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Notice - The Center for Scientific Visualization was decommissioned in May 2015 due to the construction of the new Science and Engineering Center.  

Introduction

    On August 1st, 2006, the National Science Foundation awarded $350,000 to Tufts University for the purpose of acquiring a Scientific Visualization Facility (NSF Award Number 619447).

    Bruce Boghosian, Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics, was the Principal Investigator.  Co PI participation involved Robert Jacob, Professor of Computer Science, and Mely Tynan, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information Technology at Tufts.

    Additional Senior Personnel named in the grant application are Assistant Professor Laurie Baise of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Assistant Professor Carolyn Cao of Mechanical Engineering, Sarah Frisken, Professor of Computer Science, Assistant Professor Misha Kilmer of Mathematics, Chris Rogers, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Diane Souvaine, Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science, and David Kahle, Director of Academic Technology.

    A key goal for the facility is to "integrate research and education by advancing discovery and understanding while at the same time promoting teaching, training, and learning" [1] at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  While other research universities have created Visualization Facilities, this is the first such Facility at Tufts.  Seed projects for early use have included fluid dynamics, geotechnical engineering, human factors in medical systems, image reconstruction and tomography, computational geometry, robotics, chemical mechanical planarization, computational anatomy and visualization itself.  Because the Facility will be integrated with Tufts University's Access Grid node, it will allow Tufts researchers to combine visualization and teleconferencing with colleagues throughout the world. 

References:
[1] NSF Grant Proposal Guide - Chapter II Section C.2d - Proposal Preparation Instructions


Background

    The Tufts Center for Scientific Visualization involves a high-resolution display wall, with far more pixels than conventional computer desktop displays, and far higher than conventional home "High Definition" TV displays.  Rear screen projection is used, allowing the viewers to approach the screen for detailed analysis without blocking the projected image.  Stereoscopic vision is included, involving special glasses that separate the left-eye image from the right-eye image.  An in room computer provides the signal source for the images, and allows the viewer to "steer" the results during the viewing experience.  A custom-built solid aluminum frame simultaneously holds the projector/screen combination so that the units are permanently aligned to each other without being dependent on the structure of the room itself.

Technology

Older visualization systems of various kinds have been installed at supercomputing centers worldwide, mostly supporting data visualization and interactive computing tasks involving massive amounts of data. After a lengthy technology review and RFP process, Tufts had decided to work with VisBox Inc. to provide a modern scientific visualization solution. The chosen solution simplifies many of the technical integration issues that plagued previous installations found at many supercomputing centers. A new high resolution Sony projection technology is integrated with Infitec's stereo vision solution to provide a capability that is currently unavailable in greater New England! As a technology platform, this system allows Tufts researchers opportunities to leverage software applications that can support resolutions up to 9 megapixels and or explore stereo vision rendering.

Construction

    The EPDC center in Anderson Hall was selected as the location for the future Tufts Center for Scientific Visualization.  A key goal for the Center for Scientific Visualization is to integrate research and education by advancing discovery and understanding while at the same time promoting teaching, training, and learning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The Tufts Center for Scientific Visualization involves a high-resolution display wall; the display wall is 14' wide and 8' high (12' deep), and it has far more pixels than conventional computer desktop displays, and far higher than conventional home "High Definition" TV displays.  Stereoscopic vision is included, involving special glasses that separate the left-eye image from the right-eye image.  The School of Engineering, the School of Arts & Sciences, and University Information Technology (UIT) collaborated together to provide funding for the construction and remodeling of the space that houses the Visualization Wall.  Construction began in July.&nbsp and was completed early December 2007. The Center for Scientific visualization was inaugurated on February 8, 2008.

Training by Visbox:

Press Coverage

Science Channel - Innovation Nation - Nov 9, 2010

Contact Info

If you have any questions, please contact

    Lionel Zupan, Ph.D.
    Associate Director for Research Technology

    Tufts Technology Services (TTS)
    Tufts University
    16 Dearborn Road
    Somerville, MA 02144

    lionel.zupan@tufts.edu
    Phone: 617.627.4933
    Fax: 617.627.3667

Progress report

Complete daily galleries

Thumbnails of choice

(blue star) June 5, 2007

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(blue star) September 19, 2007

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(blue star) November 5, 2007

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(blue star) November 7, 2007

(blue star) December 18, 2007

(blue star) February 8, 2008 - Viswall Opening

(blue star) May 6, 2008 - Malek Al-Chalabi's presentation

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