Sarah Drury is an Associate Professor in the Film & Media Arts Department. Her creative work and research engage interactive media and participatory practices in expressive and critical ways, exploring ideas about the embodiment, space and language. She is currently developing Sponge Gowanus, an Augmented Reality walking tour based on the Gowanus Canal, a former marsh and native land on New York Harbor that is an origin point of colonial settlement, industrial development, declaration as an EPA site, and is now the contested grounds of high rise development. The app includes 3D and 2D images and animation, text, audio and haptic feedback, and is being developed in Unity, third party Unity packages and Apple AR tools. Spatial audio and custom haptic feedback serve as embodied wayfinding mechanisms, in addition to the visual and textual. The planned research includes building an interactive map of the sewer infrastructure and underground waterways around the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, and overlaid with visual, sound and narrative waypoints, triggered by GPS location. The project includes contributions from local stakeholders, residents, artists, advocates, and landscape designers, in the form of audio narratives, 3D models, and speculative designs for alternative futures.
Ling Liu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Temple University. He received PhD in Mechanics and Materials from Columbia University. His research focuses on materials simulation and design to achieve drastically improved properties and performance. Examples include energy transport in proteins and batteries, safety of nuclear materials, and integrity of composite structures. He has published over 60 research papers on leading journals of his field. He was a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award in 2018. Dr. Liu’s fellowship project is entitled “Machine-Learning-Assisted Design of Energy-Efficient, Lightweight, 3D-Printable Architected Structures”. The project aims to develop advanced algorithms that will conceptually design lightweight 3D-printable parts for energy-efficient vehicles. The codes and data generated by this project are expected to shift the design paradigm, reducing structural weights by 50-80% and improving energy efficiency and sustainability.
Laura McGrath is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Temple University. Laura specializes in computational literary criticism and contemporary American literature. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Temple, she was the Associate Director of the Literary Lab at Stanford University. Her research and teaching interests focus on American literature post-1945, digital humanities and cultural analytics, literary sociology, and contemporary literary production. Working in collaboration with the 92nd Street Y’s digitized recordings of events at the Poetry Center, and bringing together leading scholars in the digital humanities, Laura’s project will leverage computational methods to analyze approximately 2,800 transcripts of readings and events, spanning from 1949-present, to develop a data history of public engagement with the literary arts. These recordings tell a rich story about American literature: about how poetry has changed, about how writers respond to current events through their art, about how readers experience poetry and prose, and how literature invites readers to experience their world anew
Graduate Student Fellows
Austin Martin is a PhD student in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. His research focuses on urban political ecology, urban bee biodiversity, and how the urban political economy impacts urban biodiversity, environmental justice, and urban ecological processes. Austin received a Bachelor of Science from Eastern University with double majors in biology and sociology along with tropical ecology research experience, and a Master of Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a focus on conservation ecology and environmental justice. Prior to attending graduate school, Austin also worked as a state apiary inspector for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Austin is currently an extern at the Scholars Studio, where he will use remote sensing and urban GIS to conduct an urban landcover change assessment to better understand how urban political economic characteristics affect urban bees and pollinator communities. Temporal land cover changes in the cities of Austin, Texas, USA and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA will be compared. The digital material to be used in this analysis will include satellite imagery from the Landsat 8 satellite acquired from the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) EarthEngine platform. R Studio and QGIS will be used for further processing and analysis of the images.
Md Mohaiminul Islam is a Ph.D. student in the College of Engineering at Temple University. His research interests include topology optimization for additive manufacturing, and interfacial thermal conductivity calculation from molecular dynamics simulation. His current research focuses on accelerating topology optimization through machine learning. He spent one summer at Idaho National Lab as an intern to acquire experience in microstructure modeling. At present, he is working on a project focused on machine-learning-accelerated topology optimization for 3D printing with generalizability. The main purpose of this project is to make the structural optimization for 3D printing more robust and computationally efficient by utilizing ML algorithms that will generate an optimized structure to various constraints. This project will also reduce the wastage of raw material by ensuring optimum design with the best material properties. The general design framework would be applicable to a design problem based on loading conditions particular to any industry. Throughout this project, publicly accessible code will be generated that will allow interested users to 3D print optimized structures according to their design criteria.
CLIR-Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Synatra Smith earned her Ph.D. in Global and Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from Florida International University. Her research focuses on the creation, perpetuation, and transformation of the socio-political intersectional Black cultural landscape with special attention to the ways in which virtual and physical space are used as environments to conceptually and practically transform Black identification processes as well as the material culture that contributes to this phenomenon. She has been working in the galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) field for the past five years, officially in museum education but she’s also curated, worked in collections, managed an outreach initiative, etc. In her current position with Temple and PMA, she is exploring the myriad ways in which Black artists and scholars in Philadelphia reimagine and conceptualize their communities. She is going to be working on capturing a broad spectrum of materials, from murals, zines/comics, posters, fashion/cosplay/textiles, and performance art, to 3 dimensional models of sculptures and monuments and using linked data and mapping tools for data visualization. Outside of this fellowship, She’s working on a multi-chapter report to historically contextualize the use of racially restrictive deed covenants in Hyattsville, Maryland as a federally-sanctioned method of residential segregation during the first half of the twentieth century. And as a true millennial, she not only has a full time fellowship and an external research project, she also works with a childhood friend and his fraternity brother on a Black culture trivia mobile app called Trivia Black. Synatra recently started brainstorming ways to integrate a gaming experience into this project potentially through virtual reality and/or augmented reality to create a more interactive digital exhibition model.