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What has 52 moving parts, fits in the palm of your hand, and received more than 1.6 million hits on YouTube during the first month that it starred in its own video? Answer: The X-Cube—or the Crossoid, so dubbed by the twisty-puzzle community that has embraced this innovative bundle of brainy 3-D fun designed and fabricated by Dane Christianson, an IIT second-year mechanical engineering student.
It's a Bird . . . It's a Plane . . . It's a Flying Robot!
Flying over obstacles that life can hurl your way is an enviable ability of superheroes, extra-terrestrials, and now—IIT's rolling and flying robot. Assistant Professor Matthew Spenko and doctoral student Arash Kalantari of IIT Armour College of Engineering developed the 'bot, known as the hybrid terrestrial and aerial quadrotor (HyTAQ), as part of a United States Navy Office of Naval Research project.
U Farm IIT
On a hardscrabble patch of land between the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority house and the Triangle fraternity house—where even grass has a tough time growing—a lush and fertile project showcasing a variety of green life is rising.
Pick an Environmental Protection Card, Any Card
“I like black—it’s the color of fantasy, mystery, and illusion,” says Xiangyu “Leo” Liu, a student in the Master of Public Administration program at IIT Stuart School of Business. “I wear black so people won’t be focused on my colorful clothing or shoes onstage; they’ll be focused on what I’m doing. They’ll remember my name—and my magic.”
A Box of Instant Smiles
Lucie Weir’s ‘Aha!’ moment galloped in at a neighborhood Kentucky Derby party last year.“A group of parents were there and one couple was telling me that their son, serving in the military, needed them to ship him some sunscreen because it was beginning to get warm,” says Weir, assistant to Dean Ali Cinar of IIT’s Graduate College. “And that’s when it clicked.”
Spring Has Sprung at S. R. Crown Hall
S. R. Crown Hall. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's S. R. Crown Hall is a Chicago Landmark, a National Historic Landmark, and on the National Register of Historic Places. The iconic building is also home to IIT College of Architecture, a classroom for studio projects, and a showcase for student exhibits at the annual spring Open House.
From Clean Water Grows Opportunity
The irony of townspeople, who during the rainy season have no access to potable water remains a vivid memory for Dhara Shah (BME 4th year) and crystallized the value of the work she and the other members of the IIT Chapter of Engineers Without Borders are doing as part of Haiti Outreach.
There Must Be Something in the Water
This winter, IIT’s Life Sciences Building became home to a menagerie of salt-water denizens of the deep: more than 60 green crabs and a male giant Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini. The sea-nario constitutes the CRAB Lab (Creative Research in Animal Behavior) and comprises four different experiments involving students and faculty from the university’s College of Science and Letters, College of Psychology, and Armour College of Engineering.
Jack Snapper, Super Art Aficionado
John “Jack” Snapper may use the title of associate professor of philosophy at IIT College of Science and Letters, but he might as well have switched that cap for an Indiana Jones fedora as he demonstrated the mechanics of smoking an ornately carved bamboo peace pipe that he acquired in New Guinea in 1970.
Chance for a Transformed Life
In 2010, Helen Matteson was helping to take a count of her fellow Americans as a United States census taker. The following year, she was counting her blessings when her supervisor, a military veteran, told her about a new program to assist veterans, reservists, National Guard members, and their families in Lake and McHenry counties.
Turning a Traffic Trickle Into a Stream
Whether you drive or take public transportation, your synthetic composite counterpart is also traveling on Zongzhi Li's desktop computer. With travel and traffic information gathered from census, survey, and field data, Li, an associate professor of transportation engineering at IIT Armour College of Engineering, is formulating the daily comings and goings—an estimated 28.5 million trips—of some 9.7 million people in the Chicago metropolitan area.
To Infinity and Beyond
When Ron Iden (M.P.A. '76) watched the "Mickey Mouse Club" television show from his home on Chicago's North Side in the 1950s and '60s, he never imagined that one day he would grow up to become senior vice president of global security for The Walt Disney Company, responsible for protecting the planet's most recognizable rodent as well as the millions of visitors and staff of Mr. Mouse's enterprise.
