SUNY Announces Second Round of Innovative Instruction Technology Grants

May 23, 2013

Albany — State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced the recipients of the 2013 Innovative Instruction Technology Grants (IITG) program, which funds campus innovations and initiatives that have the potential to be replicated elsewhere within SUNY to benefit students and faculty across the state and worldwide.

"The IITG program has enabled our campuses to enhance the quality of a SUNY education by leveraging our systemness and bringing students the best that technology has to offer," said SUNY Chancellor Zimpher. "This program is one of many that exemplify SUNY's capacity to model innovative instructional practices for higher education nationally and globally. We look forward to seeing these outstanding ideas replicated across SUNY to benefit even more of our students, faculty and staff."

SUNY faculty and staff across all disciplines were eligible to apply for the IITG competitive grant. Recipients will openly share project outcomes, enabling SUNY colleagues state-wide to replicate and build upon the innovations, many supporting the university system’s new Open SUNY initiative, which will bring together all of the online courses offered at SUNY campuses.

In its inaugural year, the 2012 program resulted in 117 grant proposals and 48 awarded grants. Of the 93 proposals submitted for this year’s competition, 33 were selected to receive awards. In addition, six projects from round one were funded for a second round. Several projects included collaborations by two or more campuses and/or with local organizations and businesses.

A complete list of grant-funded projects is available online and a sampling of this year’s projects is below:

  • Virtual Infrastructure for Data Intensive Analysis (VIDIA)
    The Center for Computational Research (CCR) at the University at Buffalo (UB) and SUNY Oneonta will pilot a collaborative virtual community, enabling undergraduate students opportunities to create, manipulate, and analyze large multi-terabyte datasets. This extends Oneonta’s “Big Data on Smaller Campuses,” a highly successful IITG funded collaboration between UB, Penn State, and IBM.
  • Open SUNY Textbooks
    SUNY Geneseo is leading a multi-campus effort to reduce the cost of attending colleges and universities through faculty-led publication of open access textbooks. Building on an IITG pilot project, these publications will provide sustainability and scalability to Open SUNY currently under development.
  • SUNY Games II
    The University at Albany is leading a multi-campus effort to launch a joint online academic program that promotes understanding of the power of games, simulations, and immersive environments for 21st-century learning. Informed by a broad spectrum of academic departments as well as affiliates from game and simulation design firms (First Playable, Agora Games, MESO, Turbine Games, and Flashbang Studios), this collaboration aims to generate new online courses and ultimately acquire the external funding necessary to achieve a full-scale program using the Open SUNY framework.
  • Math Course Redesign Project
    Cayuga Community College is redesigning a developmental math sequence, starting with Elementary Algebra, where the traditional classroom lecture format is replaced with an individualized, actively engaged approach to learning mathematics partially through self-paced technology use to achieve content mastery. Students will achieve a higher level of preparedness for subsequent course work.
  • iTutor and iDemo: 3D Computer Vision/Graphics with Intelligent Avatar Interaction
    Binghamton University will leverage existing computer vision technology to analyze and respond to unique human behavior and facial expressions. iDEMO and iTutor are software under development that feature an interactive avatar “smart enough” to understand students’ expressions, voices, eye gazes, and hand gestures, and can adjust presentation materials accordingly.
  • LOOP: A project in Creative Instruction for Music Technology (Learn-Operate-Outreach-Perform)
    SUNY Buffalo State is building a state-of-the-art lab to compose and perform new types of electronic music. The LOOP system enables students to build on their compositions in an iterative manner. This project actively engages community and educational partners, including the Burchfield-Penny Art Center.

SUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost David K. Lavallee said, "The IITG program has already demonstrated significant returns by leveraging funding opportunities, but more importantly, it develops and sustains important faculty and staff collaborations across SUNY in an efficient manner. Congratulations to all of this year’s awardees."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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