RadLab is a low-key workshop series for sharing totally rad projects, ideas, and experiences. We've hosted over forty student presentations covering topics like jewelry making, hermit crabs, sneaker manufacturing, and many more. There is no pressure to create a fancy slide deck or practice a speech if you don't feel like it, as long as you can talk about something neat, you're in!
We have four amazing presentations lined up for this fall! You can check out the details for all of our events below.
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Watch Previous RadLabs on YouTube
RadLab started as a virtual event with a live YouTube broadcast and chatroom. We won't be recording talks going forward.
In a world of rapidly advancing technology, electronic devices can quickly become outdated and end up as electronic waste. In this RadLab, Divija Durga '27 discusses how you can repurpose old electronics into art. You’ll get the chance to make your own jewelry out of old circuit boards too!
This workshop will cover the basics of 3D printed puzzle design, from conception to prototyping to printing.
Join Helena Frudit '25 and Bryan Alfaro '24 to learn about the work of the Engineers Without Borders Princeton Chapter. We will talk about our water distribution projects in rural communities in Ecuador, Peru, and Kenya. There will also be an opportunity to use the embroidery machine to embroider t-shirts with our logo!
Discover the practical uses of really big balloons, hobbyist flights to the stratosphere, and even how you can get involved.
Come learn to create sounds that "tingle" and the science behind them. By the end of this workshop, you'll leave with an appreciation for ASMR and how to use various mics to make your own ASMR.
Did you know that Six Flags Great Adventure is only ~35min from campus? And that it’s the technological headquarters of the entire global Six Flags thrill-ride empire? Come learn about some tips-and-tricks, the best rides, accidents(!), technology, and a little bit of history, from someone who spent almost all of 2021 there (when there was nothing else to do!)
Our first RadLab of the semester will show you the world through our presenters' lenses: Come learn about their backgrounds in photography. Shannen Prindle will share her experience in Astrophotography: the art of taking pictures of objects in the night sky. Her talk will cover the basics of landscape astrophotography -- from capturing to editing. Bing Lin will share his adventures with wildlife photography on campus, including experiences with following and photographing the famous Princeton Fox, and many wildlife stories along the way.
Come learn what it takes to be a Formula Driver! Learn about the mental and physical demands that Formula drivers face and participate in training sessions hosted by Princeton Racing Electric (for more info about us, see princetonracingelectric.com)! Our event will introduce you to basic driving concepts like apexing and passing, which you will get to apply first-hand with a recreation of the Princeton Racing Electric vehicle in Forza Horizon 5 on a PC racing sim setup. There will also be an optional training portion that includes exercises F1 drivers use to prepare for their races, with a focus on reflexes. Come and become the next Lewis Hamilton!
Interested in turning your game ideas into prototypes? Wednesday, March 8th, StudioLab will be hosting a workshop on developing video games in Unity. In this workshop, we will first introduce you to the Unity interface. Afterwards, we will make a game using a toolkit built in Unity and break down code common to the video game development process.
Plagues have been a part of human life for as long as there have been humans. So, it’s no surprise that plagues and the topic of death is pervasive in artwork, especially from the medieval era. But how did these topics influence European artwork from the 14th to 17th century? In this presentation we’ll discuss how both past and contemporary plagues influenced artwork during these centuries, why there are so many depictions of half dead people and why skeletons love to dance.
Generative art is a form of algorithmic art created by rules and randomness, commonly made with code! If you like art and/or science, infinity and/or impermanence, or the generative bees on this poster, then this event is for you. There will be: I. A talk and Q/A on what generative art is and famous generative art techniques and works. II. A hands-on introduction to coding generative art in p5.js (no coding experience required!). III. An introduction to physical generative art in StudioLab, featuring the pen plotter, embroidery machine, and laser cutter.
Crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle, soft throughout, or crumbly to the touch - however you enjoy your cookies, there is a hidden ingredient that makes it all happen: science! In this RadLab, Emily Lee will explain the chemical properties of ingredients and reactions involved in the baking of the delicious science experiment that everyone loves.
Hermit crabs are not hermits — they're not even crabs! So what is the social and biological world of a hermit crab, and what can hermit crabs teach us about ourselves? In this presentation, we'll discuss the biology of hermit crabs and delve into documented hermit crab social structures. Then, we'll explore some recent research involving hermit crabs and talk about common misunderstandings in hermit crab care, bringing the fascinating creature that is the hermit crab into the spotlight.
