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Summer Fellows Take Washington!

Mon, 03/28/2011 - 10:52 -- Anonymous (not verified)
Summer Fellows Exploring Washington
Summer Fellows Exploring Washington

Jon Schull, Carl Lundgren, and Stephen Jacobs along with six Summer Fellows attended the 15th annual NCIIA conference this past week.  The National Collegiate Innovator's and Inventor's Alliance gathers once a year to discuss entrepreneurship and innovation education and to celebrate the success of student innovator's sponsored by the NCIIA.  Our group presented on the Summer Fellowship program as a model for encouraging undergraduate research and way to fast track potential student ventures.  Luticha Doucette, Eliza Hammer, Devin Hamilton, Beth Keefer, Justin Lewis, and Kenneth Stephenson each spoke about their project and the ways the program helped to further develop their idea.  Many of them also discussed future steps with their work.  The feedback from the attendees was very positive and it was a great networking opportunity for the students.  They also had the opportunity to meet other student teams and share insights into innovation and its process.

Professor Jacobs Hitches a Ride
Professor Jacobs Hitches a Ride

The NCIIA makes many grants to students to support their projects it could be a great opportunity for many student teams here at RIT.  For more information on NCIIA or the conference go to .  You can also check out these students and their projects on .  For more information on the Summer fellowship program can be found here.

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Summer Research and Innovation Fellowships at RIT. Deadline April 1 !

Sat, 03/19/2011 - 11:31 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Last summer, over 120 RIT undergraduate students worked, full time, on individual and team research and innovation projects.

  • All of them got to work with faculty mentors on projects at the cutting edge of research, technology, and scholarship.
  • Many lived (free!) on campus.
  • Most presented their work at one of the best undergraduate research and innovation symposia in the country.
  • Some subsequently presented their work at national conferences.
  • One even spent her summer making movies about the program.
    Start with this one.

This summer, you could join them!

 The definitive information page for the program is always available by clicking
SUMMER SUPPORT at (to the right)

 Here's what you need to know.

  • All RIT undergraduates are eligible to apply.
  • Project proposals can originate with the applicant, a mentor, or a student collaborator
    • You can look for ideas, mentors, projects, and collaborators at
    • Team and multi-disciplinary projects are welcome
    • Reach out to potential collaborators.
    • Project proposals must be written by the individual applicant, but by all means get feedback from your mentors and collaborators.
  • Fellowship support comes from many sources:  from donors,  from RIT colleges, from the Honors program,  and from other programs such as the NSF's Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation(LSAMP) program.
  • For most programs, the deadline for applications and for mentor recommendations is April 1, 2011.(Winning applications will have been revised many times by then.)
  • Some programs have program-specific guidelines, criteria, or deadlines.  These are detailed in the Application Form.
    • For example, the application deadline for the College of Science has already passed.  But if your work crosses boundaries you can still apply for consideration as a Center for Student Innovation fellow.
    • Your proposal may be reviewed by more than one program.


All this, and more, is detailed in the Application Form
(slightly revised, April 30)
Download it here, and get cooking!

If you have any questions, please email one of us.
We look forward to working with you!


Name email Title/Program
Jon Schull Center for Student Innovation
Undergraduate Research Support
Kim Shearer Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
Robert Osgood Institute of Health Sciences
Linda Tolan College of Applied Science and Technology
Danielle Smith Honor Program
Richard DeMartino Saunders College of Business
Darren Narayan College of Science
Babak Elahi College of Liberal Arts
Karen Hirst Kate Gleason College of Engineering
James Myers Center for MultiDisciplinary Studies
Eulas Boyd Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation
Tomicka Green-Wagstaff McNair Scholars Program
Todd Pagano National Technical Institute of the Deaf
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Winter Research and Innovation Symposium

Tue, 03/15/2011 - 13:45 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Picture from Reporter Magazine.  Click on the image to read their coverage fo the Winter Research and Innovation Symposium.Once again the Winter Research and Innovation Symposium was a huge success.  Students presented their work in many fields.  A unique feature of this year's winter symposium was the participation of students from the American University of Kosovo.  This winter several RIT students collaborated with students from Kosovo to create business plans.  This businesses focused on creating jobs through environmental awareness.  The businesses ranged from creating clean energy to implementing recycling infrastructures.  Andrew Couvertier, a third year Environmental Management student, studied abroad this winter in Kosovo and presented at this winter's Symposium via Skype, his presentation focused on the challenges of raising start up funds for these business and grant research to support them.  Many of these projects will become businesses in the next year.

