(Dec. 2, 2010)--The UTSA Center for Simulation, Visualization and Real-Time Prediction (SiVIRT) has become an important resource for aspiring engineers. The research and education center, which integrates high-performance computing in all of its activities, launched a year ago in the UTSA College of Engineering and already has accomplished great things.
"The bottom line is that we want to support engineers through computing," said Stathis Michaelides, UTSA Robert F. McDermott Chair in Engineering and SiVIRT director. "That means everyone from middle school students on up to our research faculty."
SiViRT offers expertise to students in San Antonio and the region. In the spring, for example, the center assisted a Knippa, Texas, junior high robotics teacher and her class with free training on the SolidWorks software, which they received for their robotics program. The budding engineers now are using SolidWorks to prepare for their next robotics competition.
In the summer, the center sponsored nearly 80 middle and high school students at a two-week advanced robotics camp in the UTSA Interactive Technology Experience Center. The students built soccer-playing robots as a way to develop engineering, programming and teamwork skills. The camp culminated in a friendly three-on-three robot soccer competition.
At the college level, SiViRT has financially supported 53 UTSA students: 22 undergraduates and 31 graduate students. Each has received training in simulation, visualization and real-time prediction, which will increase their marketability once they graduate. Two-thirds of SiViRT students are minorities and women, supporting SiViRT's goal to improve the retention of under-represented and minority engineering students.
UTSA established the SiViRT center in 2009 with funding from the National Science Foundation as a response to the critical shortage of qualified professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related careers.
In addition to supporting the community and UTSA students, the center supports faculty using high-performance computing to research topics in imaging, real-time prediction and uncertainty quantification. In just a year, the SiViRT imaging team developed a new system to reconstruct and visualize three-dimensional Purkinje cells (neurons) from two-photon microscopy images.
The new method provides a much clearer picture of the neurons and has revealed hidden dendrite branches in those neurons. The real-time prediction researchers have developed a bio-heat transfer model for kidney cooling. The device will improve the kidney transplant process by allowing kidneys to survive for a longer period of time before transplantation.
To learn more about SiViRT community outreach, academic and research activities, contact Efstathios Michaelides at 210-458-5516.
Ron Ellis conducts the student instrumental ensemble in a free concert that is open to the public.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (Arts 2.03.02), Main Campus
The UTSA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is hosting a day full of outreach events and activities by the U.S. Navy as part of a larger Navy presence in San Antonio called Navy Week with various events in the community through Feb. 25.
Student Union Paseo and Convocation Center entrance, Main Campus
Join this interactive play that is a courtroom drama and the audience is the jury. Discussion and will follow.
Student Union, Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
Langston Clark, UTSA assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition will discuss exploring the historical context for the role of black athletes in contemporary social movements.
John Peace Library, Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The UTSA African American Studies program invites speakers from the leading African American Fraternities and Sororities for a panel discussion of the history of each organization and to enlighten the audience about the community service, academic purpose, professionalism and ethical roots of each group.
Student Union, Mesquite Room (SU 2.01.24), Main Campus
MuTe Fest is a celebration of original music and technology. Three days of concerts, sessions, and informative lectures will offer a unique experience of musical works created by fellow UTSA students and the chance to gain valuable knowledge about music technology.
Art Building, Music Tech Lab (Arts 3.01.30B), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries hosts Assistant Professor Ian Caine for his lecture, Architectural Postcards from Space, as part of the popular Pizza + Research series. Pizza will be served while supplies last.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 2.304), Downtown Campus
The theme of this year’s symposium is Black & Brown Futures. The free event will give UTSA students and the community the opportunity to meet and hear national scholars talk about current research and academic trends relevant to the lives of African Americans in the United States.
Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
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