Final Update – Mudd

In Summer 2017 Mudd Hall of Science will be torn down. This large brick building is not just the location of Carleton College’s geology and chemistry departments, it’s home to the students and professors that learn and work there. This is a snapshot of Mudd Hall, Winter 2017. We wanted to preserve Mudd’s interior and some of its material culture and make it available online for those who know Mudd best before it disappears.

What is this project?

This is our final project for Professor Austin Mason’s class IDSC 130.00 Hacking the Humanities. Previous finals projects have been centered around Carleton College’s history, recreating its old campuses and buildings. We saw the opportunity to preserve a well-loved campus building before it fell into history, and we took it.

First we sent a survey to the current chemistry and geology majors as well as any faculty and staff whose office is in Mudd. These questions ranged from “What are Mudd’s distinctive features (inside and outside)?” to “What is your favorite memory of Mudd?” Their words, collected and presented anonymously, are on the Quote Wall and throughout the interactive panoramas.

Next we took the information from the surveys and decided which rooms we would photograph based on how often they were mentioned in the survey. We photographed 360 degree panoramas in these rooms and the connecting hallways and made them into virtual tours with intractable windows. If you click on these windows, they will either take you through Mudd, or open a more detailed image of what you clicked on.

Some other interactable sections include 3D models created by a method called photogrammetry. In order to make a 3D model, dozens of photographs have to be taken of the object from various angles. These photographs are then put together to render a three dimensional model of the object and its textures. This only works on objects without reflective surfaces which is why you won’t find any models of the sparklier minerals or any chemistry equipment in our project.

Take your time and explore by clicking on the link in Martin’s comment below.


Brittany Johnson (Class of 2018 – History)

Martin Hoffman (Class of 2019 – Computer Science)

Lydia Symchych (Class of 2018 – History)


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Special Thanks to Professor of Chemistry, Trish Ferrett for her enthusiasm and gracious support of our project. She opened literal and metaphorical doors to the upper floors of Mudd.


Thank you also to Carleton College Facilities for the floor plans to Mudd Hall.


And to the students and professors who helped us navigate Mudd and pointed out the quirks and charms we would not have noticed otherwise.

2 Replies to “Final Update – Mudd”

  1. Team Mudd,

    Your project is really compelling and you used a great variety of tools to preserve the memories and experiences of Mudd digitally — an especially impressive feat since none of you had much personal connection to the building.

    Your explorations of tools and techniques to gather data, process photos and images into 360 degree views and 3D models, and present the whole online hit all the right notes of the DH project process. I know I worked your group especially hard in two classes this term, but I also know that there was A LOT more that you all did that is not visible in the final product. Where are the 3D models of the rocks? Where is the SketchUp component? And where is your discussion of process?

    I think this project has a lot of potential, and I think that there would be a strong constituency at Carleton for finishing it to the standards to which you had aspired. The class is over, but I would strongly encourage you to show what you have to the Mudd professors you communicated with and others in authority, and see if you can bring it to completion next term.

    That said, you all had an original idea and attacked it with gusto and made tremendous progress in a few short and very busy weeks. Well done!

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