Facilities for Multimedia Communications and Visualization Laboratory
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The Univ. of Missouri Dept. of Computer Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) has three main laboratories: The Multimedia Communications and Visualization Laboratory, Computational Intelligence Laboratory and The CECS Student Laboratory. The CECS department in conjunction with Campus Computing has established a new $500,000 teaching instructional lab. consisting of a cluster of thirty SGI O2 workstations and fourty Pentium Pro 200MHz Gateway personal computers. The O2 workstations are well suited for visualization and multimedia research.
Networking and computing facilities at the Univ. of Missouri-Columbia (UMC) in the Dept. of Computer Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), the Engineering Computer Network (ECN) in the College of Engineering, and resources provided by Campus Computing, are all available to graduate students and researchers in the Multimedia and Visualization Laboratory.
The Univ. of Missouri has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant that partially supports establishing a high performance network connectivity under the (Next Generation Internet) "Connections to the Internet" program to the Very High Performance Backbone Network Service (vBNS) via the MCI POP in Downers Grove, IL. The CECS dept. was the principal lead on the NSF vBNS proposal and has already installed a direct OC-3 connection to the campus ATM backbone via an IBM 8285 ATM switch and an IBM 8274 Ethernet edge switch (10BaseT/ 100BaseTX). The current plant is to put in place a meritorious connection from the CECS ATM switch directly to the MOREnet ATM switch or another connection in conjunction with Washington Univ., St. Louis, to access vBNS with the fewest hops. This will enable fast connectivity between the Univ. of Missouri, and other research centers (i.e. NASA Goddard, NASA Ames, NOAA, U. Illinois, HT Medical, U. Delaware, Arizona State Univ., etc.) for the development and testing of a spectrum of distributed applications such as collaborative 3-D visualization tools. UMC is also part of the Internet 2 consortium and plays a leadership role in the Great Plains gigapop planning committee through MORENet.
At the Univ. of Missouri we have recently established a new $1.1 million Multimedia Communications and Visualization Laboratory (MCVL) in the department of CECS jointly funded by grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI). The MCVL currently consists of fifteen Silicon Graphics workstations two Indigo2s, eight O2s with R10000 CPUs, four dual processor Octanes with MXI or SSI graphics, and one Onyx2 four processor Infinite Reality supercomputer with a 100 GB disk array storage system. The Octane and Onyx2 workstations are all stereo capable and can be used to develop 3-D displays using the StereoGraphic CrystalEyes stereo hardware. The distributed MCVL cluster of workstations contains a total of over 2 gigabytes of memory (RAM), 162 gigabytes of disk storage, over 25 CPUs, a variety of graphics capabilities, 100BaseT network connectivity and ATM capable. The new laboratory located within the department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science will be extensively used for supporting research and teaching in scientific visualization applied to the analysis and interactive manipulation of geophysical datasets, intelligent network access to compressed multimedia datasets in digital libraries, network topologies, parallel algorithm development using the massively parallel Maspar cluster at NASA Goddard and design of robust algorithms for image understanding including stereo analysis, nonrigid motion estimation, and scene classification. This new laboratory equipment will be enhanced and used extensively for supporting ongoing research activites. Other facilities are described in the sections below.
The UMC Campus Computing maintains a variety of computing resources for research and teaching. These include an 8 CPU SGI Challenge supercomputer (shiva) for 3D visualization, computational chemistry and simulation. An SGI supercluster of several hundred workstations including more than 250 SGI Indys with Indycam video cameras, 50 SGI O2 workstations, 12 SGI Indigo2 workstations with Mathematica, 3D rendering software such as SoftImage, image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Internet access and Web development software, etc. Three deskside SGI ChallengeL superworkstations are available for database research using Oracle database servers.
The ECN maintains an 8 node Digital Equipment Corp. Alpha 8400 (450 MHz) parallel supercomputer (delphi) with 2.0 gigabytes of memory, 94 GB of disk storage and the Parallel Software Development Environment (High Performance Fortran, Parallel Virtual Machine, and Message Passing Interface). The ECN also has an HP Lab with 16 Hewlett Packard C100 3D graphics workstations each with 128 MB of memory; a PC lab with 60 PCs each with X-Windows software including 24 200MHz Pentium and 10 233 MHz Pentium personal computers, 10 X-Window terminals, and a suite of software packages including Maple V, Matlab, IMSL, NASTRAN, Aries, PATRAN, ACSL, Ansys, Working Model, Arena, Designer Lite, etc.
The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) at UMC offers services and instruction in the use of multimedia and virtual reality technologies. The ATC includes immersive equipment such as head-mounted displays, with rendering handled by an Onyx Infinite Reality three pipe system and 8 R10000/2MB secondary cache CPUs, another 8 R4400 CPU Power Challenge is available for data processing and serving multimedia development using an Indy cluster with custom video and sound editing equipment.
The CECS Computational Intelligence (formerly Computer Vision) Lab. currently contains the following equipment: Tru Color Image Aquis. System, Raster Ops 24-bit frame grabber and color display system, JVC color TV camera, monochrome TV camera, 12 Sun SPARC color imaging workstations, 2 SGI Indigo2 graphics workstations, 3 DEC 3000 400 AXP 133 MHz ALPHA workstations, 2 PC-based image acquisition and display stations with Image Technology image processors, and 4 networked Macintosh Quadras.