UCIT Tech Exhibit showcases digital resources, contest winners

Students, faculty and staff gather at Tangeman University Center to learn more about technological resources.

Students have access to a litany of technological resources at the University of Cincinnati, and UC Information Technologies wants more students to be aware of the access they have.

To do that, UCIT and Student Government hosted the first UC Tech Exhibit Friday at Tangeman University Center.

Student Government Director of Technology Priya Chawla created the event on campus as a way to be more transparent with students about technology resources on campus and to celebrate the innovation of UCIT and UC students on campus.

“We really wanted the students to have fun and be involved in celebrating all the technology UC has to offer, which is what I think we achieved,” Chawla said.

The exhibit featured the student winners from the 2012 UC Invents competition.

The projects invented by these winners will be implemented at UC and ranged from a program to help aid the mobility of handicapped students on campus to using the university’s own coffee grounds to power buildings and vehicles.

“I think UC Invents is a really exciting competition that helps get more students involved in making campus a better place,” said Jill Scott, UC Invents winner and fourth-year political science student.

One of UCIT’s goals was to connect the students with programs like the annual UC Invents competition, App Lab on Main Street, Cybercrime, the Center for Simulation and Virtual Environments Research, Blackboard, Microsoft 365, Github and the UC Bookstores, said Nelson Vincent, interim vice president for information technology.

“I appreciate events like the UC Technology Exhibit because it grows out of collaboration and partnerships with several groups and it meets a real need on campus,” Vincent said.

Blackboard support and UCIT were there answering questions from students about technical problems and asking for student feedback about what they can do to better meet students needs.

“I think that this event is a great bragging point about UC because it shows everything that UCIT does and that it’s more than just the people you call to help you fix your computer or Internet,” said Eric Grote, a third-year marketing student.

UC’s App Lab on Mainstreet offered help to students with the UC and UC alumni apps and promoted its new book-swapping app.

“Right now, we’re working on the book app which will allow UC students to easily sell and buy books with one another,” said Rohit Bhoompally, second-year computer science grad student. “We’re hoping to have it up and running by the end of December.”

Funded by UCIT and Student Government, the event included free lunch and dozens of raffle giveaways, including gift cards for Github and the UC Bookstores, Microsoft software and tablets.

“It was very exciting to have more people than we expected,” said Chawla. “It was great to see all of our hard work pay off.”