STEAMplant

STEAM projects by MSCI Faculty

Evolutionary Games Infographic

STEAMplant Faculty Member – Chris Jensen

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In 2012 Pratt Graduate CommD student Greg Riestenberg teamed up with Math & Science Professor Chris Jensen to create the Evolutionary Games Infographic Project, a collection of images designed to visually portray the mathematical logic of some game theory constructs commonly used to understand how cooperation evolves. Game theory is typically represented either through complicated stories or mathematical representations, both of which can be hard for novices to understand. Riestenberg and Jensen sought to make the rules and potential outcomes of these games easier to explore by converting them into a simple visual language. A series of infographics show how the games are played and how they differ in possible outcomes, creating a visual language that can be used to quickly see how various game constructs differ. A variety of real-world examples of “game theory in action” are also portrayed visually, allowing viewers to connect the abstract versions of the game to real biological and political scenarios. Creative Commons licensing of the images makes them available to a variety of users, including educators and authors. More information on this project — and a complete gallery of images — can be found here.

Placemaking and the Environment

STEAMplant Faculty Member – Damon Chaky

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In support of her capstone project in Sustainable Environmental Systems, graduate student Zoe Piccolo worked with Damon Chaky to explore how aesthetic placemaking could contribute to climate change resilience and address environmental threats in Jamaica Bay. Her interest in the project grew out of her Pratt coursework, including Prof. Chaky’s Science of Sustainability course and Ira Stern’s SES course in Watershed Planning, and her prior work as an Urban Design Fellow for the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. In the context of an Independent Study experience, Prof. Chaky has worked to assist Zoe with navigating the work performed in the Rockaways area by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, as well as exploring relevant peer-reviewed studies on bioremediation strategies, constructed wetland engineering, and climate change resilience that could apply to the Jamaica Bay area.

Fire Organ

STEAMplant Faculty Member – Mark Rosin

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Pratt Faculty member Mark Rosin has a decade of experience at the interface of the physical sciences and public performance. His recent work focuses on cymatics, the science and art of visualizing sound. The Fire Organ is a collaboration between Mark and industrial artist, Michael Kearney and maker, Lee Sonko. The organ demonstrates the physical nature of sound through the shape, height and size of the waves of fire it produces. Reacting uniquely to live music and audio input, the Fire Organ acts a real-world analogue sound visualizer. In creating the organ, Rosin, Kearney, and Sonko grappled with concept, design, engineering, and electronic challenges to produce a safe, transportable and versatile sculpture. Since 2014, the Fire Organ toured seven music festivals across the USA and England including Burning Man Precompression and Symbiosis. You can find more on this project here. A variety of his other projects can be found on the website of Guerilla Science, an international organization he co-founded in 2008.

Glamorous Gluons

STEAMplant Faculty Member – Agnes Mocsy

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Dr. Mócsy is a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Science at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, where she teaches courses such as “Starstruck, Meet Our Universe”, “Conceptual Physics”, and “Science, the Film Muse”. For several years she has been developing integrative, interdisciplinary science-art/design fusion projects. These, within her courses as well as through the more in-depth Independent Studies, allow students to explore the world of science through their own mediums including fashion, illustration, digital arts, fine arts, poetry, and film. Her science and art/design collaborations have reached beyond students’ graduation and well beyond the gates of Pratt. As a theoretical nuclear physicist, Dr Mócsy studies the matter that existed microseconds after the Big Bang, before protons, neutrons or atoms existed. This matter is recreated at two atom smashers, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab, NY where she is a visiting researcher, and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, where collisions of heavy atomic nuclei create temperatures 300 thousand times hotter than the center of our sun. The research of the infant universe and matter formation, and the particle accelerator facilities have tremendous power to wow and inspire. An example is Pratt fine arts major Sarah Szabo’s “Glamorous Gluons” mixed media painting series (see attached images), that has had an acclaimed solo exhibition. Read more about this collaboration here, and find out more about Prof. Mócsy’s activities at www.agnesmocsy.com and www.smashingmatters.com.