Published: Feb. 7, 2020

MSU Libraries bring community together for XR Symposium

Contact(s): , Beth Brauer University Communications

For a time, it seemed immersive technologies were the stuff of sci-fi games and movies, but leaders at MSU Libraries are helping more people understand these technologies are not just for entertainment but also for education, medicine, engineering and conservation. 

MSU Libraries faculty and staff are working with others on campus to help the MSU community explore how eXtended Reality, or XR, can serve students in the classroom and in our wider culture. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, they will host an XR Symposium in the Green Room on 4 West at the Main Library to engage and educate scholars, practitioners, educators, technologists and students.

The goal is to spark conversations about how technologies that combine perceptions of physical and digital realities can enable new insights and experiences and foster new collaborations and innovations throughout the MSU community. 

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will offer attendees opportunities to hear keynote speaker Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz and listen to presentations by nine speakers from various departments at MSU.

New tech demos will also be presented by vendors from Apple, IglooVision — the creators of the 360 Room in the MSU Libraries Digital Scholarship Lab, the Learning Assessment Center, Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab and Proquest VR and Healthcare Teams.  

The symposium will also include a presentation from Joy Horvath, who will model how Unity Technologies is working to create non-game virtual reality environments for architecture, engineering, construction, automotive and other industries.

Dean of Libraries Joseph Salem said the XR Symposium is a way for the MSU Libraries and its many partners to harness expertise, technology and infrastructure to ignite innovation in the MSU community.

“This Symposium is a great model of collaboration,” Salem said. “The Libraries are working with the Learning and Assessment Center, The Hub, MSU IT, College of Arts and Letters, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, The Game Design and Development Program and the GEL Lab to facilitate connections that support research, teaching and learning.”

MSU Libraries Head of Digital Scholarship and Makerspace Services Terence O’Neill said the XR Symposium gives people affiliated with many different campus units and departments a chance to be in the same room together to share ideas and expertise. 

“The event helps us hear about a fantastic variety of ways that immersive technology is being used,” O’Neill said. “This year, some people are presenting projects that originated from and were inspired by last year’s symposium, which shows us the importance of the event. It’s leading to new initiatives.” 

A complete schedule of the symposium along with more information about the keynote speaker and other presenters is available here.

The MSU Libraries are at the center of academic life at Michigan State University, providing expertise, collections and infrastructure for discovery and creation.

The Libraries facilitate connections that support research, teaching and learning in local and global communities. 

MSU's Digital Scholarship Lab is a partnership between MSU Libraries and the College of Arts and Letters. Located on the second floor of the Main Library, the lab is a space for exploring technology, collaboration, research and teaching.

Faculty, students and staff from all disciplines are welcome in the lab to take advantage of the technology, the co-working spaces and the extended hours.