Loyola University Chicago

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New Provost visits School of Communication

New Provost visits School of Communication

Provost Norberto Grzywacz visits Jamason Chen’s Virtual Reality class in the School of Communication Convergence Studio.

Dr. Norberto Grzywacz, the newest provost at Loyola University Chicago, discussed the intersection between science and art during a recent class visit at the School of Communication.

Grzywacz visited the class, COMM 333, Virtual Reality: From Concepts to Practices, in the SOC Convergence Studio at Water Tower Campus.

Grzywacz, whose background is in science, said that research shows that the brain learns to associate feelings based upon human responses to sensory experiences such as observing a painting, or eating certain foods.

“Research shows that the brain has certain impulses when someone sees a painting. So there is a connection between art and science,” Grzywacz said.

This is the essence of the virtual reality class. The course focuses on both scientific concepts behind this visual media form and hands-on experimental practices with the latest VR production technologies and facility. This is an open source and open mind course keeping the pace with industrial innovation

Instructor Jamason Chen said students enjoyed the visit by the new provost.

“This visit showed students the importance of interweaving science and the humanities,” Chen said. “Through his visit, Dr. Grzywacz encouraged students to learn through different disciplines.”

Grzywacz joined Loyola as provost in early February. As an academic leader, Grzywacz has focused on creating innovative interdisciplinary opportunities for faculty, researchers, and students.  His extensive research and record of publication combines multiple disciplines including neuroscience, physics, cognitive science, cellular biology, biomedical engineering, and mathematical and computational modeling.

Grzywacz combines a technical background with a deep appreciation for the value of the humanities; his research on the human visual system has facilitated breakthroughs in treating some forms of blindness and led him down his latest research path, which focuses on human vision and cognition and how the brain perceives beauty.

From 2014 until his appointment as Loyola’s provost, Grzywacz served as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University, where he also held faculty appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Georgetown University Medical Center.