Photo of student using Virtual Reality in McCutcheon's VR Lab

Celebrating 150 Years of Giant Leaps

Purdue University’s sesquicentennial celebration was more than a moment in time to look back at the “Giant Leaps” we’ve taken over the last 150 years. It was an opportunity we seized to introduce the ways in which we provide you with the tools to tackle global challenges. We continue to redefine our mission towards an innovative future incorporating housing, academics and Residential Life to transform the campus experience of Boilermakers just like you.

One of the future challenges we are excited to help Purdue students address is the abundance of data produced throughout society. Twenty billion devices are now connected to the internet; by 2030, that number will rise to 1 trillion. University Residences is positioning Boilermakers to address these challenges through The Data Mine, a Learning Community that debuted in Fall 2018. The Data Mine is a living, learning and research-based community that forms a core component of university-wide initiatives designed to position Purdue University and its graduates at the forefront of advancing data science research and education. The Data Mine is a team. It is a collaboration of Boilermakers living, studying and ultimately, performing data-driven research together.

Participants in The Data Mine call Hillenbrand Hall home. There you will learn to be a partner at the forefront of innovation in campus living and learning. The design and completion of Hillenbrand Hall ushered in new standards for campus living and served as a catalyst for the Campus Dining Master Plan that transformed the Purdue dining experience.

During the 150 Years of Giant Leaps celebration, we also debuted a virtual reality lab in McCutcheon Hall. Part of a collaboration with the Lamb School of Communication, the lab houses high-tech virtual reality consoles, multiple virtual reality headsets and handheld controls, a 70-inch curved television and green screen equipment. The lab offers unique opportunities for you to study virtual reality in your living environment as well as provide opportunities for Residential Life engagement. Access to the lab will help equip you with the tools to leverage virtual reality for the public good.

In addition to these new opportunities debuting during Purdue’s sesquicentennial, University Residences continued to see growth in our many existing programs. Fall 2018 saw a record enrollment in our Learning Communities programs, which offer community-based learning through classroom and residential components. The Executive-in-Residence program continues to provide opportunities for students to make connections with successful Purdue alumni through both formal presentations and informal interactions.