Partnerships and Outreach
The College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) collaborates and partners with industry, community-based organizations, nonprofits, and educational partners. To learn more about additional funded projects that support outreach efforts and collaboration, you can also visit our
Faculty Grant Awards page.
For questions about partnering with CDM, please email
IndustryCommunity OutreachEducational Alliances
Over two School of Design courses, students researched, designed, and prototyped interactive experiences for the Wabash Lights, a proposed site-specific light installation beneath the Wabash Ave. elevated train tracks.
Formed in alliance with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, CDM’s School of Cinematic Arts boasts a 32,000 square foot professional production facility where students learn filmmaking crafts and techniques steps away from productions filming on the Cinespace lot.
Each year, CDM sponsors six undergraduate women to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of women in computing.
CDM’s Loop Campus makerspace, the Idea Realization Lab, provides the tools, guidance, and materials to craft ideas, learn from one another, and bring concepts to life. IRL partners with area nonprofits, institutions of learning, and corporate institutions.
The School of Cinematic Arts partners with the Chicago Housing Authority for a summer documentary filmmaking program. Teenage girls are introduced to basic theory, aesthetic, and technical skills to produce their own documentaries.
The iD Lab provides a space to foster and promote innovative development, helping companies bring creative, innovative ideas to life through top development, design, and data analytics.
DePaul’s partnership with entrepreneurial tech hub 1871 allows students, faculty, and alumni access to 1871’s space and programming. This allows students to learn from the experiences of successful startups and find partners to realize their own innovative ideas.
In 2016, DePaul opened a dedicated space at
1871, Chicago’s prestigious entrepreneurial technology hub. The collaboration gives DePaul students, faculty, and alumni access to 1871’s programming, special events, workshops, and lectures, and provides networking opportunities with industry leaders. Four academic units at DePaul are part of the collaboration, including CDM, the Coleman Entrepreneurial ship Center in the Driehaus College of Business, the College of Law, and Academic Affairs.
DePaul University joined
2112 during the 2017-18 academic year as a collaboration across the university. 2112 is Chicago’s first incubator focused on music, film, and creative technologies. DePaul is the first university housed in the music/film incubator, indicating the importance of cross-campus ventures. Students can use the private office and coworking space, attend 2112 workshops, meet with 2112 mentors, and work alongside creative entrepreneurs in the Chicagoland area.
The School of Cinematic Arts teamed up with
Cinespace Chicago, the city's premier movie studio, to provide students with production experience in the midst of a working studio. The university's
dedicated space is 32,000 square feet and includes over 17,500 square feet of shooting space on three stages, multiple free standing sets, extensive lighting and grip equipment, a green screen cyclorama, sound equipment, scenic shop, editing suites, classrooms and collaboration rooms, and expansive storage and work areas.
Corporate Affiliates Program
Corporate Affiliates Program (CAP) provides an opportunity for companies to develop long-lasting, strategic partnerships with a college dedicated to educating the next generation of IT leaders in a wide variety of disciplines. CAP was developed to strengthen relationships between DePaul and industry partners, and to improve CDM’s knowledge of industry needs and practices. CAP partners gain early access and unique engagement opportunities with students, faculty, and staff. They are provided expanded opportunities to recruit high quality talent for internships and job opportunities, and are given access to facilities and resources for focus groups, collaborative research, and meetings. Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is a current partner.
DePaul Center for Data Science
DePaul Center for Data Science (CDS) is a research, educational and collaborative center that focuses on the applications of data science. The research focus of the Center is the development of innovative tools and methods in data mining, predictive analytics, and machine learning, as well as the application of these techniques in areas such as intelligent Web systems, social computing, business intelligence, healthcare, hospitality, marketing, image analysis, and more. The Center seeks out partnerships with industry as well as educational and nonprofit organizations to plan and conduct joint analytics projects that provide graduate students with an invaluable opportunity to work on real-world problems and gain problem-solving experience in data science.
Innovation Development Lab (iD-Lab) serves as a model for university and corporate partnerships in the area of technology innovation. The iD-Lab offers a space to build the bridges between DePaul and companies to grow into a leading technology innovation and research hub. Current work in the lab focuses on three primary areas: development of technology innovations projects with member companies; education through training, workshops, and practical experiences; and research on technology innovation. Partners include companies such as Abbott, Allstate, Bosch, CareerBuilder, CDW, and Digital Mint.
Chicago Housing Authority
We’ve formed a
partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) to provide intensive six-week summer programs in documentary filmmaking, game & graphic design, and scriptwriting to CHA teens. The documentary filmmaking program introduces female high school students to the basic theory, aesthetic, and technical skills required to create a documentary. The game & design program mentors and educates at-risk youth, facilitating ways for them to express their voice through a tour of tools and media, resulting in interactive experiences. Movie and TV Scripts 101 teaches students to write an original screenplay through analyzing films to study screenplay format, visual writing style, scene craft, story structure, character development and dialogue. CHA students are trained by CDM’s award-winning faculty and graduate students are
hired as mentors.
