University Visualization and Animation Group (UVAG)

of the

Advanced Communications and Information Technology Center (ACITC)


On October 1997, the UVAG became part of the National Computational Science Alliance ("Alliance"), a National Science Foundation program aimed at developing an advanced computing and information infrastructure for the 21st century. The Alliance is a nationwide virtual organization of more than 50 research partners all working together to build the tools and applications that will one day be part of a ubiquitous, transparent, information infrastructure know as the National Technology Grid ("Grid"). The Grid will integrate high-performance computers, advanced visualization environments, remote instruments, and massive databases via high-speed networks to form the most powerful and comprehensive problem-solving environment ever created. The grid has expanded the paradigm of individual researchers working at their desktops and supercomputers to multiple researchers able to work collaboratively in virtual teams without regard to geographic location of the computing and information resources of an individual institution.

UVAG's Strategic Alliances Program ensures that industry can not only take full advantage of the new opportunities presented by the national Alliance, but also Virginia Tech's new Advanced Communications and Information Technology Center (ACITC): a $24M building at the center of Virginia Tech's campus -- scheduled completion date Fall 2000. The ACITC embraces a large number of communication and information technologies: fiber optics, wireless communications, high-speed networks, high performance computing, visualization, digital libraries, high technology classrooms, human computer interaction, and multimedia and learning technologies. The UVAG laboratories will provide access to these facilities with reserved office space for our strategic partners.

In the UVAG labs exists a CAVETM (Cave Automated Virtual Environment), I-Desk, Immersive Workbench, and the Scientific Modeling and Visualization Classroom (SMVC) co-sponsored by Sun Microsystems Inc. and Visual Numerics Inc., and a virtual reality research laboratory. Although the UVAG's focus is on computer graphics and virtual environments, integration with other information and communication technologies is key to the success of how companies will benefit as these technologies evolve together into an interdisciplinary effort. For example the CAVE was funded by NSF not just for application researchers studying their supercomputer model predictions, but also with an emphasis on well designed interfaces based on principles used in human computer interaction ("Usability"). The use of tools developed by the UVAG, such as the CAVE Collaborative Console (CCC) and DIVERSE, extend the usefulness of the CAVE to the desktop workstation where the focus is how industry can develop and collaborate over high-speed networks at their remote sites.

These facilities together with numerous workshops and classes on visualization, and other information technologies will provide an outstanding environment for our strategic alliance partners.

For more information on these facilities please visit our web pages:

CONTACT: Ronald D. Kriz, Director of UVAG, email: rkriz@vt.edu

TM - CAVE is a trademarked name of the University of Illinois
UVAG Strategic Alliance Program November, 1999