Meet the IRC: Charles Mason III

February 23rd, 2014

 

“I want to make change,” says IRC design intern Charles Mason. “I’m an artist. You don’t get to say that a lot as a designer, but I am. And I want to change the world with art.”

In his own design practice, that means experimenting with posters, drawing, photography, typography and text, exploring the intersection of design and social awareness. “I create posters for things that are close to me,” he says. At UMBC, he’s done a series of posters for the Africana Studies department, focusing on civil rights activists who are sometimes overshadowed by more recognized historical figures. “It was a collective effort,” he explains, “I’m concerned that the future may not understand the time and manpower that was involved.” He’s also made a poster series for the Undergraduate Research Award in Education. “I took surveys and interviewed lots of students,” he recalls. “I developed posters based on the five main factors I identified in student success: stereotypes, self-esteem, mental strength, support systems, and peer pressure. I had fun doing it and everybody seemed to love it.”

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Meet the IRC: Ganna Vikhlyayeva

February 23rd, 2014

 

Senior animation major Ganna Vikhlyayeva loves cartoons. She adores Russian animations, which are “just beautiful,” and Disney animations, which “always tell nice and kind stories.” After a bad day or an unpleasant experience, Ganna watches cartoons to feel better. “It’s like my therapy,” she confesses. “I want to be an animator,” she says. “I want to make cartoons for children and adults. Adults love cartoons, too.”

Originally from Sevastopol, Ukraine, Ganna came to the United States with her husband when he attended George Mason University as a graduate student in physics. When he went to work for NASA, she found that she was eligible to study at UMBC for free as a member of his family. She has interned with the IRC for about a year, working first in Baltimore schools and, more recently, modeling houses, churches, and other historic structures for the Early Baltimore project.

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Meet the IRC: Christina Jeresano

February 20th, 2014

 

Christina Jeresano joined the IRC as a student intern in June 2013, and recently signed on as a full-time animator after graduating in December with a BFA in Animation and Interactive Media. She comes from a military family and moved around a lot growing up, but has lived in Baltimore since 2000. “It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere,” she says with a smile. Christina smiles a lot, and it lights up the space around her, periodically outshining the glow from the double monitors on which she adds surface textures to building after building, filling neighborhoods in the Early Baltimore interactive 3D map.

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What is “Image Research?”

February 18th, 2014

What it’s like to create a few seconds of someone else’s video:

On a recent afternoon, about half an hour before my shift ends, I check in with associate director Lee Boot to see if he needs me to do anything for him before I go home. Lee presents me with a pair of options – I can learn a complex animation process in AfterEffects (a motion graphics program), or shoot some video for him. I would love to dive into AfterEffects, but it seems like a bit of a stretch today, so I opt for the shooting instead. “I need some background footage for a moment in my film when I say ‘We’re creating working media,’” he explains. “I’m thinking a closeup of a pencil writing on paper, maybe words being typed on a computer screen. Grab a camera, grab some lights, whatever you need. Think you can manage?”

“Sure,” I say, and off I go to try and figure out if I can, indeed, manage this.

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Meet the IRC: Tolu Omokehinde

February 6th, 2014

 

Tolu Omokehinde is a sophomore Biochemistry major with a passion for time-lapse photography. He began making pictures in high school at Montgomery Blair in Silver Spring, MD. “I started out taking macro photos of water drops and flowers,” he recalls. “Then I did photojournalism for Silver Chips, the school newspaper – sports photos, event photos. When I discovered time-lapse photography, that was it. It stuck with me.” In his last year, he created a time-lapse project documenting his senior class and posted it online. The video went viral, attracting attention and reposts all over the internet, including Jezebel and the Huffington Post.

When Tolu came to UMBC to study biochemistry as a Meyerhoff Scholar, he contacted the university’s Creative Services department, looking for photo opportunities on campus. He spent his freshman year making time-lapse videos of university life, which UMBC posted on its website. Tolu’s time-lapse work attracted the attention of IRC director Dan Bailey and in September 2013, Tolu joined the IRC as a student intern.

“So far, I’ve been working on panoramic photographs. Now I’m getting back to time-lapse. I think it’s the best type of photography,” he says, pausing a video that explains how operate a motorized crane for a moving time-lapse shot. “It’s also expensive and hard,” he admits with a grin.

After UMBC, Tolu plans to go to graduate school and get his Ph.D. in biochemistry. “I love research and lab work,” he enthuses, “it’s my other passion. A lot of people think art and science don’t mix, but I like doing both. It’s totally possible, and it’s fun. I love it.”

Want to see more of Tolu’s work? You can click here to visit his page on Vimeo.

The IRC Internship Program and Post-Baccalaureate Experience offers undergraduate students from many disciplines the opportunity to work on professional projects.  These students receive invaluable experience with new digital technologies and, more importantly, they learn how to collaborate with other researchers to create large-scale, high-profile work. The IRC provides opportunities for over thirty undergraduate student interns a year.

 

USDemocrazy

February 3rd, 2014

 

Sitting down to dinner with the bloggers of USDemocrazy.net and their mentor, political cartoonist and IRC artist-in-residence Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher, is a bit intimidating. These 14 UMBC students are, Kal reminds me, among the busiest on campus – honors students, double-majors, club presidents, and nonprofit volunteers. They’re also carving out time to follow current events in the news, digest and reflect on them, and produce at least one article for the blog each week. But for tonight, they’re hanging out, as friends and colleagues, warming a cold evening with savory stew and conversation about what they’ve achieved and where they want the project to go in the next semester.

 

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Meet the IRC: Wallace Brown

January 18th, 2014

 

Wallace Brown is a senior computer science major, specializing in interactive graphics. He joined the IRC as an intern in 2011, when he was introduced to the center by a professor. In the three years since, Wallace has become the IRC’s “iGuy,” designing interactive experiences for numerous iterations of the iPad, iPhone, and iOS. His main project has been programming the Symphony Interactive app, which delivers supplemental information and media to an iPad in real-time for audiences attending live musical performances. He’s currently also at work on creating the Hoarder Crab game, a real-time digital puppet tool for telling stories about the marine environment.

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Symphony Interactive Live Performance

December 20th, 2013

Symphony Interactive was used during a live performance of Dvorak’s Symphony #9 “From the New World” by the UMBC Orchestra on November 24th, 2013 in the Fine Arts Recital Hall at UMBC.

Symphony Interactive is an app that enhances audience engagement at orchestral events by providing real-time program notes during performances. Designed as an unobtrusive technology, Symphony Interactive functions as a knowledgeable companion, releasing information when it matters most, in the moment.
 


 
And you can click here for more information about the Symphony Interactive project.

 

SUCCESS at the IRC

December 18th, 2013

The IRC is experiencing SUCCESS! Having Bianca Bouknight intern with us this year, we are literally working with Students United for Campus-Community Engagement for Post-Secondary Success (SUCCESS).

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Water Falls Video

December 17th, 2013

Here’s a three-minute video by IRC Technical Director Ryan Zuber, explaining the Science on a Sphere project Water Falls, recently completed to illustrate NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission.
 

 

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