $15,000 grand prize and a $2,500 Diversity and Inclusion Award, at the UTD Big Idea Competition, will help to hire more software developers.

The UTD Big Idea Competition put on by the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas was held in the ATEC Lecture Hall on Thursday, November 16. With a prize pool of $80,000 categories for this year included diversity and inclusion as well as social impact.

The 2017 Big Idea judges included Julie Nickols, partner at Haynes and Boone, Courtney Caldwell, co-founder of ShearShare, Jeff Williams, partner at Interlock Partners, and Bob Metcalfe, co-founder of Ethernet and director of innovation at the University of Texas at Austin. Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple executive and current chief evangelist at Canva, also served on the judging panel and gave a keynote speech about the art of innovation.

Usability Engineering: Improving ARTECA Experience

I work as a UX designer and developer on the ARTECA project from the ArtSciLab.  Every day, I get to think about how to improve the ARTECA interface for our users.  One of the primary ways our team collects feedback from our users is through usability tests, which are run by fellow UX designer Shruthy Sreepathy and myself.  Every month, we bring in someone who has never seen ARTECA before and ask them to navigate through the site, following a set of assigned tasks.  Every time we run this process we discover new potential for improvements.

Recently, I decided to add something new to our usual procedure of testing.  To achieve a better understanding of how our navigation bar elements should be placed, I designed an activity with the purpose of understanding which layout for the navigation bar makes the most sense.

I created a printout on an 11 x 17 inch piece of paper with the basic skeleton of the page (top navigation bar, main navigation bar, main content), but with none of the navigation elements.  For these elements, Shruthy wrote out the names of the links and other navigation items on small, button shaped sticky notes.

After the main portion of the usability test, we closed the browser window and presented our subject with the 11 x 17 printout and the stickies in no order.  With no instructions or other reference, we asked the subject to place the stickies to assemble navigation on the web page that made the most sense to him.  During this process, the subject narrated his thoughts and explained his placement of the different navigation elements.

After running this activity two times, we noticed several patterns that emerged.  Both users expected to see the “Login” and “Register” buttons on the right side of the navigation, which is different than the current navigation which places these buttons on the left side.  Also, both users did not understand the difference between the “Join” functionality and “Register”.  These insights will inform our future designs for the navigation bar.

This activity is one example of a co-creation activity, where the designers work with users to craft designs.  Co-creation activities are a great way to explore how a user thinks, and they are also a lot of fun for us and the user.  Our results are just one data point but we hope to expand this activity and other co-creation activities to gain a richer body of insights for improving our site.  Sound interesting? Sign up here to be part of a future usability test.