Xuan Li

New Innovation Floor Stimulates Students’ Creativity

Deep inside the bowels of the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science, burgeoning computer scientists, engineers, and other students work on their various projects like mad scientists, utilizing state of the art 3D printing technology, laser cutters, and even the humble sewing machine. For this edition of Daily College Life, we took a look at the space and talked to a few students using it. The venue: The Ralph and Trish Nagel Innovation Lab.

Located on the bottom floor of the new complex, the Innovation Lab serves as a conduit for students’ engineering creativity. Between undergrads and grads building robots and remotely operated vehicles, you can also find people working on motorcycle parts, sewing clothing, even using the provided area for VR. Best of all, the facilities are open to all students, not just those whose majors coincide with the equipment.

One engineering student, Andrew Stone, was working on a training robot for boxers. Engineered on CNC machines and powered by a small computer called a Raspberry Pi, the device was intended to automate fight training with a virtual trainer. The synthesized voice would tell the boxer to punch left or right, and sensors in the rotating punching target would detect the impact from the boxer’s fist. 

Another student, Sanjana Mohan was working on a quadrotor for her mechatronics class. The four bladed drone was being calibrated for flight weight, so it would remain balanced and stable while in the air. Sanjana extolled the virtues of 3D printing for rapid design and modification, which is what enabled her to create, modify, and test her aircraft quickly.

We then met with Jake Sigmond a bioengineering student who was working with Andrew on his boxing robot. He uses the lab not only for class, but also for personal use, repairing motorcycle parts with the provided tools. He enjoyed the openness of the new facility: “It’s not like the old building where it wasn’t very friendly or inviting, so not a lot of engineers didn’t stick around.”

Kirk Scully, a student in the entrepreneur class used the lab to make his clothing. Sitting at the sewing machine he praised the “incredible” floor and all of the additions to it that made it so useful for students to do their work. “It’s an incredible opportunity and be surrounded by incredible people…and machinery.”  

Students universally praised the open and inviting environment, abundance of cutting edge technology, and secure storage space for their projects. The floor itself is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 10:00pm as well as Saturday through Sunday from 12:00pm to 10:00pm. The floor is currently home to eight 3D printers (although more are being added), a laser engraving machine, a CNC router, a vacuum thermoformer, a scanner, for scanning real objects to make 3D models, a sewing machine, building kits for computer parts and engineering projects, soldering irons, cameras, as well as a myriad of other tools and accessories for engineering work. 


Josef Korbel School



My audio slideshow is intended to tell a story about Josef Korbel School. I took photos after my interview with professor Robert Uttaro. In this interview, professor Uttaro mentioned his experience in Korbel School. He had been teach Contemporary Issues of Global Economy and International Politics in Korbel school since the fall of 2009. After couple years of teaching, he was allowed and asked to develop course of politics in Africa, (he done his research in Malawi) and it became his first upper level class. He also teach other upper level classes such as Migrants and Refugees, Global Environmental Policies.

I used four pictures I took of the interview, and two of them were medium shots of interviewee. I had the most picture of Korbel School’s building such as I took photos inside of the steeple top and meeting room on the fifth floor. I met with several difficulties in this project such as I had a ten minutes long audio but I need to cut it to less than three minutes. When I started editing, I found it’s quite difficult to match photos to audio. For example, professor Uttaro mentioned students in International Studies School, but I don’t have any appropriate photograph for it. Thus, if I were to do anything different, I would spent more time to shot some photos about students in classroom.

What do Chinese International Student do in Their Free Time


The slideshow is a collection of photos about DU Chinese students. This slideshow features many different types of photos such as long shots and medium shots.

DU. from Xuan Li

What do most Chinese International students do in their free time?

Recent years, there are more and more Chinese students choose to study abroad. Thousands of Chinese high school students come to the U.S. to get undergraduate degrees and the number of them is still increasing every year. However, not all of them are eager to integrate themselves into American culture, even most Chinese students started to learn English and western culture when they were in elementary schools, but they still deeply influenced by Chinese traditional culture. Thus, many Chinese students keep their Chinese style eating and living habits in some parts.

One of the most popular nightlife options for Chi nese studIMG_6386ents is karaoke, a place where people go to sing and play. They can book a private singing room with a machine for picking songs. It also provides food and drinks, comfortable sofas, and mood lighting. For people who don’t want to singing, they can play dice games or card games.

‘Star Kitchen’ is a Cantonese restaurant and it has the ost popular dim sum in Denver. Chinese Morning tea and dim sum is a traditional Chinese southern custom for breakfast. It is extremely popular in some southeast area such as Guangdong and Hong Kong. Dim sum are usually served in a small steamer basket or bowl. It including shrimp dumplings, rice noodle roll, and different kinds of buns and cakes.

Chinese students also like to cook Chinese hot pot at home especially in cold and windy weather. They set a pot of both mild and spicy broth (soup base) on a portable burner, then prepare plates of raw ingredients such as thinly shaved lamb, beef, tofu and different kinds of vegetables beside the pot. Each person can takes whatever they want, drops it into the broth and waits it to cook.

“I like homemade hot pot because it can warms up my body well during cold weather and I can add and cook different ingredients in the broth…It’s hard to find a good hot pot restaurant in Denver.” said Shihua, a DU sophomore Chinese student.

For almost one-third of Chinese students, Library is the place where they spent a significant portion of their time on campus when they were not in class. Some Chinese students study together outside of class in small groups. They believe forming study groups is a effective way for enhancing learning.

English is their second language. Thus, compared with the native students, many Chinese students spend more times reading their English textbooks.

Moreover, there are a lot of Chinese boys like to play basketball and watch NBA games in their spare time.

“BasketbIMG_3786all i one of the most common sport for students in China. I started to play it since junior high school.” said Zeng

“There was a popular Japanese comics called “SlamDunk”. It influenced a lot of Chinese kids to play basketball when they were in elementary schools.” said DU freshman Leo Liang.