Three campus projects receive technology grants

Three project proposals from Buffalo State have been chosen to receive awards for the SUNY 2013 Innovative Instruction Technology Grant Program.

“The LOOP project was one of only eight projects in the entire SUNY system that was awarded a first-tier SUNY IITG grant,” said J. Tomas Henriques, assistant professor of music and the director of the digital music production program at Buffalo State. “Getting this grant makes me a believer that hard work, good ideas and the support of your dean and chair (as well as other key administrative people) does make things happen.”

LOOP stands for Learn-Operate-Outreach-Perform. The project will receive $60,000 via the grant.

According to Henriques, the project will create a lab featuring 16 computer stations that will essentially become an electronic instrument. Each computer station will have its own updated hardware, software and audio amplification capabilities.

“Buffalo State will be the very first college in the nation that will have a unique ‘Computer Station Orchestra,’” said Henriques. “Musicians and students in the new ‘LOOP lab’ will be able to perform and create music and send their performances in real time to an audience in the Ciminelli Hall. It’s very cool and very innovative.”

Henriques plans to use the grant money to aid his project and reach out to the community of Buffalo as well as the students and faculty throughout the SUNY system. He said that from the beginning, the project was meant to reach out to artists and students regionally and locally at academic institutions.

“The lab will function as a learning space with a special emphasis in sound synthesis and interactive sound design and a unique performance venue.” said Henriques. “The ties that will be established by reaching out to other institutions and the community will give the music department at Buffalo State the opportunity to make its technological facilities widely known and attract prospective students.”

Krista Vince Garland, an assistant professor in the exceptional education department at Buffalo State, received a $10,000 grant for her project called TeachLivE from New York: Developing Innovative Practices in Immersive Teaching Technology.

“I look forward to showing that Buffalo State can benefit in research and teaching opportunities when we prepare our student teachers,” said Garland.

The grant for the TeachLivE project will be used in multiple ways.

According to Garland, there will be workshops set up for faculties across the campus in order for them to be introduced to the technology and think of ways they can use TeachLivE in their classes.

The grant will also be used for creating a small research project that helps measure the performances of students for teaching opportunities in the future.

“I’m hoping by using TeachLivE we can maximize learning opportunities within simulated settings so when they’re in actual classrooms they are better prepared to work with students,” Garland said. “One of my goals is to demonstrate the economical and useful way of technology that helps students teach differently.”

Garland said that along with Buffalo State, she hopes other SUNY schools will develop the program and use it for their benefit.

“It will serve as a model for other SUNY campus’ to utilize this technology,” said Garland.

Jinseok Heo, assistant professor in the chemistry department at Buffalo State, also received a tier reward of $10,000.

Heo’s project, called, “Virtual Instrumental Analysis Laboratory (VIAL) for Buffalo State and Open SUNY,” will consist of student workers as well as four faculty experts in the Buffalo State chemistry department, Heo said.

“Faculty will develop contents and students will produce video tutorials and on-line materials based on the contents,” Heo said. “The grants will be used to pay for personnel services and purchase necessary equipment and supplies.”

Lauren Coppola can be reached by email at [email protected].