Page 1




Read about the ThinkChicago event at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Check out reviews of movies, LEGO sets, and podcasts.

Read the poetry winners of the Humanities Writing Contest!

Page 5

Pages 7-8

Pages 9-10

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2018 Volume 189 | Issue 13


2-3 4-5 6 7-8 8-10

Student newspaper of Illinois Institute of Technology since 1928

SHWC holds discussion on stress management, importance of self-care Ethan Castro COPY EDITOR

During the lunch hour on Tuesday, April 10, two practicum externs from the Illinois Tech Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) held an open discussion in the MTCC Auditorium around the topic of stress management. In the process of discussing stress management, the two externs, Roni Kholomyansky and Mary Rizzo, also looked to provide key takeaways on living with stress and being able to indulge in self-care. Kholomyansky and Rizzo began with a quote by the endocrinologist Hans Selye, “Stress, in addition to being itself, was also the cause of itself, and the result of itself.” This quote then led into a larger discussion on how one goes about defining stress. Rizzo

noted that if you were to ask a dozen different people to define stress, you would very likely get a dozen different responses. What can be stressful for one person might have no effect or even be pleasurable to another. For example, one student may thrive when working under pressure while another will absolutely hate and actively avoid such a situation. In this context, stress should be interpreted as a very individual condition with individual causes, symptoms, and coping strategies. From this individual-based interpretation of stress, discussion then shifted to how the effects of stress can vary wildly from person to person. Some individuals may experience physical effects such as increased heart rate, sweating, fatigue, headaches, and appetite changes, while others may feel psychological effects such as mood swings,

irritability, anxiety, and agitation. In any case, the SHWC externs concluded that the most important step is to be able to recognize when you are stressed and identify how it manifests in your specific case. What comes after recognizing how your stress manifests? In keeping with the discussion’s theme, strategies for self-care and managing stress are also very individual in nature. Rizzo noted that, “There is no one stress reduction strategy that is a panacea." Physical activities such as jogging or aerobic exercise may be a great source of stress relief for some, but they can be seen as dull and even more stressful when arbitrarily imposed on another person. Luckily, there is no shortage of stress management techniques that one can read about and try. Meditation, prayer, exercise, tai chi, deep breathing, massage therapies, and

many more strategies are all easy methods that one can employ to deal with stress. Self-awareness and self-recognition are key elements to understanding one’s stressors and eventually identifying ways of contending with stress. It is important to understand, especially in a naturally stressful environment such as a college campus, that stress is very natural, regardless of your condition or standing in life. Your feelings are legitimate and being able to identify them and the results they may have on your body or mind are an important step in learning how to live past them. Resources such as the SHWC are available for students to learn to discover how to identify and manage their stress.

maximum transparency and efficiency. Along those same lines of efficiency, Executive Vice President Monica Bhagavan very heavily stressed optimization of senate hearings during her campaign. As an experienced student senator herself, she

expediency and openness to SGA’s senate. As the new Finance Board Chair, Jorge Morin demonstrated a strong understanding of the organization’s guidelines for distributing the Student Activity Fund (SAF) to all Illinois Tech student organizations. As with the rest of

Undergraduate Academic Affairs to make the advising process go smoother for students. Second I want to attract more students to SGA’s Senate and my committee in Academic Affairs, particularly.” Similarly, the Vice President of Communications, Narkis Garcia told TechNews his beliefs that “organizations play a vital role in the Illinois Tech community and SGA. During my term as Vice President of Communications I will be striving to continue the work of the current (very fast) VP, Nathan Cooper Jones, in increasing organizational quality and engagement on campus.” Finally, Vice President of Student Life Lin Abu-Amara laid out her overarching goal as “to reach out to all students to create a more lively and inclusive campus. My focus will be mainly on current issues with campus services and accommodations. As for SGA, I want to see our committees collaborate more to improve the organizational life on campus. At the end of the day, we’re all one team and our main mission is one!” Once more, only time will tell how effective this new cadre of SGA executive members will be at carrying out their duties and promises. We at TechNews will continue to do our part to ensure that all SGA actions and initiatives receive the attention they require in our print and digital mediums.

Meet your 2018-2019 SGA executive board Ethan Castro COPY EDITOR

At the Illinois Tech Student Government Association (SGA) senate hearing on Wednesday, April 11, the organization officially announced its new executive board for the 2018-2019 academic year. As the leaders of SGA, the executive board represents the clearest and most direct method for the Illinois Tech student body to connect with the university’s administration and make any concerns known. Under the leadership of President Eric Scott, Executive Vice President Monica Bhagavan, Finance Board Chair Jorge Morin, Vice President of Academic Affairs Erin Nelson, Vice President of Communications Narkis Garcia, and Vice President of Student Life Lin Abu-Amara, SGA will hopefully continue to increase its overall transparency and ability to translate the concerns of students into actionable changes in the university. President Eric Scott is in his second year of mechanical engineering, and he based his campaign for SGA president around a promise that he will be relentless in the work he will put into the position. From forging individual connections with student organizations to knowing when he should let the consensus of the campus make decisions for him, Scott has thus far conveyed a very holistic approach to how he will lead SGA, allowing his experience and his tirelessness to bring him towards

Photo by Ethan Castro

claimed that she sees numerous ways to “streamline the senate process, as well as make the internal finance portions of the organization more effective.” Drawing from her experiences both with SGA and with other student organizations (such as the American Medical Students Association), Bhagavan promises to bring some much-needed

the new board, Morin has also gone on record to promise an increased level of transparency with Finance Board decisions. In an interview with TechNews, Vice President of Academic Affairs Erin Nelson stated that her “plan for the first weeks of next semester in SGA is to accomplish two main things. I want to really work with

Laverne Cox speaks in Hermann Hall

Photos by Estlin Mendez



TechNews | Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

TechNews Team Spotlight: Ethan Castro Alexandra Detweiler ASSISTANT EDITOR


McCormick Tribune Campus Center Room 221 3201 South State Street Chicago, Illinois 60616 E-mail: Website:

TechNews STAFF Editor-in-Chief

Annie Zorn

Assistant Editor

Alexandra Detweiler

Copy Editors

Soren Spicknall Joshua Ferm Estlin Mendez

Layout Editor

Abhinaya Iyer

IT Manager

David Sobel

Distribution Manager Wm. Stefan Herzing Financial Advisor

Vickie Tolbert

Faculty Advisor

Gregory Pulliam

Full name: Ethan Kristofer Fidelis Castro Hometown: Des Plaines, Illinois

and other campus events solely to cover them in the paper, alongside some other sections I write for my own personal satisfaction (such as my LEGO set reviews or Hidden History pieces).

