UCI Alumni Get Insider View of Calit2

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

GP Li addresses Alumni Association
G.P. Li welcomed the group and presented an overview of Calit2 research.

Irvine, Calif., June 17, 2009 -- Nearly 50 members of the UC Irvine Alumni Association have a newfound and greatly enhanced understanding of Calit2’s research agenda after holding their annual board meeting this month at the Irvine division building.

Division director G.P. Li welcomed the association to Calit2, giving them an overview of the institute’s mission and its work-in-progress. He told the group he wanted its members to feel at home in the institute, suggesting they “consider this your vacation spot” when the boredom of daily life sets in.How would this system be used? A user turns on a GPS device and drops it in his pocket. This device tracks the user's location and reports it to a navigation application that runs on the phone. The application reads in the GPS receiver data over the Bluetooth wireless link, extracts the latitude and longitude coordinate data of the user's location, makes a cellular data connection to the compute server, and pushes the coordinate data to the server.

After finishing the business portion of the meeting, which included installation of new board members, participants were treated to a bird’s-eye view of eight ongoing research projects. They learned about BiON, the Bio Organic Nanofabrication Facility housed in the building; examined material samples on the scanning electron microscopes in the Zeiss Center of Excellence; and experienced the Active Space environment of the e-Media Studio by swirling and dancing through it.

Viewing the HIPerWall
Experiencing Active Space
HIPerWall intrigued guests while the Active Space environment made them want to dance.

They also visited the Wireless Sensor Lab, where they viewed demonstrations of bionic-assistive technology that uses sensors to help the elderly and persons with disabilities; and Telios, the wireless sensor/communication system that brings telemedicine into Joe Q. Public’s living room.        

Smart wheelchair teaches kids to steer
Laura Marchand demonstrated the smart
wheelchair for guests.

Other demonstrations included: tile-based projection displays that generate realistic, high-resolution, seamless images from       muliple  projectors; the original HIPerWAll display wall, which allows researchers to utilize parallel-computing software to visualize and manipulate massive data sets; HIPerWall-version-two, comprised of easily-assembled, scalable display screens with built-in PCs; and a “smart” motorized wheelchair that teaches children with severe disabilities to operate it themselves.

Alumni Relations Associate Executive Director Michelle Williams expressed the group’s energized reaction. “Calit2 technology definitely blew away our attendees,” she said. “Not only did they learn about some of the very cool projects underway, but they had so much fun getting to 'play' in some of the labs.”