OIT's Research Computing Support Group Participates in the 2016 ScienceWriters Conference

November 28, 2016

by Danicia Steele at 7:13 AM in Campus Community, Interesting


From October 28th- November 1st the city of San Antonio hosted the ScienceWriters Conference. This annual conference consists of reporters from both the National Association of Science Writers (NASW) and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW). During the event attendees develop articles that appeal to the science research audience. The conference consisted of 14 tours and various events, two of which were hosted at UTSA, with over 15 sponsors including The Texas Biomedical Research Institute and BioBridge Global.

On October 31st, UTSA's Office of Information Technology's (OIT) Research Computing Support Group (RCSG) participated in the annual ScienceWriters conference. A significant amount of science reporters were welcomed to UTSA' s Main Campus by both the Dean of the College of Sciences George Perry, Ph.D. and the Dean of the College of Engineering JoAnn Browning, Ph.D., as they toured the "Sustainably, robotics and visualization at UTSA." The tours took place between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., allowing visitors time to view the university's new wealth of solar energy resources, Bhounsule lab, and the UTSA Advanced Visualization Laboratory (VizLab).

Enterprise Research Solutions Engineer Jeremy Mann led the VizLab tour. The UTSA Vizlab allows researchers from all disciplines of art, science, and engineering to conduct simulation and visualization research to understand complex phenomena better and translate data into images on large-scale and high-resolution visualization walls or other display devices. The reporters were given a chance to view several of the resources available to the UTSA community including:

•    The VizWall - VizLab's 14.4' by 6' tall visualization wall.

•    SHAMU -the largest HPC cluster at the university.

•    NEMO- a smaller HPC cluster for the VizLab.

•    Oculus Rift-2 virtual reality (VR) headsets, which use state-of-the-art displays and optics designed specifically for VR.

At the end of the tour, the science writers had the opportunity to ask questions, many of them focused on the VizWall and projecting big data. Some also displayed a high interest in the haptic device and how it could be used as a teaching tool. UTSA's Director of Research Computing Support and Innovative Solutions Brent League stated, "Having the science writers tour our Vizlab helped expose the high technology research done at the university, getting UTSA's name out there nationally."

Click here for more information on the 2016 ScienceWriters Conference.

Click on the following link for more information on the UTSA Advanced Visualization Lab (VizLab)


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