Year and major: Third year co-terminal student, pursuing a bachelor’s in business administration and a master’s of public administration Position in TechNews: Currently, I am a writer and copy editor for TechNews, although I also run the organization’s Facebook account in an unofficial manner. 1. How did your involvement with TechNews begin/what inspired you to join? During the 2016-2017 academic year, I was a senator in Student Government Association (SGA). As part of the Communications Committee, I was tasked with increasing SGA’s presence in TechNews. This took the form of me writing an article a week on a project SGA was working on. Over time, I took to writing articles on things going on with organizations I was a part of, such as the Residence Hall Association (RHA). Eventually, I found myself writing on just about every substantial event or development in every student organization I was a part of. The way I rationalized this workload was that I was going to a myriad of student organization events and taking my own notes, anyway, so how much harder is it to then translate into an article for mass publication? Today, this takes the form of me attending student organization

Photo courtesy of Illinois Tech Office of Marketing and Communications

2. Do you have a favorite memory or sentiment regarding TechNews? Over the past academic year, many of the articles and sections that have been less traditional for me to write also came with a lot of doubt from within myself. Starting a section on LEGO sets, writing about history’s stranger stories, or even recalling my own experiences with sleep paralysis all came with a lot of uncertainty over committing them to print. How would these pieces be received? Will readers find my works irrelevant? Is it really worth printing my interests and insecurities in

hundreds of paper issues? Yet, each time I have taken a personal risk with an article, it was met with the warmest reception possible. Many of the students, staff, and faculty of Illinois Tech have reached out to me personally to deliver the most positive feedback I could have ever imagined. On one occasion, prior Provost Frances Bronet even emailed me directly to thank me for my piece on her departure from the university. The support of our readers has to be the best experience this paper has given me. 3. Illinois Tech involvements outside of TechNews? Currently, I am also a DJ on WIIT, as the host of the Taylor Swift-themed show “no its becky.” It airs every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. In previous years, I have also held positions in the President’s Student Advisory Council (PSAC), RHA, SGA, and the Undergraduate Business Council (UBC). 4. Any hobbies or interests outside of school/ TechNews? The great thing about the breadth of my articles is that it paints a fairly accurate picture of what my interests are - namely video games, collecting LEGO sets, collecting tidbits of historical trivia, and doing my part to improve the state of this campus. In addition, I am trying to get into cosplay and am most proud of the “Bloodborne” hunter costume I made for Halloween last year.

ACM-W & WEN-Chicago's host speed mentoring event Fatima Azfar TECHNEWS WRITER

MISSION STATEMENT Our mission is to promote student discussion and bolster the IIT community by providing a newspaper that is highly accessible, a stalwart of journalistic integrity, and a student forum. TechNews is a dedicated to the belief that a strong campus newspaper is essential to a strong campus community.

GENERAL INFORMATION TechNews is written, managed, and edited by the students of, and funded in part by, Illinois Institute of Technolog y. The mater ial herein does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Illinois Institute of Technology or the editors, staff, and advisor of TechNews. There will be no censorship of TechNews publication by the faculty or staff of IIT. Sole authority and responsibility for publication and adherence to the values set forth in this policy rests with the TechNews staff. This paper seeks to bring together the various segments of the Illinois Tech community and strives through balance and content to achieve a position of respect and excellence. TechNews strives for professionalism with due respect to the intellectual values of the university and its community. All material submitted becomes the property of TechNews, and is subject to any editorial decisions deemed necessary.

SUBMISSIONS TechNews is published on the Tuesday of each week of the academic year. Deadline for all submissions and announcements is 11:59 p.m. on the Friday prior to publication. Articles, photos, and illustrations must be submitted electronically to the TechNews website at


Association for Computing Machinery Women (ACM-W) and Women Energy Network (WEN Chicago) joined hands in creating a Speed Mentoring Workshop in which ACM-W Illinois Tech students got to network and interact with WEN Chicago professionals from the industry. WEN Chicago is an organization that, like ACM-W, seeks to empower women and professionals in the technology industry, specifically aimed at those working along the energy value chain. Taken from their website: "WEN’s vision is to be the premier global organization that educates, attracts, retains, and develops professionals working across the energy value chain. WEN offers educational, networking and leadership opportunities to almost 4,000 men and women nationwide through luncheons, conferences, community initiatives, socials and mentoring programs." ACM-W members went to the Aon Center 80th floor on April 12, 2018 to attend this speed mentoring workshop. At this event, students networked with professionals from various companies that included HBK Engineering, West Monroe Partners, Peoples Gas, Nicor, EDI Engineering, and more. They talked with each mentor for 15 minutes before switching, a little like speed dating, and were able to ask mentors a variety of

questions, which ranged from simple advice to professional networking tips. The event ended with a more informal dinner that allowed students to talk more at-length with the mentors and eat a delicious dinner with a beautiful view of Chicago. Photos from the event are available on ACM-W's HawkLink and Facebook page. ACM-W and WEN Chicago have been in communication and have been working together since last semester and hope to foster this connection in the future as well. ACM-W plans to continue to hold events like these and give their members and students at Illinois Tech an edge when entering the professional workplace. As one mentor mentioned, if a student starts early, and works at building a professional network throughout their college career, they will succeed. Professional networking events are the place to go to build the first steps to your future career. This event was also a great opportunity for students to get real female role models who are currently working in careers that many of our students aspire to. Attendee Fatima Azfar says she, “got some great advice; for my future career, networking tips, and advice on leadership in student organizations” from WEN mentors. Last year, WEN invited ACM-W members to a workplace gender bias workshop moderated by Taffy Brokemond, director of diversity and community affairs at the Illinois Commerce Commission. At that event,

ACM-W was given the opportunity to meet and network with professionals. That is also where Fatima Azfar initially met professionals from West Monroe Consulting, the company in which she will be interning for this upcoming summer. This event and partnership allows ACM-W members to take advantage of this great connection they have with WEN to further their professional careers and gain the internships and mentors they need to further their goals. This Mentorship Workshop, iA, is a continuation of the great work they continue to do, empowering women in tech on campus. ACM-W would like to offer a special thank you to WEN members Tina Marquez and Alison Millerick for arranging this event, and helping us bring our members to it. ACM-W would also like to thank WEN members Catherine Mertes, Amanda Payonk, Madeleine Turk, and Jodi Bednar for sticking with us from the beginning of our partnership with WEN. They hope to continue working with you in future WEN + ACM-W events! Upcoming from ACM-W on campus is a Cybersecurity talk with speaker Hajara Al Amodi held on April 24 from 12:45-1:50pm in Perlstein Hall room 108. Drop by to meet ACM-W members and attend an amazing talk on Cybersecurity in business, and the technical divide between IT and managerial professionals.

The editors reserve the right to determine if submitted material meets TechNews’ policy and standards. For more information about our editorial standards, please email

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Letters to the editor may be submitted by anyone, but are subject to review by the Editor-in-Chief. All letters-to-the-editor become the property of TechNews upon submission. TechNews does not accept or publish anonymous letters or stories.

ADVERTISING Legitimate paid advertisements, from within or outside the IIT community, which serve to produce income for the paper, are accommodated. Te c h N e w s h o l d s t h e r i g h t t o d e n y a n y advertisement unsuitable for publication. Media Kits are available upon request. Ad space is limited and is taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact the Business Manager at business@ for more information.

