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UTSA receives NSF funding to build visualization wall for research, education

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(Dec. 14, 2009)--You've seen them on TV on "24" and "American Idol," and soon you'll see one in San Antonio. The UTSA College of Engineering announced plans to build a sophisticated visualization wall (Vis-Wall), funded by a $482,600, three-year National Science Foundation grant. The Vis-Wall will display computational models developed in UTSA's new Simulation, Visualization and Real-Time Prediction (SiViRT) Center and by other UTSA faculty in the course of research and teaching. The system will enhance engineering and technology-related education and community outreach by UTSA faculty.

"A significant part of the research we do in the College of Engineering is based on computational modeling," said Mauli Agrawal, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering. "In putting together this proposal, we initially found 13 projects that could benefit greatly from having a large-scale visualization system. This grant will give our researchers a place to display their data, test their models and draw conclusions with extreme accuracy."

Yusheng Feng, associate professor and director of the Computational Bioengineering and Nanomechanics Lab in the UTSA Department of Mechanical Engineering, is the principal investigator (PI) of the proposal for the Vis-Wall system. Co-PIs Ruyan Guo, Harry Millwater, Brent Nowak and Heather Shipley -- all faculty members in the UTSA College of Engineering -- contributed greatly to the proposal.

"Visualization is now so vital to almost all engineering and scientific disciplines that it can greatly enhance our ability to understand physical phenomena by building up digital representations -- mathematical and computer models -- and displaying complex experimental data in a comprehensible fashion," said Feng. "In my current area of computational cancer research, this new visualization system will be able to display physical and biological systems from nano- and micro-scale level objects such as nanoparticles and DNA molecules up to meso- and macro-scale entities like cells, tissues and tumors, all at the same time."

Sixteen UTSA faculty members in the College of Engineering and College of Sciences are involved and have expressed interest in using the Vis-Wall, which will boast ultra-high resolution and interactivity. Initially, the hardware will be used to:

  • Simulate cancer treatments using image-guided laser or other thermo therapies and visualize predicted outcomes;
  • Investigate an underwater robot's design and its performance in an interactive graphical environment;
  • Quantify and display complex data sets to test system reliability or chaotic motions involving nano materials.

The 15-foot wide and 4.5-foot tall Vis-Wall comprised of 24 30-inch monitors is one of three hardware components in the system which will include 25 high-end, graphics-enhanced workstations using the Linux operating system and integrated as a cluster to drive the Vis-Wall.

The system will include a multi-functional robotic arm serving as a joystick. The component will provide human-machine interaction emulating touching and control over a position that is sensed as it performs rolling, pitching and yawing motions.

 

 

Events
Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium.  The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 15, 6 - 8 p.m.

Veterans' Networking Mixer

The intent of this event is to connect student veterans with employers who are seeking to provide advice and potentially recruit driven, skilled and equipped candidates for their organizations. This is an exciting opportunity to network and meet with seasoned professionals who will assist and guide you in transitioning into your next career move.
Wyndam Garden Riverwalk Hotel

Feb. 16, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

S.T.E.M. Career Fair

Are you looking for career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math? Come to the SPRING 2015 STEM Career Fair. Recruiters from across the STEM fields will be present with full-time, part-time and/or internship opportunities. Professional dress is required. Bring plenty of resumes! Download the UTSA Career Fair Plus App on iOS and Android.
Convocation Center, Main Campus

Feb. 16, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Spring 2016 All Majors Career & Internship Fair

Come to the Spring 2016 All Majors and Internship Career Fair. Recruiters from across all industries will be present with full-time or internship opportunities. Professional Dress is Required. Bring plenty of resumes! Download the UTSA Career Fair Plus App on iOS and Android.
Convocation Center, Main Campus

Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m.

CACP Speaker Series continues with Cesar Pelli

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning (CACP) welcomes renowned architect Cesar Pelli as part of the CACP’s 2015-16 Speaker Series. Pelli is founder and Senior Principal of the New Haven, Conn. firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. In his talk, “Becoming an Architect,” Pelli will present and discuss projects that were critical steps in his career.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Carlton-LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)


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