Rich has had the opportunity to partner with students from across campus on a number of different research projects. Students from disciplines including theatre, dance, computer science and engineering have worked directly with him on his own ongoing research projects (IZZY and Bodies as Music). In other cases, Rich has enjoyed mentoring undergraduate students on their own research projects. Working with undergraduate students is an exciting part of his work at Purdue, as undergraduate researchers bring new ideas and new perspectives to his work and to the field of live entertainment.
Rich talks about his experience working with undergraduate researchers—why he enjoys it and why he thinks it is important to support undergraduate research at Purdue—in the videos he recorded for Purdue's Office of Undergraduate Research, at right.
One undergraduate research project involved working with recent graduate Nathan Scott to explore the possibilities of narrative form and 360° video as part of his senior honors project. The 360° video format exists at the convergence of gaming, live experience, and cinema/film, and has the potential to change the way we think about narrative and experience performance, allowing us (forcing us?) to be more than passive observers of the narrative playing out in front of us (around us?). The video Nathan created for this project, Bump in the Night, won first place for short film at the Association for Higher Education Communications Technology Advancement in 2017, and can be seen below.