LOCAL & NATIONAL ADVERTISERS To place an ad, contact us via email at

Photo courtesy of Fatima Azfar

OPINION 3 IIT Leadership Academy Scholar of the Week: Aaron Grudowski Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 | TechNews


1. We all have our own opinions of good characteristics of a leader, but how would you personally define a leader? There are a lot of different leadership styles. Regardless of style, success as a leader really hinges on your ability to effectively communicate with your team. Sometimes groups get off track or lazy, and you must be able to voice your opinions in a way that will motivate them to keep working and be successful. Additionally, the concept of knowing “when to step forward and step back” is a good rule for leaders to follow. As a leader, you do not want to constantly control or micromanage a group. However, there are times when they need guidance or help, and it is in these moments you step forward. If your team is doing well and making progress without your intervention, it is okay to step back and watch them succeed. Finally, being able to connect with and form relationships with team members is essential. As a leader, you are going to be put in charge of a variety of people: the "jocks,” the “nerds,” the “artists,” and more. Regardless, if you remain authentic, people will feel closer to you and one another. When this cohesiveness occurs, it allows teams to be more productive and successful. 2. What is the best piece of advice that you would give a future or incoming leader? Know how to manage yourself. It is great to get involved so that you can set yourself apart from other students, but the key is to remember not to get over-involved. This is easier said than done, especially at a small school like Illinois Tech where there are ample opportunities for you to step into leadership roles. When you do join a lot of activities, you have chances to network and meet new people, which can often lead to internships and jobs! However, if you do too much, you start to wear yourself out. It can detract from your social life and, more importantly, your overall happiness. The point is, do enough to set yourself up for success, but also make sure to leave time for yourself. You are going to have to say no at times, and that is okay. It will allow you to hang out with friends, go out and explore the area beyond Illinois Tech, and make memories. You only live for a short time, so work hard and be proud of your accomplishments, but also play hard, and make memories you are going to remember for the rest of your life. 3. What would you say is an event or time in your life that you feel really turned you into a leader? Definitely the Concrete Canoe. In the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), there is an annual conference that requires teams to design, construct, and race a fullsized canoe out of concrete. I was one of our team’s captains as a sophomore and junior and am now an adviser. It has been an incredible experience, and it has helped me in terms of my future career. Looking at the leadership aspect, it was the first big project where I was completely in charge. As sophomores, our other captain and I were still learning a lot about the project ourselves. Even more importantly, we

had to figure out how to effectively run a team. I oversaw communication with team members, coordinated the schedule and supply ordering, and ensured group cohesiveness. I was a quiet kid at the time, and some of our group members were older than me. I felt like I had no authority or right to oversee them. However, as I obtained more knowledge during the year and got comfortable with my team, I started to learn how to effectively be a leader. I connected with everyone on a personal and professional level. Our core group of team members bonded immensely, and it allowed us to be extremely productive and successful. We relied on one another, and although our team was small, we got things done. Our team has not ever won the competition, but I know leading this team has helped me beyond what I ever could have imagined. It has helped me with communication, organization, relationship forming, accountability, and so much more. 4. What organizations or roles do you have on campus in which you are a leader? Other than the Academy, I work in the Office of Undergraduate Admission as a Lead Ambassador. I began working in the office the summer after my freshman year, and I was just promoted this year. The other big role I have on campus is in ASCE, and of course, Concrete Canoe. I got involved with it all my freshman year, and as a sophomore, I became Treasurer and Concrete Canoe Captain. We hosted ASCE’s regional student conference that year, and I was one of the main assistant coordinators for that event. I remained Concrete Canoe Captain my junior year, and I moved up to become Vice President. Now, as a senior, I am one of the advisers for our canoe team and ASCE IIT President. ASCE has provided me with such a wonderful experience, and it is honestly one of the main reasons I have loved my time at Illinois Tech. 5. Some of the most defining moments for leaders are during times of difficulty or struggle. Has there been a time in which you were met with a serious problem and ended up becoming a better leader because of it? Throughout high school, I was an extremely involved student. After applying to Illinois Tech and being notified I was a Camras Scholar Finalist, I told teachers of my opportunity. Everyone said I would be a shoo-in and had absolutely nothing to worry about. I had my interview at Scholarship Symposium, and although I thought I answered all the questions well, I did not connect with the professor. I left my interview worried. Unfortunately, when I got the letter a couple weeks later, my fears were confirmed. I did not receive Camras. It was extremely disheartening. There were so many times in high school my friends would be hanging out, and I would say, “Sorry guys. I have work to do.” Even with all those sacrifices, it was not enough. Sometimes, no matter how much work you put in or how dedicated you are, you miss your goal. It made me question whether putting forth so much effort, being a leader, was all worth it. At Illinois Tech, I still got involved my first year, but I tried to balance it with going out with friends and having fun.

I did not want to miss out on anymore on experiences. After my break, I got involved again, and ultimately, this major conflict led to my greatest opportunity yet: Leadership Academy. Sometimes you must realize that it is not the end if things do not work out, because there are plenty of other, maybe even more amazing, opportunities awaiting you. 6. In what ways has Leadership Academy specifically helped you become a more prominent and confident leader? What has the Academy meant to you? There have been so many wonderful aspects of the Academy, but I especially have to mention Rodney Vallejo, our Program Manager. When I went on the Sophomore Leadership Retreat before becoming a Scholar, I knew Rodney as the important guy who sent out e-mails. At the retreat, I started talking with somebody I did not know, just having a great, friendly conversation. During the safety overview for the activity, a staff member asked, “Hey Rodney, can you help me with this?” The guy that I had been talking with walked over. He was Rodney! I had had no idea! Afterwards, I kept wondering, “Did I just make a fool of myself? Does he think I’m some goofy little kid?” It was a funny first introduction, but fortunately, I think it was a good one. Since then, Rodney has been a huge role model for me. He handles every situation in the most professional way possible, he is always fair, literally everybody that knows him thinks he is great. Honestly, if I can be half as successful as he is in whatever I pursue in life, both personally and professionally, I will feel pretty amazing. George Langlois, our Executive Director, is wonderful, and I cannot thank him enough for the opportunities he has provided me. And then Meghan Pickett, who is taking over for Rodney, has really become a great friend of mine. I love talking with her about traveling, favorite movies and music, life in general, and so much more. She has provided me with a lot of support over the last few years, and I really appreciate it more than I can express. Talking with the other Scholars, getting to know everybody, has been incredible. Leadership Academy is a commitment, but unlike most other activities I have been a part of, it does not seem like it. Some of my absolute best friends are in the Academy, and many of my favorite memories are from Academy events. Being in Leadership Academy has helped me realize that the saying “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life” is true. That is exactly how I feel about Leadership Academy. 7. What career objectives do you have once you graduate from Illinois Tech? Since I am still going to be at Illinois Tech for my Co-Terminal degree next year, I have an internship with Canadian National Railways this summer. Assuming it goes well, and I am hopefully offered a position, I will most likely work there after graduation. I have also considered going back to school at some point to get my MBA. Honestly, though, I would really love to be an engineer for 15 or 20 years and work towards a degree in ecology. Becoming a park ranger, ecologist, or nature photographer has always been my dream job, as I would love to work with the wildlife and

Imagine your name

ecosystems that co-exist with us. I hope to move out west or elsewhere filled with nature. 8. Where is a place that you have always wanted to travel to but have never had the opportunity to do so? I have two top places, number one being Australia. I loved Steve Irwin as a kid, and I always wished I could meet him. Although that is not possible anymore, Australia has everything from koalas and kangaroos, to penguins, and the Great Barrier Reef. They have rainforests and deserts, waterfalls and oceans. I really think Australia has such an amazing culture as well, and I would love to get immersed in it. The other place I want to go is Africa, specifically Kenya or the Serengeti. Like Australia, the diversity of wildlife there is just astounding. I just love all nature, and I just want to take in as much of it as I can.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Grudowski

9. What is one of your fondest memories from your four+ years at college? One of my absolute fondest memories is the regional ASCE Great Lakes Student Conference Illinois Tech hosted my sophomore year. It was the craziest year of my life, but I loved it. It helped me grow so much as a leader and person, and I honestly have no idea where I would be without the experience. I was really quiet coming into college, but my role in conference planning was to recruit judges and volunteers, so I was talking to 65 professionals in the area. It helped me open up and communicate a lot better with professionals and people in general. It was really successful, and I met two of my best friends because of it. It’s really special to me, and it’s one of those things I know I will talk about the rest of my life. 10. Would you rather never be able to cut your head hair again, or never be able to cut your facial hair again? I would probably go with never being able to cut the hair on my head again. I honestly hate beards. I never go without shaving for more than a week. They can get annoying, and honestly, they are gross when they are too long.

