Chapel Hill, NC, April 25, 2008 – RENCI at Duke, the engagement center on the Duke University campus, will open its doors in May, expanding the RENCI virtual organization to eight facilities in six locations across North Carolina.
Located in the Office of Information Technology Telecommunications Building on the main campus in Durham, RENCI at Duke will feature a 13-foot by 5-foot multi-touch visualization wall equipped with six high-definition projectors. Designed by engineers and visualization specialists at RENCI, the wall will allow users to manipulate high-resolution data using both hands and multiple fingers for a more natural and intuitive data exploration experience. The first demonstration of the wall’s capabilities will employ gesture and touch to navigate through a 3D virtual world using a new open source Croquet application called Cobalt being developed at Duke.
“The multi-touch visualization wall is intended to inspire researchers to try methods of collaborating and interacting with data,” said Marilyn Lombardi, director of RENCI at Duke. “We look forward to working with Duke faculty and students to develop research partnerships that make use of the wall and other RENCI resources in a range of areas, including computer-mediated cooperative work, real-time decision making, medical imaging, climate research, and more.”
With the opening of RENCI at Duke, faculty and staff on the Duke University campus will now have access to RENCI resources, staff, and collaborators and have the opportunity to contribute to ongoing research projects. RENCI’s other engagement centers include two locations at UNC Chapel Hill (ITS Manning Building and the Health Sciences Library), RENCI at NC State on the Centennial Campus, and engagement centers at UNC Asheville, UNC Charlotte and East Carolina University in Greenville. RENCI’s anchor site is at the Europa Center office building in Chapel Hill.
The first official event at the center will be a Renaissance Bistro at noon on May 1. The bistro will introduce Duke faculty, staff and students to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and how it can be used as a tool for teaching and research. An open house event at the center is tentatively being planned for the fall.
RENCI…Catalyst for Innovation
The Renaissance Computing Institute brings together teams of talented researchers, engineers, technologists and leaders in government, business, the arts and humanities to attack major research questions and community issues in ways that accelerate discovery and drive innovation. RENCI has nationally significant expertise and capabilities in high performance computing, visualization, collaborative tools, networking, device prototyping, and data systems as well as engagement sites across the state. Founded in 2004 as a major collaborative venture of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina, RENCI is a statewide virtual organization. For more, see www.renci.org.
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