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Creighton to unveil RadLab makerspace, April 12

The RadLab at Creighton, a new makerspace, is set to open April 12.Taking a bold step forward in academic innovation and technology, Creighton University will open its new RaDLab makerspace, April 12 at 11:30 a.m. in the Reinert Alumni Memorial Library.

The RaDLab (short for Research and Development Laboratory), is an idea in the making for the past 18 months as an outgrowth of Creighton’s Division of Information Technology (DoIT). In the fall of 2014, DoIT Executive Director Ryan Cameron read about a student at Boise State University who, needing supercomputing ability and unable to secure the time he needed at his university’s labs, built his own supercomputer out of Raspberry Pi cards — credit card-sized programmable processors which were strung together and to which was attached a monitor and keyboard.

“I thought, ‘Well, we can do that,’” Cameron said. “Let’s build a supercomputer.”

And with a team including another DoIT employee, Jordan Boetcher, and several Creighton students, working nights and weekends, a supercomputer was built and the RaDLab was born. The service helps faculty, students and staff solve problems with the technology and knowhow of DoIT and a stable of two dozen student interns.

“We love it when someone comes to us and says, ‘I don’t think this can be done, but can you try?’” Cameron said. “We’ll try and we’ll find a way. The RaDLab exists to find a way. We’re constantly being challenged and it’s amazing to see how our students and staff have risen up to tackle those challenges.”

Among other projects, RaDLab has built a lightboard for online instruction in the College of Arts and Sciences, helped with app development in the Heider College of Business, and helped create 3-D modeling of the human heart for the School of Medicine. The lab presently occupies just a few offices below the Reinert Alumni Library and the Creighton Advanced Visual Environment, or CAVE, which is a classroom with a 35-foot by 8-foot curved wall in the library used for interactive video display.

Cameron said the move to the new makerspace, comprising two levels and 1,200 square feet, replete with two 84-inch touchscreen monitors, custom made computers, green screen and audio-visual capabilities, gives the RaDLab a new chapter to write in taking on Creighton’s computing needs in support of the University’s digital strategy.

“We want to be able to solve the problems and face the challenges that our students and faculty bring to us,” Cameron said. “This new space gives us that opportunity. We’ve had such strong commitment from Creighton in pulling this together and we look forward to the next generation of the RaDLab.”

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