IN PRINT ,Become a TechNews writer email


TechNews | Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

ThinkChicago Roadshow hosted by Illinois Tech and the Chicago White Sox Divya Soopal COPY EDITOR

ThinkChicago Roadshow, a networking event for both Illinois Tech students and Chicago tech companies, occurred on April 9 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Sponsored by Relativity, ThinkChicago promotes career-building opportunities to some of the top engineering, design, and entrepreneurial university students, exploring the city’s vibrant innovation platform. The highlights of the event: ‘Illinois Tech Student Project Demo Session’ where Illinois Tech and staff members presented their project(s) that they have been working on. Half of this event was dedicated for attendees to learn about these projects which I have summarized in section 1 below. Besides, the event led to an open platform for Illinois Tech students to network with 15 companies: Relativity, CCC Information Services Inc, tastytrade, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Ocient, Chicago Ventures, 1871, Capgemini, CDOT, Chicago Department & Innovation & Technology, Matter, mHUB, World Business Chicago, Zen Supplies, and SAGECORPS. Additionally, there was a ThinkChicago Feature Panel (see section 2). Section 1: Illinois Tech Student Teams - White Sox Showcase Agent-Dependent Early-Photon Tomography System (ADEPT) Cancer Imager Under the Armour R&D program, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Kenneth Tichauer has contributed to the development of a scientific instrument that assesses the rapid spread of cancer, tumor-draining lymph nodes, and guide therapy. Alongside with his project, graduate student Lagnojita Sinha has published her works on the development of a “new optical-projection tomography system with significantly improved spatial resolution based on enhancing detection of early-arriving photons.” Extreme Fast-Charging Batteries Enabled by Silicon Micro-Reactors A project led by the department of mechanical, materials, and aerospace engineering intends to, “design, synthesize, and fabricate extreme fast charging (XFC) batteries.” Rowe Family Chair Professor Leon Shaw acknowledged the current high energy battery technology that takes up to half an hour to fully charge vehicles. However, his research project presents extreme fast-charging batteries made of Silicon micro-reactor anodes that can enable vehicle electrification to its maximum charged level in as few as ten minutes. In January 2018, Illinois Tech filed a “provisional patent application” for this ground breaking technology. Ethics of large platform computing & Automated Analysis of Public Safety Spectrum Cindy Hood - Associate Chair of Computer Science, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering presented her two main projects. Hood explained the ubiquitous presence of large-scale computing platforms, citing the example of Facebook and Google, and the amount of data that is collected by

these entities for the purpose of automating decision-making models. Her project analyzes the ethical aspects and provides an insight to solve these issues altogether with ways to better educate computer science students about this topic. This project addresses the lack of a spectrum for public safety agencies to communicate better. Hood proposes a longterm solution through the creation of a semantic framework that can, therefore, be used to automate analysis and classification of such a spectrum. This result is achieved by the knowledge of the prior domain together with the measurements and event data. Applied Artificial Intelligence Ankit Srivastava, Associate Professor of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering shared that the main goal of his project is to adapt modern AI/machine learning tools for solving engineering problems efficiently in mechanics. In partnership with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and metamaterial design (collaborating with the Amazon AWS AI group), this project explores the translation of machine learning algorithms into the discovery of physics laws from observations. Prep of a Neutral Electrode Implantation Device for In-Vivo Surgical Use Associate Dean of Armour College of Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Professor of Stuart School of Business Philip Troyk has been working on an improved design for a device that will be used to insert wireless electrode arrays into the neural tissue. This technology will be wirelessly monitored by an intracortical visual prosthesis (IVCP) system, aiming to restore vision in blind patients. Coordinated Transit Response Planning and Operations Support Tools for Mitigating Impacts of All-Hazard Emergency Events Zongzhi Li, Associate Professor of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Director of Transportation Engineering and Infrastructure Engineering and Management Department: Transportation Engineering contributed to a $2.9 million project, funded by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration and Argonne National Laboratory. As the largest transportation research group in this field, Illinois Tech researchers have developed new technologies and tools to solve U.S. transit agencies' most pressing issues related to disaster strikes. Additionally, with the aid of Argonne, the university partners aim to build a toolbox that enables transit agencies to respond better to transit system demands during a crisis. Field on Wheels A pop-up virtual reality experience, “Field on Wheels” is a prototype built under the IPRO STEM department, with the guidance of Twisha-Shah Brandenburg and Thomas Brandenburg, Adjunct Faculty in the Institute of Design. This project creates an active participation of visitors at the Field Museum of Natural History, beyond any geographical boundaries. Exhibited at the DePaul STEM expo, this project gathered 100 visitor impressions every hour. Structural Design and Permit Documents for B.R.O.N.Z.E House

Edoarda Corradi Dell’ Acqua - Adjunct Faculty in Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering and Brent Stephens - Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering Department: Architectural and Civil Engineering composed a team that has submitted structural design and drawings for a City of Chicago Building Permit through Illinois Tech’s award-winning entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Netzero 2017 Student Design Competition. Chemical Engineering Car Competition Team Designing and fabricating a small, chemically powered vehicle: this project entails the contribution of Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Donald Chmielewski together with some undergraduate students. It tackles the stopping mechanism of a vehicle through an iodine clock while the vehicle is powered by an exothermic reaction between iodine and aluminum. The thermal energy produced from this reaction is then converted into electricity via thermoelectric plates. AuthetiScan A prototype that manages safety in an open-access fabrication lab, “AuthetiScan” is built under the supervision of Patrick Karina, Lab Manager of the Idea Shop prototyping lab. This system channels power to machines via ID cards following the integration of safety-training database to stop unauthorized users from making use of machines in the lab without prior supervision. Automated Warehouse Agriculture A project led by Adjunct Professor of Industrial Technology and Management Blake Davis explores the cross-application of recent developments in automated warehouse systems primarily in the indoor vertical farming industry. Illinois Tech Robotics One of the oldest student organizations at Illinois Tech, the campus robotics club presented previous robot manipulators and a scale model of one of its competition robots, and displayed previous projects by the members of the club. Illinois Tech Motorsports/Society of Automotive Engineering RACECAR Under the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate, Mahesh Krishnamurthy shared his project that involves designing, manufacturing, and testing a formula electric racing car that competes against teams from different countries. Members from this organization gain project experience while learning some of the top software, and design and simulation programs. Autonomous Movement Framework (AMF) for UAVs A team consisting of Industry Associate Professor of Information Technology and Management Department Jeremy Hajek has worked on a large-scale fleet of UAVs (drones) which move autonomously to augment disaster recovery and human search and rescue missions. Field workers can call waiting drones to their current location through an Android application. Open-source software (Android and Python based) and commodity drones make this project special, published as a multi-year project by the Special Interest Group in Information Technology Education (part of ACM). Another project that Hajek

