FSC Awarded $400K by LI Regional Economic Development Council

Farmingdale Sate College has been awarded $400,000 by the 2017 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), as a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to state investment and economic development. The “Emerging Technologies in Undergraduate Education at Farmingdale State College” grant includes the renovation of Whitman Hall, web streaming technology, and the acquisition of virtual reality / augmented reality – a.k.a. mixed reality – equipment.

The grant was the second largest given to a public college on Long Island. Congratulations to the team that applied to this competition: Brian O’Keefe, Kenneth Tax and Dawn Grzan.

This award marks the second REDC grant secured by Professor O’Keefe of the Visual live streamingCommunications/Interaction Design program. In 2013, Professor O’Keefe was the primary investigator for the “Mobile Experiences for Tourism” REDC grant. This grant designed and developed a mobile application that geo-curated digital augmented reality characters to historical locations through educational 19th century storytelling. The evaluated results predicted an augmented reality interaction model used by the hit Pokemon Go App, three years later.

Professor O’Keefe will be working closely with Kenneth Tax in the School of Business to experiment with and test virtual reality technologies such as Oculus Rift (Facebook), HoloLens (Microsoft), and iMotion. The funding will also help answer questions like “how does mixed reality impact the learning objectives of tomorrow’s classroom?”, “how do we prepare students when AR/VR technologies enter the workplace?”, and “how do interaction designers design new mixed realty experiences that solve human problems?”

Dawn Grzan, Director of Research and Sponsored Program Development, said of the grant: “This funding will help Farmingdale provide immersive learning, which is the next step in the evolution of interactive learning, by integrating virtual/mixed reality technology into the classroom.”

Will Augmented and Virtual Reality Replace Textbooks?


This past year, Tulsa TV-2, an NBC News affiliate, did a great story on the transition in education through the eyes of professors and students who are using augmented and virtual reality. As you watch the news report you will notice the following:
  • Professors will quickly embrace technology that directly impacts student success.
  • Students are more engaged and learn quicker through visual stimulation.
  • Grades can be immediately improved with augmented and virtual reality.
  • An international and global reach is possible with stimulating technology.

Full Story

Campus Times: Interaction Design Students Visit Scottish Colleagues

“Assistant Professor Brian O’Keefe and five Visual Communications students specializing in Interaction Design went to Edinburgh, Scotland this past summer to participate in an intensive five-day “Blended Spaces” workshop at Edinburgh Napier University.

The students – Julius Capio, Jean Chang, Zohal Azimi, Kim Gentry and Genevieve Quiban – also attended the Designing Interactive Systems Conference, where they rubbed elbows with Interaction Design researchers, practitioners and academics. Professor O’Keefe chaired the workshops….” Read Full Story

Farmingdale State College Students attend and participate in DIS 2017

The Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2017 conference was held this year in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. This international ACM SIGCHI conference has been an important community for Human Computer Interaction and Interaction Design researchers, practitioners and academics. Farmingdale State College had an important presences at this international conference as faculty chaired the workshops, while students participated as volunteers and attended the conference.

Interaction Design Students in the Visual Communications Department at Farmingdale State College experienced; 

  1. design workshop lead by practitioners from Volvo Cars, Sweden with a keen focus on personalizing the automation of self driving cars.
  2. design workshop led by faculty from University of California, Berkley to understand new uses of bio data
  3. design workshop led by faculty from the Open Lab, University of New Castle, to engage the Arab community to better design interactive systems.
  4. interaction design research methods by Facebook London.
  5. formal British dining events that opened doors for networking and careers, and much more.

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Presentations [Day 5] Design Fictions

The collaborations between Farmingdale and Napier students resulted in three design fictions. These storyboards, highlighted human-centered problems that exist in the physical environments and then used the Blended Spaces Framework to solve these problems. The Blended Spaces that the students created aimed to carefully and diligently use digital technologies that dissolved into the physical environment. The goal of each design fictions is to illustrate new user experiences at Jupiter Art Land.

Each student group presented their design fictions to a panel of interaction design factually from the Centre of Interaction Design, Edinburgh Napier University. This event concluded the five day workshop. However, collaborations between the students and faculty from both institutions are on-going.

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