Calling Student Researchers! Opportunities at the Brown Institute

The Brown Institute is building immersive hybrid environments. If you are a student enrolled in Data Science, Computer Science, and Architecture and Design, come build with us!

These roles will support students at a level of 10-20 hours/week working as a cohort to develop live audience and user statistics in virtual spaces, design new functionality for interaction and engagement in virtual and hybrid environments, and more.

The pandemic brought with it a range of tools for virtual collaboration. In 2020, the Brown Institute space was taken offline and our events became virtual. The affordances of virtual platforms, and in particular the highly-programmable ohyay.co, quickly became obvious — people participated in events who ordinarily would not, either as presenters or as audience members, and scriptable interactions helped boost the depth of involvement in our discussions.

As we begin returning to in-person events, we would like to hold onto the best properties of a virtual environment. Our proposal is for the development of a “multi-modal” Extension to the Brown Institute space. This will be a series of interventions both in ohyay.co as well as in the physical Brown Institute. Developed for our institute, our aim is for these technologies to be replicable outside our space, and outside the university.

Partnering with the original architect of the Brown Institute space, and with engineers from ohyay.co, the Brown Institute Extension will be a space for unique collaboration. The Extension will support and enhance our programming in the technical tools of journalism, including data+computation, data visualization, AR and VR, machine learning, natural language processing… and the list goes on.

We hope to find a set of interns with an interest in HCI, data science, computation, and architecture and design to help us design and program our Extension. Ideal candidates should have basic coding skills but more importantly, should be able to think in innovative ways about the design of virtual spaces. This position is open to both graduate and undergraduate students (junior or senior), and international students on an F1 or J1 visa. This position does not count towards academic credit.

To apply please send an email directly to the project lead at browninstitute@columbia.edu with your CV, and explain your background and skill sets related to the project in the body of your email. Please put ‘Hybrid Research Opportunity’ in the subject line.