contributed to was the “Telepresence Framework”. It involves the exploration of Microsoft’s Hololens AR/XR: Augmented Reality/Extended Reality holographic computing platform that makes telepresence possible. Through standard design tools like Unity 3D, Solidworks and 3D Max together with web-based APIs, a user can be translated instantly to an interactive hologram of a location far away, obtain live information, and interact with remote units without relocating. During the event Illinois Tech Provost Russell Betts greeted participants for their presence, and highlighted Relativity the main sponsor of this event. Betts acknowledged Illinois Tech as a great school in the city, before passing the stage to Andrea Zopp, CEO of World Business Chicago. Zopp hence introduced the event's other keynote speakers: Chief Security Officer of Relativity Amanda Fennell, CEO and Co-founder of Ocient Chris Gladwin (an Illinois Tech Board Member), Illinois Tech alum and founder of ZenSupplies Tiger Safarov, Illinois Tech Trustee and Partner of Chicago Ventures Kevin Willer. From developing startups to functioning within large companies, these panelists gave participants a good contrast with what working in each of these environments signifies. Gladwin explained how he is inspired to go to work at Ocient as he gets to be a team player in a group of awesome people. He acknowledged how work can burn people out sometimes, but it really takes “one notch away from awesomeness.” Czerwinski highlighted JP Morgan Chase as the largest purchaser of tech in Chicagoland and stated that their great internal synergy and stability is what makes this company unique. Safarov added how he loves the combination of speed with people within his company, how everybody reports to him every day right at 8:00. He believes that “anything is possible or everything is possible.” As an Illinois Tech alumni, Safarov shared his struggle when he graduated around 2008, the era of economic recession crisis in the United States. At least one professor clearly told him not to venture in the area that he currently champions as a start-up company. No charms work for him other than perseverance and hard work. Fennell from Relativity gave participants an overview of her company. Relativity is a business incubator and tech hub, trying to balance a lack of bureaucracy with more stability than a stereotypical Silicon Valley incubator. Zopp commuted to the city back and forth from Buffalo, New York. She said she really enjoys her work as the CEO of her organization. This event ended on a good note, with Betts apologizing that students missed the baseball game that took place at 1:00 p.m. on that day. Instead, all the attendees were given an unlimited ticket to watch any White Sox baseball game this season. Those who attended had not simply learned a lot from Chicago industrial tech leaders but also had an opportunity to exchange a few ideas with them.

Photos by Divya Soopal

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 | TechNews



Hidden History: The ice cream ship of WWII Ethan Castro COPY EDITOR

While World War II (WWII) birthed unspeakable horrors that will forever stain human history, it also birthed many notable stories, from the soldier that fought for three different armies to the solider that was a literal bear. It should be little surprise, then, that many previous installments of Hidden History have looked at the more noteworthy episodes of WWII that your history book probably didn’t include. However, this time around, we won’t be looking at the life of a soldier (man or bear). Instead, this week’s Hidden History looks at the unlikely life of a U.S. Navy concrete barge. As the name implies, a concrete ship is built primarily out of ferrocement (reinforced cement) with the primary advantage being that less steel is required than a traditional naval vessel. During WWII, steel shortages in the U.S. led to the construction of several small fleets of concrete ships as part of the war’s Pacific Theater as well as the D-Day landings. The most notable concrete ship in the arsenal of the U.S. Navy, however, had the simple bureaucratic designation of Barge, Refrigerated, Large (BRL). BRL’s story is documented in Anne Cooper Funderburg’s “Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla: A History of American Ice Cream.” In this book, Funderburg dedicates a large part of the discussion to the heavy morale value placed on ice cream by officials in the U.S. armed forces. So much value, in fact,

that the U.S. Quartermaster Corps reportedly shipped over 135 million pounds of the frozen goodness to Allied bases worldwide in 1943. Giving our troops on the front a taste of home was seen as a vital element of keeping morale high throughout the war. Thus, in 1945, the U.S. Navy commissioned the conversion of a concrete barge into a floating ice cream factory to serve U.S. forces throughout the Pacific. BRL was outfitted with several heavy duty refrigeration units, turning a mundane naval barge into a 265-foot-long ice cream factory capable of churning out 10 gallons of the sweet stuff every seven minutes and storing another 500 gallons alongside around 2,000 tons of other foodstuffs. While the idea of a U.S. Navy vessel being dedicated solely to producing ice cream is notable in its own right, it is also a perfect analogy for the strength of U.S. industrial production throughout the war. While superior firepower, manpower, and leadership may have played a role in the ultimate victory of the Allied Forces, it was the industrial might of the U.S. that truly led to our victory in the war. Consider the example of BRL from the perspective of Imperial Japanese Army. While wartime shortages on their side continued to drain their forces, depriving their troops of everything from guns and ammunition to boots and uniforms, the U.S., meanwhile, was able to spare over $1 million, dozens of crew members, and a sizable amount of fuel to a ship whose sole purpose was to produce ice cream.

Photo courtesy of National Dairy Products Corporation

Hidden History fact checks “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” Ethan Castro COPY EDITOR

Around the time I wrote my warmly received Hidden History article on the American war dog, Sergeant Stubby, I also discovered that a feature-length animated film about his exploits in World War I (WWI) was in production. Directed by Richard Lanni and produced by Fun Academy Motion Pictures, “Sgt Stubby: An American Hero” marched its way into theaters on April 13, featuring the voices of Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Gérard Depardieu. How, then, does the Boston Terrier’s portrayal on the big screen compare to his real story? In the very first (and possibly only) Hidden History fact check, we’ll look at how well the movie iteration of Stubby’s story compares to what was real.

For an animated movie marketed primarily towards children, “Sgt Stubby: An American Hero” is surprisingly authentic in its portrayal of WWI and life in the trenches. While the film shies away from showing any direct violence or casualties, the gravity of combat still permeates throughout the film. The constant fear of artillery strikes, mustard gas attacks, and the opposing army across No Man’s Land lingers throughout the portrayal of the frontline. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many authentic WWI details were included in the film. For example, American soldiers are correctly shown using the M1903 Springfield rifle while their French counterparts use their older Lebel Model 1886 rifles. Or consider how the film included a mention of the 1918 flu pandemic, which was responsible for over half of the total U.S. casualties in the war. Details

both large and small help contribute to the film’s respectful treatment of WWI in a way that is still palatable by younger audiences. But who cares about the war? How does the film go about honoring Stubby’s legacy? I am very happy to report to my Hidden History aficionados out there that “Sgt Stubby: An American Hero” gives our favorite historical canine the respect he deserves. Many of his amazing real-life exploits are shown in the film. From learning the marching routines of the 102nd Infantry Regiment during their training at Yale University to him learning to salute commanding officers, the movie version of Stubby is just as memorable as the real one. The movie goes to great lengths to show the incredible feats of his real-life story, including warning Allied soldiers of incoming gas attacks, running into the dreaded No Man’s

Land to find wounded soldiers, and even capturing a German spy. The film even goes as far as to digitally recreate several real-life photos of Stubby, which are then peppered throughout the credits sequence. Fans of Stubby’s story will leave this movie more than satisfied at seeing his feats brought to life. Despite being an animated movie, Stubby is shown as just a dog - no anthropomorphism or unexpected musical numbers here. His barks, trots, and tongue wags are all equally adorable and immersive. If you previously read my Hidden History piece on the beloved Sgt. Stubby, you should definitely consider seeing the cinematic portrayal of his experiences in “Sgt Stubby: An American Hero,” available now in theaters.

