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Media Advisory: DRI Unveils Visualization Lab

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 20, 2004

Reporters and Editors, Please Note:

WHO: Desert Research Institute

WHAT: Unveils ACES VisLab, a state-of-the-art scientific visualization laboratory

WHERE: DRI's Northern Nevada Science Center at 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 21. Media only VisLab demonstrations are at 1:00 p.m. A reception and general demonstrations begin at 2 p.m.

VISUALS: The demonstration will showcase VisLab capabilities including the 2D back-projection for display of satellite imagery and photos, 3D stereoscopic visualization utilizing special polarized glasses and the Access Grid technology.

BACKGROUND: The Advanced Computing in Environmental Sciences, or ACES, program and its VisLab are a major coup for DRI as well as the entire University and Community College System of Nevada. The ACES program, funded by the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or NSF EPSCoR, has been bringing advances in grid computing and scientific visualization to environmental scientists in the state, making Nevada scientists more competitive in computer modeling and data visualization.

The capabilities of the ACES VisLab include a tiled back-projection system using a 17-foot-wide, wall-to-wall screen, a 3D stereoscopic front-projection system and an Access Grid node for immersive remote collaboration. The VisLab is the only laboratory of its kind in Nevada.

The Access Grid is a system of sophisticated multimedia conferencing technology that supports large-scale distributed meetings and collaborative work sessions. The ACES program has established an Access Grid node on a campus of each of the UCCSN research institutions: DRI, UNLV and UNR. These Access Grid nodes allow Nevada scientists to connect to around 400 locations worldwide. They also facilitate stronger communication among scientists in Nevada, thus providing more opportunities for scientific breakthroughs and discoveries.

Another ACES achievement is the Nevada Environmental Computing Grid, or NECG -- a statewide distributed computational infrastructure accessible from DRI campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, and from UNLV and UNR. It allows researchers statewide to spread their computations over multiple machines and run large jobs -- much larger than they could on any single machine -- on NECG by tapping into computational resources shared on the grid.