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UTSA opens Advanced Visualization Laboratory to promote computer-based research


UTSA VisWall

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(May 12, 2011)--The University of Texas at San Antonio will demonstrate once again that it is a force to be reckoned with in the race to Tier One. The emerging research institution, one of seven in Texas, will unveil its Advanced Visualization Laboratory on Tuesday, May 17. The technology-laden facility will allow engineering, science and art researchers to translate large amounts of data into large-scale images to better understand complex phenomena.

>> UTSA faculty, staff and students are invited to experience the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at an open house from 2 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 17 in Multidisciplinary Studies Building Room 1.03.06N on the UTSA Main Campus.

"The Advanced Visualization Laboratory on our Main Campus is an amazing place that cannot be described with words," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "One has to visit the lab to truly understand its potential to enhance research, teaching and industry in South Texas. The haptic devices and the images on the VisWall are an unparalleled experience."

The UTSA Advanced Visualization Laboratory is anchored by a 98 megapixel, 14.5-foot wide by six-foot tall visualization wall created using two dozen 30-inch Dell UltraSharp widescreen U3011 monitors. The visualization wall is driven by a high-performance computing cluster comprised of 12 high-speed graphics-enhanced Linux workstations. An InfiniBand communications network operating at 40 gigabits per second connects the 12 computing nodes.

The laboratory's distinguishing feature is a Quanser HD2 high-definition haptic device, a sophisticated tool that can be integrated with the visualization wall and the laboratory's 3-D television to allow researchers to touch and feel the digital models they create in the course of their research.

The haptic device provides six degrees of freedom motion and five degrees of freedom force/torque feedback, making it an ideal tool to practice surgical simulations and other techniques.

Initial projects slated for the laboratory include, but are not limited to:

  • multi-scale modeling for computational biology and biomedicine
  • design and performance of autonomous underwater vehicles
  • fatigue and fracture of advanced structural systems
  • flash flooding research analysis
  • methods to predict the damage formation and failure of skeletal tissues
  • development of cancer surgical simulation and real-time monitoring systems

The UTSA Advanced Visualization Laboratory is managed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering and supports UTSA's missions of teaching, research, community engagement and faculty recruitment. It is funded by a three-year, $482,600 grant awarded Oct. 1, 2009, by the National Science Foundation.

To learn more or to schedule a tour, visit the Advanced Visualization Laboratory website.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, 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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UTSA's Mission

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.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

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