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Research and Creative Inquiry

Research and Creative Inquiry

Ohio State and the College of Arts and Sciences are on the cutting edge of research and creative inquiry. By seeking new answers to bold questions, we leverage the latest in science and technology to expand our awareness of ourselves, our environment, our history and our universe.

Interdisciplinary Faculty Research

Faculty across the College of Arts and Sciences are engaged in exciting, thought-provoking, paradigm-shifting research and creative work. In the Faculty Research Initiative video series, we invite scientists and scholars to summarize their work to promote engagement and understanding with a wider audience, break down disciplinary divides and find unexpected collaborators.

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Science Outreach Activities and Initiatives

Someone in front of a big screen demonstrating virtual reality at ACCAD Open House

Every spring, the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) welcomes the community to Sullivant Hall for the ACCAD Open House. The exhibition showcases the latest in creative technology in computer animation, augmented and virtual reality, video games, motion capture and more. Guests are encouraged to explore the center at their own pace, observe, ask questions and physically interact with demos.

Constellations projected at the Arne Slettebak Planetarium.

The Arne Slettebak Planetarium, housed in Smith Laboratory and operated by the Department of Astronomy, is a 63-seat, 30-foot digital dome theater that has been offering educational programs on the night sky to Ohio State students and the central Ohio community since 1967. Renovated in 2013, the planetarium offers exquisite views of the night sky and can take visitors on digital journeys to planets, stars and distant galaxies, while seated in comfort.

COSI lobby

Ohio State has a deep partnership with COSI, one of the nation’s largest and most innovative science centers. The collaboration has created a “center of science” at COSI where research, science and university outreach are embedded into the fabric of everyday public, student and family experiences. Guided by formal institutional co-commitments at the highest level, university researchers, faculty and students engage daily with the 600,000+ on-site guests to COSI and the tens of thousands engaged through interactive video conferencing outreach.

Dinosaur skeleton at the entrance to the Orton Geological Museum

The Orton Geological Museum plays a key role in research, teaching, and outreach. Located in Orton Hall, the first floor exhibit hall — including a dinosaur! — attracts 13,000-plus visitors annually. Museum-goers get a close-up look at the extraordinary geological history displayed in carefully arranged exhibits selected from a treasure-trove of 500,000-plus rocks, minerals and fossils from around the world. 

Volunteers from Ohio State in a classroom with students

Faculty and student volunteers from the Department of Physics; the Center for Emergent Materials (CEM), a National Science Foundation-funded MRSEC; and the College of Arts and Sciences, work with teachers and staff at Columbus Public School’s Innis Elementary School on a program designed to motivate the next generation of scientists. Scientific Thinkers, funded by CEM and NSF, is guided by the idea: “Meet a scientist. Be a scientist. Think like a scientist.” Volunteers focus on introducing students to simple science experiments, new words and math concepts to spark life-long interest in the sciences. 

A presentation at the STEAM Factory.

Founded in December 2012 by a collection of young and energetic Ohio State faculty, postdocs and staff, the STEAM Factory is a diverse and inclusive grass-roots network in the Ohio State community that facilitates creative and interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation and dissemination. It provides a space where researchers from all disciplines can broaden their perspectives, share resources, spark creative research ideas and form collaborations across areas of common interest.

Hasan Jeffries, associate professor of history at Ohio State, speaks at a TEDxOhioStateUniversity event

TEDxOhioStateUniversity was founded in 2011 based on the mission of spreading ideas on Ohio State's campus. Every spring, TEDxOhioStateUniversity hosts an event for the Ohio State community, bringing in speakers who are students, staff, faculty or alumni of Ohio State. While the theme changes from year to year, talks continually consist of a variety of different topics. 

Voices of Excellence logo

Hosted by David Staley, an associate professor in the Department of History, the Voices of Excellence podcast features discussions with College of Arts and Sciences scholars about their innovative research and ideas. Staley engages in fascinating, thought-provoking conversations that dive into topics such as virtual reality, climate change, exoplanets, social media, human evolution and more. 

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Science Sundays

Science Sundays is a free lecture series open to the public that provides a wide range of current and emerging topics and issues in science that touch our everyday lives. Speakers are experts in their fields from on campus and around the world with experience in making their topics interesting and accessible for audiences of all ages, with or without a science background.

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