Fall Quarter’s IDEA Hub Open House

Are you curious to know more about the IDEA Hub? Thinking about applying for funding this year? Join us for Fall Quarter’s IDEA Hub Open House!  Register here!

Are you interested in pursuing an idea or venture related to either social or creative entrepreneurship? Connect with and learn about UC Santa Cruz faculty leaders and students who are pursuing innovative solutions to social problems and developing creative enterprises!

IDEA Hub Open House
Friday, October 19
3:00–5:00 p.m.
McHenry Library
David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons (ground floor)
VizWall area


3:00–3:15 Directors introduce campus incubation spaces
3:15–4:15 Student project presentations
4:15–5:00 Mingling with students who are tabling

Light refreshments provided!

Register Button

The four IDEA Hub incubation spaces on campus and their directors:

Questions? Contact Nathan Westrup at nwestrup@ucsc.edu.


Winners of the 2018 IDEA Hub Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise

IDEA Hub, under the aegis of CIED, sponsored the 2nd annual Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise, again prior to the June Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Sun Terrace of the Seaside Company’s Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Twelve creatively artistic and/or socially beneficial student business projects competed for $6000 in prize money:


First place, $3000


Team members: Randall Hill, Daniel Lopez, Denzel Mapp, Perla Plascencia, Jennifer Sowash
Glasses device that detects above-waist objects for the blind and visually impaired.

A consistent challenge that many blind and low vision individuals face is avoiding obstacles while traveling, especially in unfamiliar places. In a study of 300 blind and low vision participants, 41 percent reported head-level collisions at least once a month. These collisions can cause physical harm and emotional distress, which results in lowered confidence when traveling and reduces the frequency at which they leave their homes. While tools like the white cane or guide dog are popular within the blind community, they are only partial solutions. These tools have a significant range limitation that prevents users from being able to detect objects higher than their waists. To compensate for these field of range limitations, a practical solution is to create a head-level obstacle detection system encased in a pair of glasses. This provides an additional area of detection coverage that tools like the white cane or guide dog fail to take into account. The glasses, combined with the white cane or guide dog, extend the users range of detection head-to-toe. The product will alert users of any potentially dangerous object that resides within its detectable range of 6 feet.

Second place, $2000
Team members: Sheryl Ratnam
Food-ordering app for healthy, home-cooked meals

Third place, $1000
Team members: Tyler Shewbert, Justin Yau, Evan Zaro
Eddy current separators for efficient non-magnetic metal sorting for recycling

Honorable Mention, $500
Team members: Steffen Mahnke, Elliot Eckholm, Dana Licata
Crypto-currency investment management application

The four judges were:

The other student-led projects in the competition were:

Steffen Mahnke, Elliot Eckholm, Dana Licata
Crypto-currency management

Engineers Without Borders, UCSC
Toby Gay, Jamal Kamli, Rohan Kumar, Josh Land, Denice Leffew, José Ramos
Solar-powered home-lighting systems

Reem Aldayafleh, Luz Lule Camargo, Luke Chang, Michael Nygaard
Natural-gas-meter monitoring system

Let's Get Social
Parul Wadhwa
Affordable virtual-reality storytelling platform for non-profits

Qingyu Han (team leader), Stefan Berchtold, Randall Blankenship, Kobe Dong, Sterling Dreyer, Tyler Eaves, Sage Emerson, Dena Giovinazzo, Veronica Hovanessian, Rogelio Juarez, Natalie King, Daniel Lloyd, Giovanni Magana, Kevin Mai, Andrew Matthews, Sarah Mitchell, Sofia Pando, Calvin Ryan, Kelly Tu, Ryan van den Vlekkert, Azikiwe Wicker
Launching miniature satellites into low-earth orbit for communications use by amateur radio operators around the world

Smart Solar Siting
Andrew Guterres, Henry Hargreaves, Mattheo Ioannou, Sam Singh, Chris Smith, Nicki Thompson
Automated solar installation site evalution on a smart phone

Qingyu Han, Natalie King, Sarah Mitchell, Alec Reid, Kerry Veenstra, Chris Villalpando, Azikiwe Wicker
reliable, solar-powered emergency radio stations

