(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:
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.
Emerging and fluent writers can practice and refine their writing skills, share with others and grow as artisans and thinkers. Each day, students will investigate the art of writing, apply the craft to their own writing, and celebrate what they have done with fellow campers.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 3.324), Downtown Campus
UTSA Men's Basketball coaching staff and players host shoot, skills, day, elite and parent/child camps and clinics.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This two-week day camp will teach students instruction in acting, voice, dance, theatre history, music theory, costuming, stage properties and more, followed with a performance on the evening of the final day.
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
Campers ages 9-13 will discover the field of bioarchaeology while being introduced to cultural traditions all over the world. They will learn how archaeologists use skeletal remains to uncover the past. Campers can expect archaeology themed activities, games, crafts and a hands-on look at artifacts in a lab.
Monterey Building, Downtown Campus
The tutoring sessions are designed to help children in 2nd-8th grades who are reading below grade level. Tutors identify the child's strengths and needs and create highly engaging literacy experiences designed to support literacy growth and development.
Durango Building (DB 2.210), Downtown Campus
This comprehensive music experience for middle and high school students focuses on developing the musician and the campers playing techniques. Campers will perform with one of UTSA’s concert bands and attend classes that include rehearsals, sectional and master classes and performing soundtrack music.
Arts Building, Main Campus
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.
Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Kids from kindergarten through high school will immerse in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on activities.
Applied Engineering and Technology (AET 0.102), Main Campus and Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 3.328), Downtown Campus
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