The top two projects this winter included a RIT-Kosovo team.  Eliza Hammer, Ashley Laughlin, and Arbnore Musliu worked this quarter on Eco-Ja, a company to be created in Kosovo that collects recyclable paper goods from schools and businesses.  This business would be the first of its kind in Kosovo.  The unique feature of this business is its  focus on using education to create change.  There is not a culture of recycling in this growing nation, but it will become critical to their success.  In order for this business to also enjoy success the people must understand and appreciate the power of recycling.

Tyler Bigham was the creator of the other top project.  He is currently working on creating an bio-diesel powered engine.  His research focused on what type of engine would be the most efficient.  This project unique because it was creating a high efficiency engine with multiple applications that can run on renewable energy.  Tyler hopes to continue his research and build and test his engine design and then start a company manufacturing them.

Overall, this years Winter Research and Innovation Symposium was a succsess and a wonderful showcase of last quarters work.  We are looking forward to Imagine RIT and the Summer Symposium.

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Tue, 02/15/2011 - 14:46 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Screenshot from "Lemonade Stand" an OLPC game

Two years ago, I blundered into open source because I wanted my students to build educational games for the One Laptop Per Childcommunity. Much of that history has already been told by I didn't expect this effort to be so sticky--for myself or my students--when we started.

Surveys from the class offered this past fall showed that 75% had no FOSS experience before starting the course. What's more, 50% of the students (split evenly between experienced kids and newbies) said they would be interested in additional courses and a career in FOSS. I've been lucky enough to attend several conferences to talk about our efforts and my students' work. FOSS may be only one course out of a year, but it has become a key aspect of our shared academic careers throughout the year.

This past year, Remy Decausemaker and the students have created what they've dubbed The FOSSBox. Much like the little lemonade stand below, The FOSSBox is a fledgling effort: a wedge-shaped lab space filled with cast-off hardware generously provided us at no cost by RIT's Center for Student Innovation. (It's not entirely philanthropic, the Center cherry-picks some of our best talent to take care of their technical staffing needs.)

Even now, after class is over for the year, many of the students keep coming back. Some pursue independent studies or co-op credit to continue work on class projects. Others join existing FOSS efforts. Some volunteer their time on FOSSBox projects or simply hang out.

Both the larger open source world and the smaller community they've built for themselves on campus provide a metaphorical and physical home. FOSSBoxers have brought in students from programs across the University, technical and not, to participate in our hackfests for open government, OLPC projects, and others.

The POSSE we held last year brought us together with new colleagues--not only from Computing and Engineering, but the Colleges ofLiberal Arts and Imaging Arts and Sciences as well. We've scheduled a second POSSE for this coming summer and hope that it will connect the FOSSBox with more departments and programs across campus.

Now that the faculty know we're here, when they bring a company rep or a colleague with an interest in open source to campus, we're often on their visit list. A case in point was Texas Instruments, which showed interest in ways we might be able to work with them and our colleagues to extend their open source hardware efforts on and off campus.

Making a change in academia is evolutionary, not revolutionary. A single professor can plant a seed, but the water to grow it has to come from all directions: bubbled up from the groundwater (students) and rained down from above (academic administrators of all flavors) before it can really take root and thrive. The seed I planted, almost by accident, has been watered well from below and received one or two quick drizzles from above.

Colleagues from near and far, in and out of academia, are invaluable in keeping an eye on our sapling. Our little lemon tree is now bearing fruit and our stand is open. Given the success of the past 12 months, we're looking forward to record sales of FOSS on campus for another year. 