Free Spirit Media
The Free Spirit Media Industry Pathways Cohort Training Program, in partnership with DePaul CDM, is a unique opportunity for emerging Chicago-based media makers aged 18-25 to learn fundamental knowledge, build skills, and gain the experience necessary to lay a foundation for a successful career in the film, media, and TV industries. CDM’s School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) provides coursework, hands-on training and production support, and incentives for continued learning to students in the cohort. Our faculty teach workshops at our Cinespace stages. Students in the cohort program work with SCA students and often use our gear. Watch this video for more on the partnership.
Girls Who Code
DePaul partners with Girls Who Code, the nationally-recognized organization designed to prepare middle- and high-school girls to consider careers in technology, by hosting a club location led by CDM volunteers.
Grace Hopper Celebration
Each year, the School of Computing sponsors several undergraduate female students to attend the
Grace Hopper Celebration of women in computing. GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, produced by
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
The School of Computing is partnering with the
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) as a Change Leader in the NSF-funded Learning Circles Project. The purpose of the project is to use evidence-based practices and methods for recruiting and retaining women.
Technology for Social Good Lab
The Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab at CDM (TSG) brings together faculty, students, and other collaborators to design, build, and study tools with the goal of fostering equitable education and collective action in urban communities. Taking a human-centered approach, research projects draw from fields such as learning sciences, computer science, human-computer interaction, experience design, data science, and psychology to address social issues, particularly in the areas of empowerment, learning, and human development.
The Wabash Lights
School of Design faculty Nate Matteson and LeAnne Wagner taught a two-course sequence in collaboration with The
Wabash Lights, a site-specific light installation beneath the Wabash Avenue elevated train tracks in Chicago’s Loop. Students researched, designed, and prototyped dynamic, interactive experiences that utilize the Wabash Lights primarily as a public large-scale video screen, tapping into a variety of current trends including augmented reality, data visualization, and gamification. The experiences they designed are controlled through a variety of interfaces: mobile apps, public kiosks, existing public data APIs, and an innovative, motion- and light-based interface projected into pedestrian space.
Chicago Public Schools
Through several NSF-funded projects, CDM Associate Dean Lucia Dettori has partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to ensure that all CPS high school students take at least one relevant and compelling computer science course (Exploring Computer Science, ECS), and that middle and elementary school children are exposed to computational thinking integrated in other disciplines. This partnership, which also includes computer scientists from Loyola, UIC, and educational researchers from The Learning Partnership, has now been formalized as the
Chicago Alliance for Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS).
Coleman Entrepreneurship Center
Coleman Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) is housed in DePaul’s Driehaus College of Business, but their experimental programs, vibrant ecosystem, and academic curriculum cultivate a foundation for entrepreneurial success for the entire DePaul community. Several CDM students are interested in founding a startup, learning about funding opportunities, and building sustainable businesses. CEC is the hub to connect, advise, and inspire entrepreneurship and innovation in creating businesses with purpose and passion.
The Idea Realization Lab (IRL)
CDM's 4,500 square foot student-driven makerspace, the
Idea Realization Lab, encourages the pursuit of thinking through making. Located on CDM's Loop Campus, IRL has every type of creative equipment imaginable, from traditional woodshop/workshop tools to laser cutters, stereolithographic 3D printers, and sewing machines. It also houses two stop-motion animation studios. Following the guiding mission of DePaul, as well as the entrepreneurial interests of our students, IRL has undertaken an outreach program with area nonprofits, institutions of learning, and corporate institutions that includes the Chicago Knights, ChickTech Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Caterpillar, and Makergirl. Throughout the academic year, the lab hosts industry guest speakers, who are creators and innovators in their respective fields. In the fall of 2019, a second IRL opened on the Lincoln Park Campus.
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) have created shared courses on bioinformatics and health technology, as part of an
alliance for health sciences education formed by DePaul University. Additionally, School of Computing faculty Dr. Daniela Raicu and Dr. Jacob Furst received a DPU RFUMS grant for their project “Functional neural mapping of food search behavior for C. elegans using genetic tools and computational modeling.”
The Second City
In collaboration with the
The Second City, the School of Cinematic Arts offers graduate and undergraduate degrees
comedy filmmaking. Students attend classes at The Second City as well as within our expansive studio and classroom facilities at Cinespace. The curriculum gives students the opportunity to create, develop, and showcase their comedic voice and original material through a methodology honed over decades by The Second City.
CDM, along with the University Library and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, is a co-sponsor of
Studio χ, a Center for faculty development that fosters and supports research at the interface between computing and humanities. Studio χ constructs networks of interested faculty, including many from CDM, to support and sustain their intellectual work and provide the technologies and facilities to help enhance teaching with digital methods across the curriculum. Five CDM faculty from the Schools of Computing and Design currently sit on the advisory board. The Studio is open to all faculty and staff in the DePaul community, and their
events are free and open to the public.