Living the Dream
Her heart pounding, cosmetics chemist and ultramarathoner Emma Caldridge strides up a steep Columbian mountainside. With a band of armed guerrillas hot on her trail, she is racing to reach the Lost City, a source of unique indigenous plants that will serve as an antidote to a weapons-grade nervous system disrupter that Caldridge was exposed to earlier. Without the cure, she had only 12 hours to live.
Pavements in the Sky
"Many people thought that 9/11 would be the death of tall buildings, but actually, what has happened in the last 10 years has been unprecedented in the number, size, and type of tall buildings that have been erected," says Antony Wood, executive director of the IIT-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and a studio associate professor at IIT College of Architecture. "Almost every major city in the world has been developing tall buildings. That's never happened before."
Slideshow: Stroll on a Summer Day
2942 South Wabash (Bronzeville). Founded in 1855 as Chicago's ninth Catholic church, Saint James is the only parish in the city served by Benedictine monks. The church serves IIT students through its Catholic Campus Ministry, established in the 1970s.
Every Day is Independence Day
Throughout a transcontinental odyssey when he was a youth that included three years in a remote Siberian village for political exiles, Harold Olin (ARCH '54) kept close to him a cherished reminder: a personal-sized 48-star flag, a gift to him from his father, who promised Olin that they would one day be reunited in America.
Head in a Cloud
Kui Ren, IIT assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, spends a lot of time with his head in a cloud. However, unlike a naïve daydreamer out of touch with reality, Ren has both feet firmly planted on the ground, especially when it comes to the evolving concept of cloud computing.
Slideshow: IIT Main Campus in Bloom
Scarlet Glory. Scarlet tulips emblazon an Illinois Institute of Technology sign on Main Campus.
Breaking Down the Storage-Performance Wall
The central processing unit of the computer, often dubbed the brain, has historically upstaged memory in the quest for fast and powerful machines. Ioan Raicu, assistant professor of computer science, says that a fully developed brain relies on more than its ability to "think."
Slideshow: Winter on IIT Main Campus
Winter Companion. A snowman joins George Segal's Man on a Bench, the first piece of public sculpture displayed outdoors at IIT. Azure skies pair with a covering of snow to light up Main Campus in the unique way that only winter can.
Probing the Beamline
In the realm of subatomic particle acceleration, rings take centerstage. The world's most powerful proton-antiproton collider in the United States is the circular Tevatron, located underground at Fermilab, in Batavia, Ill., while the 27-kilometer-in-circumference Large Hadron Collider, near Geneva, Switzerland, is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.
Slideshow: Autumn on IIT Main Campus
Reflections on Crown Hall. The windows of S. R. Crown Hall offer a stark canvas for showcasing fall colors. The arrival of autumn at IIT means bustling student and faculty activity, cooler temperatures, and warm earth tones.
The Chapel That Is Also a Bridge
Some would call it a miracle. But for an IIT alumna, and a group of IIT students and their faculty mentor, it was an opportunity to build bridges and to touch the divine. In January 2008, the Reverend Dankwart Moser-Feesche, a minister from the Odenwald/Bauland region of southern Germany, approached architect Dea Ecker (M.Arch. '99) with his vision for an ecumenical chapel. Except for an idea about what the building would represent and where it should be located—in Boedigheim—he had no other resources to offer, not even the support of his congregation...
Slideshow: Spring on IIT Main Campus
Education on Display. Architecture student projects are showcased outside S. R. Crown Hall. Each season of the year brings its own fresh look and feel to Main Campus. The spring bids farewell to the academic year and greets a lush array of colors, new visitors to IIT, and quiet months of renewal.
