The scene looks and sounds like a day spent maintaining the nation’s maritime defenses, but these naval personnel are actually ROTC students at NC State University. They’re training in the Hunt Library’s Creativity Studio, a high-tech “white box” space that runs the most advanced version of the Navy’s Mariner Skills Simulator.
"The cutting-edge technologies being employed at the Hunt Library are a radical departure from our typical classroom," said Eric Pfefferkorn, training systems program manager at the Naval Air Warfare Center. "Being located at the Hunt gives the Navy the opportunity to teach in a truly virtual environment.”
The Hunt Library stands at the epicenter of NC State’s emerging digital campus, where immersive technologies are transforming experiential education and pushing our solution-driven research to the forefront of interdisciplinary innovation.
In the Hunt Library’s Teaching and Visualization Lab, researchers from our Institute for Transportation Research and Education partner with civil engineering faculty to use state-of-the-art methods to plan new highways. On the lab’s 270-degree video walls, planners and citizens can watch a new overpass rise and experience its effects on everything from traffic patterns to sunlight in nearby neighborhoods.
The Teaching and Visualization Lab also transports users through time and space. Students can stand in a 17th-century London churchyard to hear a sermon by the poet John Donne, and forensics faculty can scour painstakingly re-created crime scenes to find clues to cold cases.
“The technology finally caught up with my ambition,” says John Wall, the English professor who collaborated with historians, archaeologists, architects, IT experts and the National Endowment for the Humanities to create the Donne exhibit.
At NC State, high-performing students and world-leading faculty are using digital tools to create worlds, step inside them and address the global challenges of tomorrow.