Case Western Reserve Auditions LifeSize High-Def Video System
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH has implemented a high-definition video conferencing system from LifeSize to link up researchers and students from around the world. Case links faculty at the university's Science and Technology Application Center (STAC), located in San Diego, CA, with researchers and students in Case's department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Ohio for applied technology research.
In 2007, Mehran Mehregany, an engineering professor, was asked by the university to establish a presence for Case in Southern California to connect to global research clients. Striving to maintain relationships with the large group of graduate and Ph.D. students he leads, communicating without video conferencing systems was challenging.
"Communicating with my students over video has entirely changed the quality of our interactions," Mehregany said. "This technology is a significant enabler for the work we are doing."
"For the first six months, we didn't have LifeSize," Mehregany said. "Email and conference calls were our only modes of communication, which was not effective at all. There is just something about the human psychology of seeing one another and our interactions were missing that."
Mehregany has a LifeSize system set up in his office at Case and an identical system at his home office in San Diego. So when students want to meet with him, they just drop by his office for a chat. Mehregany and his team also use the built-in H.239 data-sharing capability and a document camera, allowing them to collaborate in real-time, sharing computer data or studying tiny electric motor drives.
"When I do come to Case, my students don't feel like I have been away," said Meregany. "One colleague told me that when people ask, 'Where's Mehran?' they say, 'He's on TV.'"
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.