Tuesday, October 13, 2015


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.



Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture as Rendered Society

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, in partnership with AIA San Antonio’s Latinos in Architecture, presents architect Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an architectural practice dually based in New York and Madrid.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 15, 6 p.m.

Take Back the Night 2015

The UTSA Women’s Studies Institute invites you to Take Back the Night, an international initiative to raise awareness and empower survivors while educating allies through a march, poetry, and testimonios. This is a gender-inclusive movement to shatter the silence surrounding sexual and domestic violence.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

UTSA Grad Fest Fall 2015

Grad Fest is an event designed to prepare you for commencement while celebrating your achievement. You will have the opportunity to purchase commencement regalia, order class rings, diploma frames, explore graduate school opportunities, learn about successful Stafford loan repayment and discuss career outcomes.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

UTSA Grad Fest Fall 2015

Grad Fest is an event designed to prepare you for commencement while celebrating your achievement. You will have the opportunity to purchase commencement regalia, order class rings, diploma frames, explore graduate school opportunities, learn about successful Stafford loan repayment and discuss career outcomes.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

SECC Book Sale

Looking for a good read? Shop for yourself or for gifts and help change a life at the same time. Browse and buy children’s stories, novels and more at the 2015 SECC Book Sale.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 21, 7-8:30 p.m.

Texas Water Symposium

The Texas Water Symposium will take a close look at the SAWS/Vista Ridge pipeline project. The program will feature a conversation about the regional, financial and ecological considerations of the 142-mile pipeline. The event is free and open to the public.
Main Building (MB 0.106), Main Campus

Oct. 22, 6 p.m.

Phi Kappa Phi Last Lecture

What would Dr. John Bartkowski say if it were his last lecture? The UTSA professor of sociology will speak about “The Power of Listening” in this annual event sponsored by the UTSA chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. A reception will follow.
Denman Room (UC 2.201.28), Main Campus

Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m.

Lecture by Composer Larry Groupe

The UTSA Music Department presents Emmy-award winning Composer Larry Groupe. Groupe has composed music for films such as "The Contender," "Straw Dogs" and "Miami Vice," and TV shows such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Ren and Stimpy" and "American Gladiators." Lecture is free and open to the public.
Arts Building (ART 2.03.15-18), Main Campus

Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m.

White Bound: Nationalists, Anti-Racists and the Shared Meanings of Race

The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series continues with Dr. Matthew Hughey, a scholar of race, racism and racial inequality.
Buena Vista Building (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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