June 17, 2013

iMAP Student Earns Intel Ph.D. Fellowship

The fellowship will support Ph.D. candidate’s dissertation

Joshua McVeigh-Schultz

When you go to a concert, the audience reacts to the music; however, iMAP Ph.D. candidate Joshua McVeigh-Schultz’ dissertation reverses this process and demonstrates the ways in which technology itself can respond and adapt to the audience. McVeigh-Schultz’ innovation was recently recognized by technology giant Intel, which awarded him with a highly competitive Intel Ph.D. Fellowship to support his work.

The Intel Ph.D. Fellowship Program awards fellowships to exceptional Ph.D. candidates pursuing leading-edge innovation in fields related to Intel's business and research interests. The selective, prestigious program offers a limited number of fellowships annually; until McVeigh-Schultz was chosen, this distinction had not been awarded to a USC student since 2009.

McVeigh-Schultz’ research explores the intersections between platform affordances and communication rituals with a particular emphasis on audience performer interactions. His dissertation has focused on prototyping objects that convey aggregated, real-time audience feedback, such as an animatronic/animistic microphone that moves like a serpent (or at times like a bird) and changes its mood based on the input of a live audience.

“The fellowship will be immensely helpful in helping me to accomplish both the engineering and filmmaking components of my dissertation,” said McVeigh-Schultz. “Next year, I'll be assembling a team of developers to help build an audience-feedback app toolkit for a variety of animistic objects, and I'll also be putting together a film crew to help me tell the story about a world in which the animistic microphones might live.”

Last year, McVeigh-Schultz interned with Intel's Interaction Experience Research group under Jay Melican, who has now been assigned as his mentor for the fellowship. While there, McVeigh-Schultz worked with Senior User Experience Lead Adam Jordan to explore platforms that enable playful engagement with data.

SCA’s Media Arts + Practice division allows students to explore the potentials of scholarly expression, visual storytelling, data visualization and social media, including business, education, medicine, urban planning and law – areas in which the ability to use media to communicate effectively is increasingly essential. Students who emerge from this division understand how to communicate ideas in multiple media forms - still images, video, sound, web design and social media - and how to distribute these ideas in the most effective manner.

Continuing iMAP’s line of distinction, iMAP student Nonny de la Peña, creator of the immersive, virtual reality journalism piece Hunger in Los Angeles, has received an AP Google Scholarship in conjunction with the Online News Association. Moreover, Darfur is Dying creator and iMAP student Susana Ruiz was one of only six students across the USC campus selected to receive the Ph.D. Achievement Award.

Additionally, iMAP students Clea T. Waite and Lauren Fenton presented their project titled Metabook: Cine-Installation as part of the distinguished International Symposium on Electronic Arts, which took place in Sydney, Australia, from June 7-16. For more information on the Symposium or their project, please visit: http://www.isea2013.org/

For more information on the Intel Ph.D. Fellowship Program, please visit http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/education/university/intel-phd-fellowship-program.html