United We Serve
In the 1957 film adaptation of the play 12 Angry Men, actors Lee J. Cobb and Henry Fonda, as jurors No. 3 and No. 8, convey the polar opinions that can comprise jury trial deliberations: “You’re talking about a matter of seconds. Nobody can be that accurate,” says Cobb, about an eyewitness’s account of the crime. “Well, I think that testimony that can put a boy into the electric chair should be that accurate,” counters Fonda.
For the Sake of the Land
When one considers Chicago’s rich architectural legacy, iconic buildings first come to mind. But there are other notable projects that instead transform pockets of the urban environment into sanctuaries that provide an escape from the gritty into the sublime. Humboldt Park, the Lincoln Park Lily Pool, and the Chicago Botanic Garden are world-class examples of the field of design known as landscape architecture. Recognizing that space and resource utilization within cities have taken on an increased urgency, IIT College of Architecture developed the Program of Landscape Architecture, the only such professional program in Chicago, which graduated its first class of Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) students in May 2009.
Observatory Focuses on Our Earth
It seems appropriate that Dennis Roberson’s office at IIT’s Main Campus is high up, 10 floors atop street level and competing with the upper-tier seats at U.S. Cellular Field, which commands the view from the office’s west windows. While being eye-level with Canada geese flying in formation can be a memorable experience, the real action takes place 12 floors above—on the roof of IIT Tower—where the world’s first and only continuously running terrestrial spectrum observatory is installed, and co-directed by Roberson...
Golden Photo Opportunity
Not many photo subjects look their most flattering while wearing the shade of vermilion known as International Orange. A nearly 9,000-foot-long exception is one of the world’s most monumental man-made marvels, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Robert E. David (M.S. DSGN ’73) can not only name the pair who figured prominently in the decision to paint the bridge in that vibrant hue...
Photography as Journey
Of the many photographs that are everywhere in Barbara Crane’s cozy, white-walled studio in Chicago’s West Loop, there is one 8" x 10" image hanging apart from the others that, in a way, started it all, sending Crane and her viewers on a more than six decades-long trip that turned artistic photography upside-down, inside-out, and just about any other direction in-between. In the mind’s eye, the picture’s black, gracefully curving lines set against a stark milky background could be a black-and-white pencil drawing of a young shoot arching toward an unseen sun. Rather, it is an overexposed and overdeveloped gelatin silver print close-up of the backside of Crane’s son, Bruce. Shot in 1964, the photograph served as the impetus for her 90-image master’s thesis at IIT Institute of Design....
One Year After the Fall of Lehman
The dark night is now past. Or is it? One year after the global financial-services firm Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 15, 2008 and set the world atilt, IIT Magazine asked Michael Gorham, Industry Professor of Finance and director of the Center for Financial Markets at IIT Stuart School of Business, his impressions on the collapse and what can be done to safeguard the country's financial situation today...
Engineering a Useful Sulfur-Eating Bacterium
It seems fitting that a small plaque displaying Chicago architect Daniel Burnham's quote "Make no small plans; they have no magic to stir one's blood" secured a spot atop the crowded desk of Benjamin Stark, associate chair and professor of biology at IIT College of Science and Letters. Stark and his team of collaborators and student researchers are involved in a big undertaking...
Behind the Blast Doors, 'Bots Rule
Building 3424 on IIT's Main Campus seems tame enough. Visitors enter through a revolving door, check in at the reception desk, and go their respective ways, perhaps to the Department of Mathematics and Science Education or to the wing that houses Shimer College. But for those on their way to the Illinois Tech Robotics (ITR) club, both the journey and its destination qualify for what might be...
WISER Formula Hybrid Team on Fast Track to Learning
Each spring, the IIT community gathers outdoors for a supercharged send-off as Scarlet Hawk and other student-built high-performance hybrid vehicles roll out of Armour garage for a road trip to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where they vie against other college racecars...
Several alumni wrote in to reminisce about their experiences with the IIT Navy V-12 program, the topic featured in the Rewind article of the fall 2008 issue of IIT Magazine. You can also view the expanded version of the article at http://archives.iit.edu/iit/index.php?page=v12.