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U of South Florida Standardizes on Sony Projectors in New Science Building

The University of South Florida has deployed Sony projectors throughout its new Interdisciplinary Sciences (ISA) building.

The seven-story, 238,500-square-foot ISA building serves some 15,000 students per semester. In addition to classrooms, small group learning spaces, and communal laboratories for the physics, biology and chemistry departments, it also houses two 300-seat auditoriums.

According to Eric Eisenberg, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, the design of the ISA marks a major departure from the previous compartmentalization of the different scientific disciplines in the university. The goal was to create a new model that promotes collaboration across otherwise narrowly focused, separated areas of interest.

Standardizing the building's AV systems was part of an effort to foster interactivity and collaboration across multiple venues and disciplines. The university has deployed 28 Sony VPL-FH30 projectors in general classrooms and four Sony VPL-FH500L projectors (in double stacked configurations) for lecture hall use. Additionally, there is a combination of Sony KDL-55EX500/H and KD46EX400/H high-definition LCD displays in smaller learning areas and laboratories.

“It is an enormous technical challenge to standardize on such AV systems to meet the diverse needs of different disciplines,” said Michael Pearce, USF system vice president of information technology and CIO. “We found that the Sony VPL-FH series projectors delivered the necessary brightness and versatility to satisfy the needs of the whole spectrum of scientific and medical disciplines that converge in the ISA.”

It was also important that the projectors provide a wide variety of connection options, noted Lynn Rejniak, executive director of information technology at the university. "The classrooms and labs are designed to support diverse learning approaches involving theoretical study, experimentation and practical work. We needed projectors able to operate with whatever type of equipment/resource a faculty member might need to use," Rejniak said.

Rejniak also noted that dependability and low maintenance were key selection criteria. “As the new building went into operation, suddenly our support services added an additional 40 rooms to their inventory with no increase in their resources. The filter replacement and synchronized lamp features in these projectors make that possible,” said Rejniak.

Now, some 150 interdisciplinary research scientists and 100 doctoral students can easily interact on issues that include finding a cure for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections; creating renewable and clean energy; developing new cancer treatments through nanomedicine; looking for new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease; and advancing the next generation of sensor technologies.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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