November 20, 2019
In the latest episode of Why Not Change the World? The RPI Podcast, an electrical engineer and an aerospace engineer describe their vision for how virtual reality can be used to teach a new generation of students.
Specifically, they talk about the inspiration and mission of the RAVE, which is short for the Rensselaer Augmented and Virtual Environment. This laboratory space on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus is designed for researchers and students to explore different uses of virtual and augmented reality.
“Our goal was to have virtual reality and augmented reality in the service of pedagogy — being able to teach concepts better,” said Rich Radke, a professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering. “Also, if a faculty member has a research project that would benefit from being visualized or experienced in VR or AR, that’s really what we’re trying to focus on.”
Exactly what will be developed and experienced in the RAVE remains an open question.
“One of the reasons this space exists is precisely to figure out where this is going,” said Jason Hicken, an associate professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering. “It’s not really an end in itself.”