Image courtesy of Fun Academy Motion Pictures



TechNews | Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

SGA senate holds penultimate hearing of the semester Alexandra Detweiler ASSISTANT EDITOR

The second to last senate hearing of each academic year always sees heightened turnout and a general feeling of both anticipation and sadness, as the hearing sees the announcement of the newly elected executive board for the following fall and also the very last reports from the current executive board. The last senate hearing of the year will see the swearing-in of the newly elected executive board; the details of the results of this election can be found in a separate article in this issue of TechNews. First on the schedule for this hearing was the presentation of two potential student organizations for the senate, the first of which being the Saudi Student Association (SSA). The vision of this group of students was to create an organization that gave opportunities to learn more about Saudi culture; the students were passionate about the idea that knowledge of other cultures is essential for respect and peaceful coexistence. The purpose of the organization would be to initiate and participate in intercultural and multinational activities that promote understanding and appreciation between different cultural groups. Specifically, programming ideas included celebrations for National Day, Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha, a graduate student ceremony, and general body meetings. The group mentioned that they would like to collaborate with the Muslim Students Association (MSA) to put on many of these events, and had an estimated budget of approximately $4,500. The group expected to be funded in part by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM), in addition to potential funding from the Student Activity Fund (SAF) if approved as an official organization. This organization did pass the senate, with 12 votes for yes and six votes for no. The second potential student organization to present for the senate was the

HAM Radio and Research Club. The student presenter started off his presentation by explaining that amateur radio, or “HAM radio,” is a popular hobby as well as a profession where licensed amateur radio operators (or “HAMs”) operate communications equipment. Many HAMs use their skills to help areas affected by natural disaster to provide a method of communication when the power and cell phone towers go out. The purpose of a HAM Radio and Research Club on campus would be to help students on the path to becoming fully federally licensed HAM radio operators, teach them basic electronic and wireless skills, encourage experimentation, and work on radio-related research projects. The estimated budget was a staggering $10,000, which the speaker explained was due to the expensive equipment needed. During discussion, senators remarked that they liked how much passion they saw in the speaker and thought a unique organization like this could do good things for the campus. The organization passed the senate with 15 votes for yes, one vote for no, and two abstentions. Following presentations by potential student organizations were the final executive board reports given by the current SGA executive board, as the newly elected individuals will be sworn in during the following hearing. President Morgan Peters started off her report by explaining that she had spent many hours interviewing candidates for the university's next provost and was generally excited about the future of the university. Secondly, she announced that the concept of a “speaker committee,” a committee to review and vote on potentially harmful speakers coming to campus as a safeguard against hate speech, was not passed in the Undergraduate Faculty Council (UFC) and is currently still being discussed in another round of conversations. Some members on the UFC, Peters explained, disagreed with a specific clause. More updates are sure to follow soon. Peters ended her report by saying how odd it felt to be nearly done with

her responsibilities as SGA president, and how it had taken her nearly this long to figure out what it really means to be in this position. She thanked the senate for being passionate about student government and the university, and hoped this passion would continue. Vice President of Communications Nathan Jones reported next, firstly explaining that there had been a disappointingly low turnout at the Student Organization Town Hall earlier that day. However, he believed the discussion had been very interesting and informative. Jones also announced that the Illinois Tech Student Wiki was now up and running at Anybody can edit the page if they make an account, Jones explained, and he encouraged those present to do so. Lastly, he reported that the next SGA commercial was in progress and would spotlight Finance Board as well as Judicial Board. Jones then took the time to reflect back on his time serving as vice president of communications, pretending to weep briefly before saying in all seriousness that it had been an honor. As he had initially run uncontested for the position, he noted humorously, “I kicked abstain’s a**.” Vice President of Student Life Trixie Weiner started off her executive board report by announcing that Chartwells had been selected as the new dining provider on campus, as most students should have been aware of by then. Additionally, Weiner reported that the Wi-Fi modems around campus were currently in the process of being replaced, and students should see improvements soon. Improvements to the printer service were also underway to fix many small issues with the system. Additionally, Weiner announced that there were currently conversations going on about potentially decreasing the cost of curricular practical training (CPT) and experiential learning opportunities, which are akin to internships that students pay to take as a class. Weiner ended her report by saying that she had learned a lot as vice president of student

life, and that the relationships developed with faculty and staff had been amazing. Finance Board Chair Nina Tamras then stood to address the senate, simply urging everyone present to join Finance Board by emailing She also noted that she likely wouldn’t have attended senate hearings if she hadn’t been elected finance board chair, yet she had enjoyed attending them this past year, and was therefore glad to have been elected. Judicial Board Chair Citlalli Bueno also bid the senate goodbye as their judicial board chair, saying that it had been a valuable learning experience, and congratulated the newly elected executive board. Events Chair Mahmod Kahack announced that the SGA banquet will be taking place on April 19 in the MTCC Ballroom, and that senators should propose awards for others in SGA to express their appreciation. The next part of the senate hearing, called “open floor,” was an opportunity for anyone to bring up a topic to discuss with the senate. Senator Thomas Spillman brought up that some students have been having issues with the Office of Campus Life (OCL) processing requests incorrectly, such as double booking a single room. Dean of Students Katherine Stetz explained that the office was currently going through the process of hiring new employees, who should be in place by the fall semester, and students should see improvements in the efficiency of the office by then. The next and final senate hearing of the semester will occur on Wednesday, April 25, at 9:15 p.m. in Stuart Building room 113. All students are welcome to attend the senate hearing, whether it be to observe the new executive board get sworn in, bring up topics to discuss, or get updated on the projects of some of the more involved student leaders on campus.

Photos by Alexandra Detweiler

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 | TechNews



LEGO set review: Venice (set #21026) Ethan Castro COPY EDITOR

Two years after its initial release, I have finally gotten my hands on the first LEGO Architecture skyline set - Venice (set #21026). The first set in the skyline series, LEGO Venice portrays the legendary Italian city of islands and canals and its distinctive Renaissance architecture. Located in northeastern Italy as the capital of the Veneto region, Venice consists of 118 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon, connected by a network of canals and over 400 bridges. One of the centers of the Italian Renaissance, centuries of arts and culture have made their mark on the city, lending itself to its very distinctive architectural profile. The LEGO Venice set includes miniature portrayals of the Rialto Bridge, St. Mark’s Basilica, St. Mark's Campanile, St. Theodore and the Winged Lion of St. Mark, and the Bridge of Sighs. The first thing to be noted about this set is that it is much smaller and less complex than other LEGO skyline sets. There are no tall skyscrapers to be found here, and the set only consists of 212 total pieces (compare that to the 444 pieces of Chicago

and the 597 pieces of Shanghai). Because of this, the set is a very easy build, taking half an hour to complete. Each of the structures’ builds are all comparatively simple when

gives the set an immediately distinctive look for such a smaller scale kit, highlighting the city’s frequent use of marble and brick. Still, the set’s comparative simplicity

