Humanities Research Showcased at the 17th Annual Innovation Forum

January 12, 2023
Photo: Michael Zhang

Faculty and graduate students presented innovative ideas in the humanities at the 17th annual Keller Center Innovation Forum on December 14. The event, which celebrated Princeton research with the potential for commercialization, or cultural and societal impact, brought together scholars from engineering, humanities, and social science fields, who pitched their projects to a panel of experts.

Tera Hunter, acting chair of the Humanities Council and Edwards Professor of American history and professor of African American studies, opened the humanities and social sciences portion of the program.

“For innovation to thrive, we need creativity and analytical thinking to solve the complex problems of increasingly interconnected global economies and societies, which require that we encourage and sustain humanities skills and subjects,” Hunter said. “Today’s presenters offer a rich array of projects that give us concrete examples of these necessary interdisciplinarities to bring the humanities and social sciences in conversation with entrepreneurs and new technologies in ways that will be impactful to society.”

First prize went to Museumverse, a project from graduate students Mengge Cao (Art & Archaeology), Iheanyi Onwuegbucha (Art & Archaeology), Shruti Sharma (Electrical and Computer Engineering), and Michael Zhang (Art & Archaeology). The project, which was initially funded through a 2022 Humanities Council Flash Grant, empowers arts and cultural institutions to explore and create in new ways using the latest emerging technologies. Two projects, MoVa and Project Leadership, were awarded a tie for second prize.

The Innovation Forum is hosted by the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education and is co-sponsored by the Humanities Council and the Office of Technology Licensing.

Read a full recap of the Innovation Forum on the Keller Center website, watch a recording of the program on the Princeton Engineering website, and learn more about the winning project on the Department of Art & Archaeology website.

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