In high school, the computer lab and the machine shop may have attracted very different crowds. But the rise of the modern makerspace has combined those two worlds, offering programmers new opportunities for hands-on work while workbench tinkerers experiment with coding software.

The Hack Arts Lab (HAL) -- a new open makerspace located in the Computation Institute’s UChicago offices -- is home to 3D printers, laser etchers and other new tools for exploring the intersection of computer science and art. This fall, twenty UChicago undergraduates tested the limits of those machines in the University of Chicago’s first-ever Digital Fabrication course, taught by CI Director Ian Foster and CI Senior Fellow Rick Stevens.