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November 2011 Archives

October 14, 2011, marked the grand opening of the College of Design's Digital Fabrication Lab, or DigiFabLab - a state-of-the-art digital prototyping and fabrication facility, and already it is creating a buzz on and off campus. The DigiFabLab, located in Rapson Hall on the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus, demonstrates the U of M's dedication to providing cutting edge technology to support and enhance the academic experience. Since its grand opening, students at the University of Minnesota have been able to print prototype designs on the four brand-new 3D printers, which has cut the time between concept and finished product from weeks to hours.

The speed and precision of the printers give students the chance to make mistakes and take design risks, then to get their hands on a physical form before making changes. The plastic models the printers produce are tougher than the gypsum models that they had previously been using, and they can be used to test load strength and the function of mechanical components.

The DigiFabLab is just one of many leading technologies offered to students by the College of Design. The College of Design will unveil "first-of-its-kind" virtual reality installation in the upcoming month. Once complete, it will be the largest virtual reality facility of its type at an educational institution in the country. 



Below: Adam Poetter, a senior at the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, who pulls a partly finished 3D rendering of an arch structure out of a Dimension printer; and a close-up of the finished arch.  

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If you're looking to become involved on campus, you will definitely find a group that is right for you at the University of Minnesota! The U of M has more than 600 student group available on campus, with a wide variety of options including academic groups, athletic/intramural clubs, fraternities and sororities, and much more. Among these opportunities, you can easily find a close-knit community of students who share your interests. 

Today, I'd like to put the spotlight on Voices Merging--a talented student group who I recently saw perform at Experience Minnesota: a multicultural open house for prospective students and their families, held annually at the University of Minnesota.

Voices Merging (VM) is a multicultural student based artist coalition dedicated to providing venues, workshops and comfortable atmosphere for all types of artists. Voices Merging brings poets, singers, dancers, rappers, actors, musicians of all generations into one room and create a exhilarating experience.

VM has grown to be a driving force not only for young performance artists but has also continued a tradition of spoken word in Minnesota. The activities of Voices Merging lay the foundation for students to express themselves creatively in a safe and supportive environment, and they unite students regardless of ethnicity, age, or differences.

This student group is best known for its bi-weekly open mics on the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. They also hold biennial poetry/hip-hop conferences that bring together well renowned authors, poets, writers and publishers.

For more information, visit the Voices Merging website, or contact the student group at onevoice@umn.edu.

The video below showcases part one of the "From Vices to Verses Hip Hop conference" which is one of the biannual events hosted by Voices Merging, held on the University of Minnesota campus.


Yefei Jin (below), is a National Merit Scholar from Michigan who chose to study at the U of M because of the great academics and opportunities he discovered on and off campus. Yefei has shared his experiences and advice for future U of M students, which you can read below!

Meet Yefei, and learn more about his experience at the University of Minnesota:

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Name: Yefei Jin


Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Major(s): Theatre and Asian Languages & Literatures

Year in School: Senior, Class of 2012

Why he chose the U of M: 
"I chose the University of Minnesota for its prime location in a metropolitan area and the abundance of opportunities provided by its thriving artistic community. After visiting the campus, I discovered the strong academic and creative connections the university had with the local community. As a student pursuing the mechanisms for creating social change, the combination of service learning projects and academic rigor made the University of Minnesota the best choice for me."

How Yefei is involved at the U of M: 
"I'm currently involved in multiple creative projects as well as student groups on campus, both of which motivate my academics and career goals. I recently wrote a play for my senior project, called 'Atsumori in San Francisco.' As a student playwright, director, and actor, I've performed these original pieces on campus for open audiences and student groups. This past summer, I was an Orientation Leader, helping incoming students transition into college life. I'm also involved in multicultural Greek life in which I work with other talented leaders in bringing voice to communities on and off campus.

The highlight of his U of M experience so far: 
"My U of M experience has taken me beyond what I could ever have imagined. My experiences on and off campus in theatre, education, and leadership development have been absolutely inspiring. I owe much of my passion to peers and faculty for offering me the support and insight for my creative development. At this point in my collegiate career, I have secured a strong mission statement along with the tools to challenge injustices."

His advice to future U of M students: 
"Join organizations!!! Here you will find not the students who think like you, but those with similar passions. Some of these students will be your lifelong peers. As you pursue your interests, important relationships will form and with collaborating in student organizations, prepare to be amazed at how much you can learn!"


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