The Grand Telecom Tour

By Edo Steinberg

After being introduced to the faculty, staff and graduate students of the department, the incoming students started to get acquainted with the buildings and hardware available here. Senior Lecturer and facilities manager John Walsh led a tour of the Radio and Television building, while Prof. Rob Potter, director of the Institute for Communication Research, and lab manager Sharon Mayell took students to the ICR facilities on the sixth floor of Eigenmann Hall.

The tour of the Radio and Television Building started out with the production labs available to students, TV 250 and TV 157. Here, production students can edit their films or work on their games. As John pointed out, if you need cameras and other equipment, this is a good place to ask. Under certain circumstances, you’ll be able to borrow what you need for a shoot.

TV 157 Production Lab

TV 157 Production Lab

Next, the new students got a little glimpse into WTIU and WFIU, the local PBS and NPR affiliates housed in the RTV Building’s first floor.  John explained the advantages of having these stations here, with Telecom students getting many opportunities to work on professional shows meant for public broadcast, such as WTIU’s children’s show “The Friday Zone.”

WFIU radio station

WFIU radio station

Next to WTIU’s Studio 6 is our very own Studio 5. Many non-production students forget this, but this gargantuan room is used for more than just awkward introductions every year at orientation. Here, students actually learn how to make magic happen, with the help of faculty, staff and AIs. Here, students are trained to use cameras, microphones, studio controls, pulley-based lighting and other equipment.

Control 5, the control room for Studio 5.

Control 5, the control room for Studio 5.

The tour concluded on the third floor, where most faculty members’ offices are, as well and the grad lounge and computer lab. John ended the tour by emphasizing the collegiality of the department and urging students to socialize with veteran students. Other than going out at night, this can also be done by sticking around the grad computer lab, where we tend to naturally congregate.

After the RTV tour, Rob took newcomers to Eigenmann Hall, showing them the IU Auditorium and IU Cinema on the way. In the cavernous ICR facilities, he and Sharon introduced students to the various rooms available for research. There is one content analysis room, another room to conduct surveys on computers, as well as labs where subjects can be hooked up to various types of psychophysiological equipment.

Entrance to the ICR.

Entrance to the ICR.

At the end of the tour, Rob and Sharon told new students about the lab’s weekly meetings, in which students and faculty share their research and progress (or lack thereof). E-mail Sharon if you want to join the mailing list.

From last year’s experience, I know that it will take students a while to get their bearings and know where everything is. Hopefully, the tours helped them familiarize themselves with their new surroundings.

To be continued…

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