Mice have been our lab rats, quite literally, for hundreds of years now. We have mice labs in the basements of most laboratories, in highly regulated and controlled environments. Explore all the things we've done to them to try to make them live longer — from sewing an old mouse and a young mouse together so their circulatory systems combine, to freezing them and microwaving them alive in the 1950s, to dosing them with diabetes drugs. Sometimes weird, sometimes gross, sometimes promising, but always entertaining.
When I was 9 years old I took a metal jewelry class at sleepaway camp, and have continued to make jewelry ever since. I have made many pieces, from sterling silver rings to copper bracelets, and used jewelry making to combine my interest in science and engineering with artistry and craft. This summer I am working as a jewelry instructor at the same sleepaway camp, and will teach young girls how to make beautiful pieces of their own.
Come listen to the intricacies of mechanical keyboard design and how small changes can make large effects in feel and sound profiles. We'll start by going over what makes a keyboard "mechanical" and the benefits of this over the competition (optical, topre, rubber-dome, etc). Then we'll provide a brief summary of how one can customize a keyboard to fit their own needs. Lastly, we'll talk about integrating all of these ideas into a design of your own.
With the release of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, electronic literature experienced its golden age, and some literary critics predicted the death of print literature. Instead, electronic literature quickly became obsolete. Focusing on the text of Patchwork Girl, which was distributed three different times in three different media (floppy disk, CD-ROM, and flash drive), Cynthia Vu will examine the ways in which electronic literature succeeds and fails.
A broad, multidisciplinary dive into talking about color, inspired by thinking about the intersections between theater lighting design and computer graphics. We will talk about how humans perceive color, additive vs. subtractive color mixing, and the tradeoffs that come with representing colors digitally. Among other things, we will look at the fundamental difference between violet and purple, how red and brown M&Ms look the same under a blue light, and why some colors are impossible to simulate on your computer screen.
Booming sub-basses, warped samples, lush soundscapes -- synthesis is ever present in modern music, from radio hits to the avant-garde, and its deconstruction of sound can be an essential tool and source of creativity for any artist. In this RadLab, Liam Esparraguera will present an introduction to modular synthesis with VCV Rack, a free, open-source Eurorack emulation, and demonstrate some of the possibilities of its open platform.
In this workshop, Wendy Ho will be going over some basic functions in Blender, a powerful open-source 3D software, to create simple 3D models and animations. The workshop will go over the basics of modeling objects, adding texture, lighting objects, and animation. If you've ever wanted to try out Blender or just see how the software can help you create cool graphics, come to this workshop! The workshop is meant for total beginners and non-technical artists, but is open to everyone of all skill levels and experiences.
Maps convey a lot of information about the world at a single glance. As a result, they are increasingly being used in journalism, as compelling visual representations of data and as interactive experiences. In this RadLab, learn about geographic information systems, or map-making software, in the context of telling compelling and informative news stories.
When we think of sneakers, Air Jordans and Chuck Taylors come to mind, but have you ever wondered the environmental impact of owning the latest pair of sneakers? In this RadLab, we'll explore the anatomy of sneakers and how each part is created. From there, we'll discuss the actual carbon footprint produced by the most iconic sneaker brands and the industry as a whole. The ethical component of the industry such as labor regulations will also be touched on. Do "knot" miss this environmentally-centered RadLab!
The world of custom mechanical keyboards is incredibly varied, whether that comes to price, features, form factors, or feel. Edward Yang will give a brief rundown of some of the basics of mechanical keyboards, and then take a deep dive into his current setup. Along the way, he'll offer up some of his own experiences with the ergonomics and programming of custom keyboards in particular.
3D modeling without a mouse!? Using a powerful script-based approach, OpenSCAD presents an exciting alternative to conventional approaches to 3D modeling. In this RadLab, find out about the potential of this elegant solution to a traditionally frustrating task.
Christopher Lawrence will tell a story from the science archives. The story is based off of a paper published by a Professor at the university. Through a compelling mixture of past and present, Christopher hopes to challenge our understanding of the world around us and how we relate to it. This story is about friendship, our understanding of what it means to be a scientist, and a collision between two distant worlds.
Ben Israeli will discuss his experience building robots for Mech Warfare, a competition in which remotely piloted legged robots ("mechs") battle using pellet guns. He'll tell us about the process of designing and building a mech using examples from his decade of experience in the competition, from his early attempts, through to proved competitive designs, and on to innovations he is planning to bring to the next iteration.
