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Dr. Chet Udell and The Optron

Dr. Chet Udell is an assistant professor at Oregon State University. Udell involves himself in the college of Biological and Ecological engineering. After getting his Ph.D. in musical composition and electrical engineering at the University of Florida, he went on to teach at the University of Oregon and then Oregon State University. Currently, he directs the Openly Published Environmental Sensing Lab (OPEnS) at Oregon State University. The purpose of the lab is to develop environmental sensing projects and conduct research.

Dr. Chet Udell was also involved with the SpiderHarp, an experimental instrument designed to replicate an orb spider’s web on a large scale. More recently Udell created the Optron, a light-based electronic music controller and visualizer. The Optron lies between art and science, and between a lightsaber and a guitar. By being able to be controlled by light, position, and color, it can be a great tool for use in STEAM education. A tool like this allows users to think creatively while gaining an interest in science and technology. The Optron won Udell an award for best performance at the 2017 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition.

So far, I have received an Optron Mini and downloaded the Max software required to use it. I had a few issues with connecting the Optron mini to my computer when updating the Max software. I’m really looking forward to learning how to use the Optron and using the tool for STEAM education.

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