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U Illinois Lab Joins Darkstrand Network To Expedite Collaboration

The Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago will be a partner on Darkstrand's 12,000-mile, 40 gigabit national fiber optic network, National LambdaRail. The lab is developing next-generation networked visualization and collaboration hardware and software technologies. Organizations connected to the Darkstrand network will be able to leverage these technologies and the lab's systems to facilitate real-time collaboration among academic and corporate researchers, as well as gain access to remote data, storage, and display resources.

The lab works with companies to research and develop future uses of displays and networking in evolving technological and sociological collaboration solutions. Currently, visualization technologies developed by the lab's researchers enable users to share large visualization objects over high-speed networks "as easily as the Internet provides access to lower-resolution images today, enabling true collaboration across the value chain, improving speed to market and dramatically lowering collaboration costs," according to Darkstrand. "EVL has partnered with Darkstrand to work toward achieving these goals on a larger scale."

"It is EVL's mission to expose its students to technologies and concepts that are at least five years ahead of the curve and to apply what they learn to real-world scientific and engineering problems by working with researchers in those disciplines," said Jason Leigh, the lab's director and associate professor of computer science at the university. "This methodology enables our students to better develop useful and usable technologies for the research community and to teach corporate entities how to capitalize upon and translate our technical expertise into a competitive edge.... We partner with forward-thinking companies such as Darkstrand to help bridge the gap between academia and the business sector, and to work with corporations to speed the adoption of new technologies in the workplace."

According to the company: "Darkstrand's agreement with UIC is the latest in the series of alliances between the company and a select group of university research entities that already partner with Darkstrand." These currently include Calit2 at the University of California, San Diego; New Mexico Computing Applications Center in Albuquerque; and Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center in Pennsylvania.

EVL is a joint effort of the university's College of Engineering and School of Art & Design. Its notable inventions include the CAVE virtual reality theater, the GeoWall passive-stereo display, and, most recently, its tiled LCD display environments managed using SAGE middleware, EVL's Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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