Image Courtesy of LEGO Group

stacked up against other skyline sets - no complicated LEGO Technic pieces used here. The color palette of white, brown, and green

is by no means a bad thing; there is still the expected level of detail in each structure portrayed. The Rialto Bridge’s use of wheel

arches, cones, and cheese slopes completes its ornate design. St. Mark’s Basilica is the largest structure in the set, and the use of grille pieces, pointed pieces, and more cheese slopes pays respectful homage to the real-life counterpart’s opulently spired top. St. Mark’s Campanile is the tallest structure in the set, and its LEGO portrayal even includes a custom-printed piece showing the Lion of Saint Mark at the top of the bell tower. Finally, the Winged Lion of St. Mark statue, the St. Theodore of Amassea statue, and the Bridge of Sighs round out this set’s portrayal of Venice. While LEGO Venice may be the smallest addition to the skyline collection, it still lovingly portrays the rich architectural history of a global city, just like every other set in the LEGO Architecture skyline collection. The rich white marble and brick facades of Venice make a fine addition to any LEGO display. Unfortunately, the set has been officially retired from LEGO retailers, so a secondhand copy must be sought out in order to add this set to one’s collection. However, this TechNews writer and LEGO collector firmly believes such a process is well worth the effort.

Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dog shines a new light on man’s best friend Steven Milan Moreno TECHNEWS WRITER

Throughout March and April of 2018, Wes Anderson’s newest sleeper hit, "Isle of Dogs" has been slowly gathering the attention of audiences across movie theaters in Chicago. The slow and gradual release of the film was noted by many moviegoers who turned up on the movie’s release day only to learn that the film was not yet being shown. This is not unusual for films made by the acclaimed director, who typically has his films shown at film festivals or contests before being released to chain movie theaters that cater to the public. Wes Anderson’s newest film is his second to be completely animated after the critically acclaimed "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in 2009 and utilizes several animation techniques that are unique to the director such as stop motion animation which uses highly intricate puppets and detailed backdrops that are not typically seen due to the time-consuming nature of this animation method. It has been reported that the film, with a run time of 101 minutes,

took over four years to complete. This run time makes "Isle of Dogs" the longest stop motion film ever made, breaking the record previously held by Henry Selick’s 2009 film "Coraline" by just one minute. One may not assume a minute to be enough of a difference for the film to claim the record but because it takes and entire day of shooting to obtain less than three seconds of usable film, this single minute of extra film time becomes all the more important to determining the record holder. This extremely long production time, despite being extremely costly, did provide the production crew ample time to get numerous A-list celebrities onto the project. These celebrity voice actors included Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Liev Schriber, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, and Yoko Ono. In addition to these well-known Western celebrities, Wes Anderson also ensured that several Japanese voice actors were also present in the film such as Ken Watanabe, Akira Takayama, Koyu Rankin, and Mari Natsuki to name a few. "Isle of Dogs" depicts an all too

familiar storyline in both a new setting and viewpoint. Because the story takes place in a futuristic Japanese metropolis, a complication arises in telling the story as the director leaves the dialogue of the humans in the movie untranslated and often without obvious subtitling. To get around this obvious language barrier, the director and animators utilize clever methods to get across the point being expressed by those speaking languages other than English, such as having characters who speak fluent English in the film translate verbatim what others say in their native tongue. The only characters who have their voices dubbed over are the dogs themselves, as humans both in the film and in the audience have difficulty understanding the dog’s language of barking. The work and effort that has been devoted to this film clearly shows as the film has received critical acclaim and is being regarded as one of Wes Anderson’s finest works yet. This film shows just how far some of us will go to save man’s best friend and just how far they are willing to go for us.

Image Courtesy of Indian Paintbrush

Some possible things you can write about in the Arts and Entertainment section: concerts



board games

video games music

and MORE! start writing today!



TechNews | Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Podcast Overview: The Adventure Zone Quinn Castaneda COPY EDITOR

I certainly didn’t expect to develop an interest in podcasts. Although I held nothing against that form of media, they didn’t seem like one that would appeal to me. I hold very little focus on audio that isn’t music; I honestly have difficulty paying attention to conversations that happen around me, and the idea of listening to someone talk for an extended period of time sounded dreadful. However, I decided to take a chance on one to see for sure whether or not they would be something I would genuinely enjoy. I don’t normally write, but I want to shed some light on the podcast that changed my perspective and has now become an important fixture in my life: “The Adventure Zone.” “The Adventure Zone” is a comedy and adventure podcast distributed by the Maximum Fun network and hosted by brothers Griffin, Travis, and Justin McElroy, and their father Clint McElroy. The McElroys hail from Huntington, West Virginia and are involved in nearly 11 podcasts and video series. Justin McElroy works as the editorat-large for the video game website Polygon. Travis McElroy lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and works as a fulltime podcaster. Griffin McElroy resides in Austin, Texas and is the senior video producer for Polygon, and Clint McElroy is a former radio personality. “The Adventure Zone” originally started as a filler episode for the brothers’ flagship podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me” while Justin McElroy was on paternity leave in August of 2014. The positive feedback of the episode lead to “The Adventure Zone” becoming its own show on the Maximum Fun network on December 5, 2014. The show consists of the brothers and their father playing through the tabletop roleplaying game (RPG) Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) and has recently expanded to include other RPGs. That may seem somewhat daunting to those that aren’t familiar with the gameplay of D&D, but I can assure you that the podcast is still very enjoyable even without knowing the rules or having any interest in the game whatsoever. Part of that

stems from the fact that when the podcast started, the McElroys themselves had little to no experience playing the game, so the listener basically gets to learn the gameplay alongside them. The other contributor is the way the podcast is recorded. Because the hosts live in different states, they play the game and record audio remotely over Skype. This has lead to “The Adventure Zone” being very expositionheavy and ultimately shifting the focus of the show to be more narrative-based than a traditional Let’s Play style. If the D&D is still making you uncomfortable, you can think of it as improvisational storytelling. While there is an overarching story, D&D adds a layer of unscripted chance that allows the storyline to progress naturally, which in the case of this show has led into some exceptionally memorable scenes. The show is broken into different story arcs based off of each campaign. The first campaign, titled “Balance,” had Griffin McElroy as the role of the Dungeon Master and narrator. Because of the show’s unplanned continuity, the first few episodes are somewhat crude and joke-based but establish the comedic tone of the show. Eventually, the family found themselves being invested in the characters they created, and Griffin McElroy had fully crafted a plot. A major driver of the general quality increase of the show came from the addition of music in later episodes. Prior to the fourth story arc in “Balance,” the only music featured in the show was the theme song, “Déjà Vu” by electronic music pioneer Mort Garson. To add to the almost 15 hours of work he already put into the show, Griffin McElroy decided to start writing and recording original music to feature in the podcast. After positive fan feedback, his compositions are now regularly featured in episodes, which greatly assist in adding emotion to the already compelling storytelling. The plot of “Balance” follows three characters: a fighter, Magnus Burnsides, a dwarven cleric, Merle Highchurch, and an elven wizard, Taako. The three of them find themselves being recruited by an organization called the Bureau of Balance, whose mission is to find and destroy seven magical artifacts