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Brad Feld Shares His Experience

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 11:29 -- Anonymous (not verified)


Brad Feld stimulated thought and discussion on Thursday with his talk on entrepreneurship.  Mr. Feld has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for more than 20 years.  He has started many venture capital firms and has many unique views on investing and the nature of new businesses.  During his talk he shared many wonderful stories about his career and how he has learned many of the invaluable tips he uses to be so successful.  His stories depicted the bravery it takes to be an entrepreneur and also how to be resilient in the face of failure.  When he opened the floor to questions he addressed the comments and concerns of the audience with frankness and sincerity.  His openness and easy going nature made entrepreneurship seem achievable.

For more information on Brad Feld and to hear some of his own words on business go to

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CSI Students win GREAT Award

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 11:31 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Justin Lewis, Fran Rogers, and Taylor Rose have been awarded a GREAT award for Student Achievement by Digital Rochester.  This award acknowledges their work on the OpenVideo Chat Software for the OLPC.  Their project created an open source video chat software that is compatible with the OLPC, the small, durable computers of the One Laptop Per Child Campaign. These computers are sent all over the world to help children without access to education the opportunity to learn.  Their software allows deaf children in developing nations the ability to communicate with each other.  This project will open many doors for children around the world.  We are proud of their hard work and dedication and would like to congratulate them on winning this honor.

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Winter Research and Innovation Symposium. Abstracts due Wednesday!

Sat, 01/22/2011 - 14:45 -- Anonymous (not verified)


Come to the Abstract Writing Workshop Monday night!

Submit your abstract by Wednesday!

Research and innovation thrives when curious, motivated people are empowered to explore and solve interesting challenges. It can be fun, it can be stimulating, and it's not just for professors and corporate titans. The RIT Research and Innovation Symposium celebrates and showcases the achievements of students who are already joining the party. In many cases, they are doing cutting edge work, and in all cases they are learning how knowledge and progress is created, transmitted, and communicated.

Today's researchers and innovators are tomorrows knowledge-makers, and world changers. Please come to the Symposium on February 18, 2011 and get a look at the future.

This is a conference-format event, with both poster and oral presentation options. Abstracts will be reviewed before acceptance and available online; outside judges will review the presentations and provide feedback. Outstanding presentations will be recognized with Travel Awards of $350, to help you present or attend an off-campus conference.

Students, present! Submission deadline: January 26 2011

Faculty, support! Encourage your students to participate.

Sponsors, get in touch! Email Paul Harris (

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Idea Competitions, Funding, and Internship Opportunities!!

Tue, 01/11/2011 - 14:39 -- Anonymous (not verified)

There are several ways to raise funding for a project, grants, scholarships, corporate sponsorship, and awards.  There are many opportunities for funding coming up and we would like to share a few of them with you.  If you are interested in any of the following and want some support please feel free to come into the Innovation Center.

Siemens Innovation Think Tank-

  • Abstract submission deadline: February 13th, 2011
  • Complete project submission deadline: February 28th, 2011

The Siemens Innovation Think Tank is a competition for the best new medical innovations.  Some of the categories include: Rural care product ideas for developing countries, Systems and devices for general practitioners, Cost-effective healthcare business models and several more in the medical imaging field.  It is not required that the idea be in one of these categories but it must be related to the medical field.  The top three winners win several thousand dollars each, and the top ten recieve a trip to a 10 week innovation conference in Germany.  For more information check out the competition's website.

NIST Laboratories Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships-

  • Application Deadline: February 15th

NIST Laboratories is research facility in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering located in Maryland.  They are looking for students in these fields to participate in a summer fellowship program to complete projects in their fields.  They have six labs:

  1. Material Measurement Laboratory
  2. Physical Measurement Laboratory
  3. Engineering Laboratory
  4. Information Technology Laboratory
  5. Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology
  6. NIST Center for Neutron Research

Dell Social Innovation Competition-

  • Deadline: February 14, 2010

The Dell Social Innovation Competition is a contest to find the best new innovations that address important social problems around the world.   Ideas must be presented in the form of business plans and be financially viable.  Ideas must also be unique, viable, sustainable, and have a clear social impact.  This competition has prizes up to $50,000 with prizes totaling $100,000.

Imagine RIT-

  • Abstract Deadline: Feb. 3, 2010

This is our own competition to feature the best innovations from across campus.  Last year over 37,000 people came to campus to see the work of students from all disciplines and majors.  The festival features projects, clubs, and classes from every college.

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