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CAS faculty utilize award-winning USF Visualization Center

TAMPA, Fla. -- Several College of Arts and Sciences faculty are using the award-winning Advanced Visualization Center at the University of South Florida to incorporate cutting-edge technology into their curriculum. The Advanced Visualization Center (AVC) recently was awarded the People’s Choice Award from the National Science Foundation after competing in the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Judy McIlrath, an instructor in the School of Geosciences, has used the AVC in her introductory geology class. Students are using these new technologies to prepare computer and web visualizations of geologic features.

“Geology is a visual science, and I want to provide my students an opportunity to research a geologic process that can be more easily visualized through simulations than through a drawing,” McIlrath said. “I want to provide my students with an opportunity to learn a skill that can be used in any discipline.”

Brian Andres, Ph.D., a visiting assistant professor in the School of Geosciences has used visualization software to digitally dissect a dinosaur tooth and avoid destroying the specimen.

“I have found the AVC to be of help on innumerable occasions,” Andres said. “Scientists are charged with taking the wealth of information in the natural world and converting it into observations and data for study and learning. The AVC helps me do that in paleontology whether it be scanning fossil bones to create digital versions I can manipulate without destroying, digitally dissecting the skeletons of extinct animals to study them from the inside out, or teaching students to scan and three-dimensionally print out their own projects.”

Howard Kaplan, director of the Advanced Visualization Center and Anna Pyayt, a professor from the College of Engineering submitted the entry of “Polymer Micro-structure Self-assembly” to the NSF competition this past March.

The image submitted showed the fusion between traditional imaging while using emerging visualization techniques.

Kaplan is working to gain recognition for the groundbreaking work being done at the AVC and for merging the center’s diverse work with that of other disciplines.

The AVC, which opened in June 2013, serves to assist students and faculty with a variety of visualization projects, workshops and research. The center supports the advancement of technology in education with an Ultra High Resolution Visualization Wall, with remote access to USF's High Performance Computing Cluster and the Advanced Visualization Student Lab. The AVC is currently offering workshops on computer graphics, game development, 3D printing, medical animation and more.

The Advanced Visualization Center is part of USF Information Technology, Research Computing. The center is located in CMC 147.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Geology    
Author:Justine Figueroa