Lucas Von Hollen
I came to FSU because it was the only place in Florida that had both a highly rated Theatre program as well as a competent Information program.
What motivated you to pursue a graduate degree?
The graduate degree is super important, if only because I can now call myself a literal Master of Science. It also gives credibility to my research. Instead of “some dude with a degree in acting thinks this about computers,” it becomes “some MASTER OF SCIENCE with a degree in acting thinks this about computers.” I’m not entirely sure what my future holds, as there are a lot of doors open at the moment. Although, to be fair, most of those are only open because of the higher-level degree.
Importance and impact of research
I’ve created the LARUS Mk4, which is a fully functioning robotic utility suit made out of garbage, for the purposes of showing people that you don’t need a high budget or previous knowledge to work with technology and create something fun. The suit can shoot fire, take over IR devices within 40ft, provide its own wireless hot spot, connect to all social media, hook up to projectors and TVs, integrate and play games on the heads-up display, and much more. I’ve developed “Laughing is Learning” techniques, curriculum teaching grade school students the concepts of game design in an effort to increase the number of kids entering the STEM fields. The principles behind my lessons are based on the hypothesis that people are much more likely to retain information when they are enjoying the content, and that lessons should be constructed less like lectures and more like stand-up routines. My material is already being taught in schools across the panhandle and has received numerous accolades over the years of me developing it.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
My only advice to anyone thinking of going into graduate school is that you need to be prepared to either love research or learn to love it. The amount of reading and writing you’ll be subjected to makes War and Peace look like light reading. Also, don’t worry about the thing with the eyes burning. That happens to everyone in their first semester in grad school, it has to do with the lack of sleep. You aren’t alone in that one.