Graduate student Billy Ceskavich reviews a data visualization graphic on one of the screens in the NEXIS lab in Hinds Hall.
By: Hailey Temple
New Explorations in Information and Science (NEXIS), a project-based lab and research center at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) that is focused on emerging technologies, is now accepting online applications for new student members until April 17.
Members of the NEXIS student community focus on building, designing, and researching cutting-edge tools and technologies. Through the lab’s collaborative and entrepreneurial atmosphere, students have created work focused on aerial drones, data visualization, rapid prototyping, and additive manufacturing.
Braden Croy, Director of the NEXIS lab and Manager of Entrepreneurship Programs at the iSchool, described the lab as a “relaxed, yet productive atmosphere.” Although students do not earn credit for work in NEXIS, the space provides opportunities to collaborate with other students and to work with innovative technology.
“NEXIS provides students from any college on the Syracuse campus with an outlet to work with other makers and distinguish themselves as leaders in the field,” said Croy. “The lab brings back that awe students had as kids playing with Legos – it empowers them to use that inspiration and make projects together.”
New members in NEXIS can expect a self-driven and peer-to-peer learning experience working in the lab. The team meets weekly for an all-hands team meeting, but most events involve educating other students and showcasing work. For example, NEXIS-X events are entirely taught by students and focused on a particular emerging technology.
Croy has witnessed the benefits of peer-to-peer education in NEXIS, saying, “Near-peer education is powerful; it’s the key to modern education. These students are taking the time out of class to teach themselves through exploring, failing, and learning new things. They teach others how to teach themselves as well, and that breaks the mold of methodical processes in education.”
NEXIS is open to students from all of Syracuse University’s colleges, and students outside the iSchool are encouraged to apply.
Natalie Wiesnet, a senior studying Television, Radio, and Film at the Newhouse School of Public Communication, is co-leading the SPORTDrone project in NEXIS; a drone used to capture unique video angles that help athletic teams improve player and team performance.
During her time in NEXIS, Wiesnet discovered drone technology and has been able to gain the knowledge from others for the SPORTDrone project.
“NEXIS is truly a collaborative space where I have been able to learn from the skills and perspectives of other students,” said Wiesnet. “The students have helped me combine my interests for film and drones and make something I never thought I would be able to create.”