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Center for Student Innovation - RITpedia
Center for Student Innovation
Name Center for Student Innovation
Building Number 87


A round glass building on a campus of brick cubes, Rochester Institute of Technology’s new Center for Student Innovation (CSI) draws on the technical excellence of RIT’s eight colleges, while freeing innovators from disciplinary boundaries. To help fresh minds turn new approaches into innovative solutions the CSI sponsors workshops, seminars, innovation courses, competitions, mini-grants and pilot projects, and helps students form interdisciplinary teams to collaborate on trans-disciplinary problems.

The CSI is open 24/7 physically as well as virtually. Using immersive visualization and collaboration technologies developed at RIT, it serves as a “hub”, connecting facilities, companies, technologies, and innovators across campus and across the world.

Features of the CSI

The Center itself is 10,000 square feet of circular glass and steel, and was the first building in Monroe County to receive LEED Platinum certification (the highest designation) by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is located on a previously developed site on campus that is accessible from existing parking and multiple public transportation lines.

The interior setup is designed to flexible encourage multidisciplinary work between students. Movable workstations and furnishings allow groups of students to set up their work area in any way they need to for their projects. Grid structures overhead also allow portable lighting and projectors to be set up where necessary.

Rooms of the CSI

Floor plan of the space

  • 1600

A large space which includes tables and chairs that can be configured for meetings, classes or other events. This room contains the #VideoWall which can be used to show movies or to present in class.

  • 1650

See #FOSS Box

  • 1660

With the large amount of sunlight entering this room through the glass, this room is mostly used for green technologies which include #vertical farming and #hydroponics. The room also contains white boards and projects to facilitate a classroom atmosphere as well.

  • 1670

Another computer room, currently used for 3D modeling and other applications

  • 1680

Conference room complete with white boards and projectors used for classes, focus groups, or other small events.

  • 1100

A general purpose conference room

Leed Certification

The Official Press release

Video Wall

People at the CSI

Jon Schull -- Director

Jon Schull

Jon Schull has been

  • a scientist -- Ph.D. in biological psychology
  • an inventor -- author of 12 patents
  • an entrepreneur -- founded and helped grow into a 75 person public company
  • an educator -- teaches course in Interaction Design in the Interactive Games and Media Program, and Innovation and Invention in the Center for Student Innovation.

In his new role, he is

  • directing the innovation center
  • developing innovation curricula
  • promoting collaborative innovation across campus

Jon also has a large interest in biking, both in its implications as a sustainible form of transportation and as an attraction to the city of Rochester. He is a part of the Rochester Cycling Alliance and the Rochester Greenway Project.

Email Jon at

Prof. Xanthe Matychak

Xanthe Matychak teaches Design-thinking and Concept Development (course # 0102-421-01) in the Saunders College of Business and in the new Innovation Center at RIT. Her research interests include sustainability, social and mobile phone networking, micro-lending and localism, and design pedagogy. Xanthe took a BA in music, writing, and sculpture from Ithaca College and received a MFA in Industrial Design from RIT. Xanthe is a media junkie and posts a lot of innovation articles on twitter @xanthm

Remy DeCausemaker -- Resident Hacktivist

The resident "Hacktivist" of the CSI, Remy heads up the StoryTellers team, and is a big player in FOSS@RIT. Remy is a graduate of RIT.

Eric Irish -- Lead Fellow

Eric leads the #Fellows of the CSI, and helps out around the Center in various other ways. He is one of the official photographers for the CSI, and also helps with graphic design for posters and signs. Eric is a second year IT major.


Innovation and Invention - 4080-555 (undergrad)/ 4085-855 (grad)

Learn what can’t be taught by doing what no one has done.

Every quarter we do something different. Spring Quarter, we’re redesigning the interior of the Center for Imagine RIT and other exhibitions. Projects are likely to involve Virtual Reality, Interior Design, Exhibit Design, Theatrical Arts, 3D modeling….and whatever you bring to the table!

Just when you thought it was too late to do something cool for Imagine RIT!

FALL. Fridays 10am-1pm and 2pm-3pm WINTER. Mondays 4pm-8pm SPRING. MW 4-6, Lab M 6-8 (usually includes a visit to Crossroads for take-out)

Design-thinking and Concept Development - 0102-421

Design thinking is a process that aids collaboration among designers, technologists, and business professionals. The process provides a structure for discovering and developing products, services, and systems for profit and non-profit applications. Students will apply a wide range of design tools in a hands-on project. Topics include problem-framing, end-user research, visualization, methods for creative idea generation, and rapid prototyping. (Junior Status)

Groups at the CSI


Definition of Fellows

Innovation fellows help "run" the center. They maintain the equipment, aide in the proper functioning of the center, help set policies and priorities.


  1. Must attend weekly fellows meetings.
  2. Must participate in at least two events held by the center per quarter. (This does not include classes, fellows meetings or club meetings)
  3. Mentor and inspire student innovators.


Projects have an innovative theme that has been approved by the fellows or another group based in the Center. Other qualified groups include Make Club, Story Tellers, and Platinum Team. A fellow's project must fall into the following categories: innovation in communicating, innovation in computing, innovation in service, innovation in mechanization, innovation in discovery, innovation in sustainability. Some projects will fall into more than one category, the following are examples of current projects and how they could be categorized.

Innovation in Communicating

  • StoryTellers
  • Immersive Digital Projections
  • Music Visualization

Innovation in Computing

  • Crises Camp for Haiti
  • CSI Cloud Computing Facility

Innovation in Service

Innovation in Mechanization

  • Rochester Cycling Ecology
  • Flight Simulator

Innovation in Discovery

Innovation in Sustainability

  • Wind power projects
  • Solar power projects

Become a fellow: Email

Platinum Team

  • Purpose: Platinum Team aims to help individuals tap into their creative side as well as provide the means by which that creativity can be channeled into a finished product.
  • Membership: Platinum Team is looking for volunteers with enthusiasm, open mindedness, creativity, solid problem-solving skills and a commitment to help others. Applications are available Weeks 4-7.
  • Volunteer Duties
    • Greeting and introducing new clients to the Center for Student Innovation (CSI)
    • Introducing new clients to individuals working on projects within the CSI
    • Orientation services
    • Brainstorming facilitation
    • Networking outreach to help students find people and resources necessary to turn ideas into reality
    • Tours of the Innovation Center
    • Advertisement of the Innovation Center to the administration



The Center for Student Innovation doesn’t just house interesting projects, we help to create and tell their stories. The Storytelling Team works with faculty advisers, students, projects, and companies to highlight and spotlight innovation-related events and happenings in and around campus. You can find our handiwork here:

Innovation page


CSI Projects‎