Getting inspired

I’m not kidding when I say I’m often inspired by my students and colleagues.  I feel like all of us, collectively, are swimming around in a soup of thoughts and ideas.  But sometimes you need more.

Yesterday, I went to Drexel’s ExCITe Center.   Every 3rd Thursday, they have a showcase, of sorts, with speakers from both inside and outside the University who are working at the intersection of technology, design, art, etc.  The speakers talk for a brief 5 minutes, so you get to see a bunch of different things very quickly.  There was a lot to see, from customer engagement experiences that combine Twitter, Arduino, and cool objects to Interactive Orchestra/Concert Programs.

At the Center itself, they have great open working spaces.  They have a fantastic wearable technology lab, a Hubo robot, and a piano with sensors that can detect pressure, giving the piano an electronic sound in addition to its regular piano sound.  And you could programmatically adjust the sound so that it was a little off key and other effects.

I met two of my students there, who will be interning there at the end of the school year.  They were quite impressed with what they saw.   And they saw some things that weren’t that far afield from some of the things that we’ve done in class.  It was great to make that connection for them, and reminded me to that more often.  It’s so hard for students to see the end result of what they’re doing.  It’s even harder in a field where the end result might not even have been invented yet, and it’s possible students themselves will be making the path get there.  Today lit the path a little, even if it’s not set yet.