DePaul Student? Apply to work at the IRL and IIRL

We’re hiring for all positions at the IRL and IRL2 on (respectively) the Loop and Lincoln Park campuses. If you’re a DePaul University student who has interest in exploring making and tinkering, and sharing that joy with others, check out our hiring page here.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Embedding Information Inside Information


Imagine a scenario, for example, in which every little bleep and bloop in a song (or TV commercial or blockbuster film or ringtone) somewhere is actually an entire other song accelerated, or even what this could do outside the field of acoustics altogether. An entire film, for example, sped up to a brief flash of light: you film the flash, slow down the resulting footage, and you’ve got 2001 playing in a public space, in full, hours compressed into a microsecond. It’s like the exact opposite of Bryan Boyer’s Very Slow Movie Player, with very fast nano-cinemas hidden in plain sight.

I find the whole idea of using audio and video in weird ways to transmit information fascinating. Another example that comes to mind is LiFi, which, similar to the examples in the blog post above, can be used for all sorts of nefarious things including data exfiltration.

We’re just beginning to explore the ways that information can be embedded in a seemingly different kind of information, and I imagine with the rise of other forms of Natural User Interfaces, this is an area that’s going to see high growth.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Form 2 vs 3

Formlabs put out a really nice comparison on the Form 2 vs Form 3. We have a 2 at the IRL, and it is in constant use. Definitely keeping an eye on these changes as we continue building out makerspaces at DePaul.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

IRL2 Building Up, pt. 1

I’ve been pretty busy over the last six months designing, outfitting, and getting all of the systemic structures in places for a second makerspace at DePaul University. As part of this big push, I had to develop floor plans for the space. These have substantially changed over time, so I wanted to start logging my process and evolution. This is part one of I have no idea how many parts.

The plans below were the original layout for IRL2 (or IIRL). A heavy focus had to be placed on the unique characteristics of our Lincoln Park campus, as well as the physical location of the space (second floor, with difficulties getting materials up). Thus, the space focuses on smaller machines (and thus, smaller materials).

Note, as well, the large amount of space dedicated to open work. This is based on feedback that we received from students, as well as casual observations from my student workers, that indicated people wanted even more space to spread out and get their work done. Lounge space was also invested in, as the IRL lounge is one of its most popular spaces. Finally, we invested in a larger sink, anticipating a similar popularity of screen printing that the IRL currently enjoys. Bigger sinks make it easier to clean screens.

In the next part, I’ll share how these plans have evolved since their creation, the considerations that led to those changes, and the challenges (and opportunities!) that have come up as this process has continued.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

This Should Work Episode 18 – Aaron Hoover

Episode 18 kicks off a series of interviews I’ve conducted/am conducting around educational makerspaces. The series includes conversations with people from higher ed, K-12, libraries, and other institutions, and is geared toward providing a snapshot into how leaders in the field view their work, challenges, and opportunities that makerspaces bring to education.

Aaron Hoover is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Olin College and one of the founders of the Higher Education Makerspaces Initiative and the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces. In this episode, Aaron and I discuss the state of maker education in higher education including the challenges and opportunities that educators face in this context. This interview is the first part in a series of interviews about makerspaces in education.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Help I’m Trapped in a TP Factory

Special thanks to the NYT kids’ section for these great jokes that keep showing up around my house.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Bits to Atoms

Thanks to everyone who came to my “Bits to Atoms” Alumni University talk this weekend. If you’re looking for slides, they can be found here. From what I understand, the talk filled up so quickly that they’re looking to run it again (and soon!). Stay tuned.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Thotcon 0xA Talk

I’ll be speaking at Thotcon again this year on Track X: “Hacking THOTCON 0xA Badges.” Hope to see you all there, and can’t wait to show everyone the work we’ve been putting into the device this year!

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Southland Makerfest Timelapse

Thanks to Ron Angle, from Angle Drone Solutions, for taking this video from our event last weekend!

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

First front-cover magazine with our family

We’ve made it 🙂 Check us out on the cover of March’s “Mokena Neighbors” issue.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus