MMLC Welcomes Visitors to Open House

With the start of a new year comes the advent of new technology, or in the case of the MMLC, new facilities. The MMLC recently held an open house, debuting its range of technology and new collaborative spaces. With nearly 100 people in attendance, the MMLC staff welcomed faculty from varying departments, some MMLC student alumni and the Dean of Weinberg himself, Adrian Randolph, to explore its new space in Kresge Hall.

Interior of MMLC Lab, with computer workstations visible. Dean Andrian Randolph is standing addressing standing faculty and staff guests

Weinberg Dean Adrian Randolph addresses the crowd of open house attendees. (Photo: Nate Bartlett, NUAMPS)

“We don’t always offer an open house every year, but this was arguably the best one we’ve ever had,” said MMLC IT Director Matt Taylor. “There was so much novelty to show off. There’s a new building, new concepts, new spaces, new ideas, and new opportunities.”

Franziska Lys of the Department of German joins others in exploring the newly opened MMLC offices. (Photo: Nate Bartlett, NUAMPS)

Staff and faculty were given the opportunity to explore the space at will, with the added bonus of food and drink, and even a fun photobooth to enhance the experience.

“The open house is really useful from a practical standpoint, showcasing all the classrooms and all the equipment that we have,” shared Matt. “They go toe-in-toe with every other classroom in Kresge, but then go beyond in some ways, with 4K video projection and video-conferencing for Skype.”

The technological capabilities of these classrooms proves to greatly enhance and diversify the ways in which academic thought can take place. The video-conferencing capabilities are expected to be used to conduct class across two languages, in collaboration with classrooms abroad. Another collaboration suite, geared towards relaxed discussion and gaming, hopes to give students the opportunity to “look at games as an intellectual medium” and also to engage them in news ways – as with a prospective program to learn Japanese characters through the use of an Xbox Kinect Sensor.

A wide variety of reservable equipment on display at the Open House included cameras, lighting equipment, and rig kits for smartphones. (Photo: Nate Bartlett, NUAMPS)

“For the last several years we’ve been spread out all around campus and off campus and now we’re in the same building [as the faculty], which has already started to build more of a community with all of us,” said MMLC’s Services Coordinator Sarah Klusak. “It’s easier for everybody to access our spaces, which is really great. All of the new spaces are really nice, high-tech, and very exciting. I’ve only gotten positive feedback from everyone so far, so that’s really encouraging.”

The door of the MMLC is open to all who wish to use it. With its close proximity to the faculty of Kresge, as well as University and Harris Hall, the staff of the MMLC, are excited for the innovation that lays ahead.

An MMLC work-study employee demonstrates the gaming features of the MMLC Collaboration Suite to Andy Rivers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy. (Photo: Nate Bartlett, NUAMPS)

“Our new spaces might open the door for a number of faculty ideas,” said Matt. “The biggest opportunity is to be back surrounded by peer faculty. We may see an increase in the kinds of digital scholarship that is starting to take hold.”

As the center launches into the quarter, there are high hopes for the academic capabilities available in using and innovating with the MMLC’s new and improved facilities.

For more pictures, please check out our gallery on Facebook:
MMLC Open House Photo Gallery
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