called the Grand Relics, supposedly created by a group of rogue wizards referred to as the Red Robes. As the story progresses, the adventurers are introduced to a variety of other characters who aid in their quests and eventually start to unravel the mystery of their pasts and the fate of the universe as a whole. Audience participation is incorporated by naming nonplayable characters after fans who Tweet using the hashtag #TheZoneCast. Despite being white cisgender heterosexual men, the McElroys have made an active effort to include good and accurate representation of minority groups, with “Balance” in particular having a fair amount of LGBTQ inclusion. The brothers acknowledge that because of their backgrounds, they may make mistakes, and they encourage the fanbase to call them out whenever that is the case. For instance, one of the story arcs introduced two characters that were implied to be a lesbian couple and ended with the two of them dying and turning into a tree. Griffin McElroy was unaware that this was a common trope (known as "bury your gays") and apologized when this was pointed out, calling it “a lack of mindfulness.” With that feedback taken into consideration, the depiction of a lesbian couple that lives (and gets married) was included, along with the exploration of other LGBTQ identities, such as Taako (who was stated to be gay on Justin McElroy’s Twitter) getting a boyfriend and the addition of canonically non-binary and transgender characters. “Balance” concluded on August 17, 2017. At that point, the McElroys were unsure of what the next major campaign would be and made the decision to explore other RPGs in a series of experimental arcs which they called “mini-arcs.” The first, titled “Commitment,” uses the FATE system and tells the story of three people who work for an organization called the Do-Good Fellowship and develop superpowers. “Commitment” was run by Clint McElroy with the brothers being players. Following “Commitment” was “Amnesty,” run by Griffin McElroy using the Monster of the Week system. The arc is set in modernday West Virginia in a fictional mountain

town called Kepler, located inside the real-life National Radio Quiet Zone. Based on shows like “Twin Peaks,” “Supernatural,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Kepler is infested by eldritch creatures called Abominations which the protagonists find themselves having to fight off after being brought together by fate. The final mini-arc, run by Travis McElroy using the Urban Shadows game, is “Dust.” Inspired by the Old West, “Dust” tells the story of a town called Dry River where creatures such as werewolves, ghosts, and vampires live alongside humans, though not necessarily on friendly terms. After a murder one night, three members of the Grayson Agency are instructed to find the killer in eight hours before the town wakes up. On March 29, 2018 the McElroys announced that season two would be “Amnesty” and pick up from where the mini-arc left off and officially premiered on April 12. Because the arcs aren’t related to each other, listeners are able to start the series in whatever order they please. In December of 2016, First Second Books announced a graphic novel adaptation of the first story arc in “Balance” titled “The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins” set for release in July of 2018. Because “The Adventure Zone” is a podcast (an audioonly medium), there is no canonical visual portrayal of any characters, including the illustrations in the graphic novel, allowing fans creative freedom with how they visually interpret and depict characters. After “Balance,” the mini-arcs were more direct with people of color (POC) representation with specific characters, but it still holds that there is no canon appearance. A lot more can be said about “The Adventure Zone,” (I merely wanted to provide an overview) and I encourage anyone that’s interested to learn more about it on their own. “The Adventure Zone” releases episodes biweekly on Thursdays. Episodes can be found on, iTunes, Spotify, or anywhere else that podcasts are distributed.



! ! ! % ) ! ! ! '

" ! ! ! $ ! ! ! (

! ! ! ) " ! ! ! !

! & ! * ! % ! $ !

! ! ! ! & ( ! ! !

# ! ! ! ( ! ! ! "

$ ! ! ! % # ) ! ' ! % !



! % ' ( ! ! ! ! !

The word Sudoku, above, is actually the abbreviation of “Suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru,” meaning “the digits must be single” or “the digits are limited to one occurrence.”

Create and solve your Sudoku puzzles for FREE. Play Sudoku and win prizes at: The Sudoku Source of “TechNews”.

! # ( ! * $ ' ! "

" & ! ! ) ! ! ! !

! $ ' ! ! ! ! ! !

# ' ! $ ! ! ! ! %

! % ! ! ! ! ! " !

$ ! ! ! ! ) ! # '

! ! ! ! ! ! " ' !

! ! ! ! & ! ! % )


# ) ( $ *




Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 | TechNews

Annual Humanities Writing Contest poetry winners First Place

Second Place

A Souvenir


by Giovanni Centeno

by Rukayat Bello

I have a snow globe

I held your hand,

the size of a dark corner for two

As the day waned to the imminent dusk As the little faith, prayers and sacred text no longer

it’s filled with the taste of late night egg sandwich it glows with soft neon light it smells of urine and hot salted peanuts

consoled me As the vitality pumping through your veins became a stand still As ice crept across, subduing the warmth of your fingertips

Look closely and you’ll see it still hums Shake it and feel the static of purple night electricity

As you softly breathed the words "I'm sorry" As you relinquished the worries of the world, going gently into that night

clinging to your fingertips You held my hand, the cold of park bench dew slowly soak through your jacket

As you sheltered me from life's gales but never the truth As I transitioned into womanhood

the creeping daylight

As I worked towards reclaiming a resemblance of Libra

and a slight dizzy headache

balance As I mastered the skills as your apprentice with the tools

I froze all these moments in a bubble a warm whiskey hiccup I wasn’t in love with you

provided As I pursued several endeavors, with you as my coach As you witnessed me in all phases : no signs of conscious life, me living, and my lost desire to live

but I’ll keep it on the shelf We hold hands, As I nourish my soul with every savory meal I prepare. As I stumble down the road less traveled As your parting wisdom pushes me to finish the race As I examine features in the mirror--my fingers, my lips, my face As I realize gradually that I am a product of your prayers and reflection As I see your reflected image in me

Our hands still hold, Although most, by now, would have already released their grasp As I am unsure that I can ever let go. For as long as I can recall, We've always held hands.


TechNews | Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Annual IIT Humanities Writing Contest poetry winners Third Place

Imagine your name


P+J by Cristian Pintor

Its J-O-E-Y, and two syllables: Jo-ey It begins with his jade green eyes, it continues with his orange Parkside High School hoodie, then the scent of his Calvin Klein Euphoria cologne, and his Yeezy obsession, These are what makes Joey, Joey.

write edit photograph

It’s Joey, at 11:30AM during lunch

for TechNews

across the room, and a desk ahead in history.

Then its Pete plus Joey, over and over again.


Inside a blotched black heart, next to AP calc notes. Joey, at the baseball game, and who lives a couple of houses down the street, Joey at prom with Anna.

Pete plus Joey, again, Scratched against metal. Underneath pictures of Elon Musk and Columbia University.

Advertise in

If it only really were Pete plus Joey, not scribbled on notebook paper, not hidden under idols and goals,

but in the middle of the hallway between history and calc, for everyone to see (Anna)

Pete plus Joey.

for rates and inquiries Contact

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 | TechNews

A&E 11



ASSASSINATION make history with

TechNews JoinTechNews at our next Writer's Meeting! First TechNews General Meeting Sunday, August Wednesday April, 1818 1PM@ 3PM

TechNews Office (MTCC 221 in (MTCC the Office of Campus Life) TechNews Office 221)

9-11 Find us at the Fall Semester Student Org Fair on Friday, August 16 Email with any questions or article submissions Email with any questions/comments/concerns

2008 &2012


Volume 189 Issue 13  

Published on April 17, 2018, this is the thirteenth issue of TechNews for Illinois Institute of Technology's Spring 2018 semester.

Volume 189 Issue 13  

Published on April 17, 2018, this is the thirteenth issue of TechNews for Illinois Institute of Technology's Spring 2018 semester.