As an individual you are so much more than a single subject or degree. From side hustles to evening classes, you are at your best when you bring your whole self into the workplace. William Anderson, Vice President of Engineering at Forbes, will share his personal work and insights on how learning adjacent disciplines, working on side projects and building creative skills can make you a more effective and more engaged team member, executive and leader.
In the United States, the map of red versus blue states has become ubiquitous, especially in the weeks around Election Day in early November. While these maps seem really straightforward, in fact there’s quite a bit of subjectivity to them. In this RadLab, we’ll talk about how you can become a discerning map reader through critiquing different decisions that cartographers have made. We’ll finish by talking about how you can get started making your own maps with the freeware mapping software QGIS.
Bed Bugs are notorious pests, but recent work has discovered that bed bugs can maintain multiple versions of mitochondria at both an individual and even cellular level. Although this causes diseases within humans, researchers are turning to the vampiric pest to better understand how they survive with this detrimental state.
Come learn how to play the best tabletop game ever made! In this 1-hour RadLab, Thaddeus Whelan will teach you everything you need to know about how to sit down and experience the group storytelling that is Dungeons and Dragons.
Curious about what goes on behind the scenes at the StudioLab? In this RadLab, we'll talk about the philosophies, goals, and prototyping misadventures behind the different game initiatives we've planned, including our current and future projects.
What hidden mechanisms lie under the face of a mechanical watch? Why are mechanical watches still in high demand in our current digital age? K. I. shares his fascination with mechanical watches-- how they work, why some are so expensive, and how he scratched his watchmaking itch by designing his own mechanism from scratch.
Ben Israeli fell into amateur astronomy a little over a year ago. Since then, it has grown into a passion and obsession, and he has delved into projects like building a solar filter and photographing the ISS. In this RadLab, he will share about the processes of getting started and making the most out of amateur equipment.
Most commercial hobbyist drones are designed for the best-possible cinematography or racing, while live FPV (first-person view) video quality remains an afterthought. M. G. will share how he designed and built his own DIY drone with two goals: 1) obtaining the most immersive live sensation of flight possible, and 2) achieving a compact form factor, stowable underneath a plane seat for painless “flying” around the world.
Data storytelling and visualization fill a joint space in the data driven economy. In this RadLab, Scott Wolf will share how data storytelling differs from more traditional data visualization, and also share the tools and practices that allow for creating a convincing story from raw data.
Writer Corina Bardoff often uses constraints to structure and scaffold her fiction. This evening, she will introduce the work of the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) and the Writhing Society, and explain how fruitful constraints can be. In the tradition of Oulipian “translation” and Writhing Society’s communal writ(h)ing, she will lead a Slack-based collaboration to turn emoji into poetry.
What is the “StudioLab”, and how is it going to operate in a virtual fall? Join CST Assistant Director of StudioLab Initiatives D. Pillis and RadLab Coordinator Cynthia Vu in an open conversation about making, spaces, and community building. Cynthia Vu will speak about the programming initiatives and plans for the virtual fall. Pillis will provide an overview of StudioLab technology, fields of interest, and demonstrate tools that will be available for borrowing this fall.
So you want to make some jams, but you want to do it the hard way by using some esoteric software from a techno-anarchist design studio located on a sailboat that travels around the Pacific Ocean? OK. Let me see what I can do for you.
Princeton graduate composer Bora Yoon shares her unique approach to electroacoustic music and interdisciplinary performance, utilizing instruments, objects, and sonic sundries from a variety of cultures and centuries to create a sensory storytelling experience through music and architecture.
Every year, the Princeton Robotics Club competes against other universities in a maze-solving competition, and last year the club hosted this competition for the first time. In order to allow for the competition in the midst of social distancing, Zak Dasaro will share the story of how he's converting the annual competition into a virtual event.
Tan Vu shares his work and ideas as a hobbyist sculptor. He will talk about making art out of everyday objects, how he came to love Dadaism, and what his process of making a sculpture looks like.
Controllers tell us how to play and games tell us how we need to rethink our controllers. This conversation helps us critique designs and come up with new ones. But what about designs that have been virtually unchanged since their debut? Enter the coelacanth of video game controllers: the arcade stick.
Brendan Byrne shares his work as a hobbyist electronic musical instrument designer. He'll talk about his latest creation, Destiny Clock, a complex sequencing device for creating musical patterns from binary signals.