Te Miti Sportswear
Grace Reed, K'Love Mercader
Sustainably produced, biodegradable bikinis and sportswear for watersports

WaterLab 2.0
Matthew Cavallero, Jeffrey Chen, Daxing Deng, Kenneth Jones, Derek Quiroz
Self-contained and autonomous advanced water treatment system

McHenry Library to celebrate new visualization spaces that enhance digital scholarship

January 25, 2018


An opening celebration to formally launch the VizWall, a large-scale visualization installation, and the VizLab, a Virtual Reality and 360 Lab, will take place on February 7, at the David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons on the ground floor of McHenry Library.

The VizWall is a 14'x4' screen installation that enables large scale presentation of visual materials or simultaneous interaction with multiple pieces of digital content. It now offers the entire campus community a new space to visualize their research and create interactive digital media. 

The new VizLab creates an opportunity for students to experience and develop projects in Virtual Reality. It also provides the campus with access to a high performance, graphics intensive workstation with available 3D modeling, animation, and Virtual Reality software. These new spaces were created through partnerships between the University Library, The Humanities Institute, the Humanities Division, CITIRIS, and the IDEA Hub.

“The spaces highlight how collaborative infrastructure projects create new possibilities for research, teaching, and learning on campus, and the role of the library as a hub for scholarly experimentation,” said Rachel Deblinger, director of the Digital Scholarship Commons

“The vision and leadership of The Humanities Institute has fostered a dynamic community of researchers on campus that has opened up these new partnerships,” she noted. “We will continue to work together to build the necessary infrastructure to inspire and enable ever changing modes of scholarly production and presentation.”

Deblinger added that the lab space has already been used for curriculum.

“Arts faculty have been bringing their students to the VizLab to draw and create in 3D, and a number of history and other humanities faculty will be using the lab this quarter to have students explore virtual reality spaces.”

The opening reception will include a presentation by assistant professor of history Elaine Sullivan about her work with 4D models of ancient Egyptian temple sites. Demonstrations in Virtual Reality will also be available throughout the event.

The Digital Scholarship Commons plans to additionally host two lectures at the VizWall this winter.

The University Library’s reception to celebrate the opening of the VizWall and VizLab takes place on Wednesday, February 7, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the The David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons, located on the ground floor of McHenry Library. Admission is free. RSVP Here


Introductory Workshop in TouchDesigner

 Materializing Interactive Research (MIR) is a computing lab for artists and designers created as a IDEA Hub Student Enterprise. MIR focuses on how physical, social play can meaningfully inform the ways we use sensing technologies in digital art and new media. This exploration of the relationship between the human body, motion-sensing, and responsive environments finds its most meaningful expression through a series of immersive creative-coding workshops.
A focus on work that promotes human-to-human computer mediated interaction, rather than siloed human-to-machine interaction aims to disrupt the often isolating nature of computer artworks. During workshops, MIR instructors will guide participants through embodiment exercises where they will examine the relationships between the body and space, the body and technology, and the body with other bodies. These exercises are rooted in theater, dance, mindfulness, and play therapy.

We hope to encourage artists and designers to consider the importance of the body and embodiment in their work, and to offer a counterpoint perspective to the Descartian dualism that often dominates the dialogue about how humans and machines should interact. In addition to providing opportunities for artists and designers to create their own works, MIR will use its experience to also operate as a consultation service, providing guidance for installation considerations, and produce plug-in software tools for artists looking for turn-key solutions.

IDEA Hub Fall Open House – Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Want to form an IDEA Hub team and gain access to IDEA Hub’s incubation facilities? Want to submit a community-project idea to IDEA Hub for its fellows to consider tackling? Want to mentor an IDEA Hub team? Want to tour the IDEA Hub OpenLab at UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media Center? Just want to learn what the IDEA Hub is all about? Come to the IDEA Hub Fall Open House on October 11, 2017, any time from 1 to 5 p.m., at UCSC’s Digital Arts Research Center (DARC), Dark Lab (Room 108). Refreshments are provided, and it’s free and open to the public.