UCSD Green Open House to Feature Cailt2's Sustainable Initiatives

By Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353, tfox@ucsd.edu

San Diego, Calif., April 11, 2011 — The University of California, San Diego division of Calit2 will show off its many shades of “green” this weekend when it opens its doors to the public as part of the first UC San Diego Green Open House.
Green Open House logo
The UCSD Green Open House takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 16.

More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the free event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 16, on the UC San Diego campus. As UCSD’s third and final signature 50th anniversary event, the Green Open House will celebrate the campus' history of pioneering global climate research and its transformation into a “living laboratory” of sustainable solutions.

The UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) will contribute to this effort by educating the public about several of its projects and technologies that pertain to the Green Open House theme, “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.” On Warren Mall, Calit2 will host a demonstration of its OptIPortable technology — high-resolution, portable tiled display walls  that make it possible for people to communicate and share large data sets, in real-time, with their counterparts thousands of miles away while sticking close to home.  Not only does the OptIPortable increase productivity and collaboration, it reduces the collective carbon footprint.

Calit2’s commitment to sustainability will also be on display in the form of posted QR codes in the Green Open House “Clean & Green Auto Zone,” also located on Warren Mall. Visitors can scan the codes with any smartphone barcode app and download Calit2’s California Traffic Report app, which provides customized commute information to help commuters avoid highly congested areas and shorten their drive times.

From noon to 2 p.m. at Calit2’s headquarters in Atkinson Hall, the public is invited to step inside the immersive virtual reality world of the StarCAVE for a guided tour of several 3D data sets, including data from Calit2’s GreenLight Project. The GreenLight project gets its name from its plan to connect scientists and their labs to more energy-efficient 'green' computer processing and storage systems using photonics — light over optical fiber.  Also on display will be 3D proteins from the Protein Data Bank, and a demo of  “Particle Dreams in Spherical Harmonics,” a new virtual reality installation designed by Calit2-affiliated artist and inventor Dan Sandin specifically for the StarCAVE.

Also from noon to 2 p.m. In the Calit2 NexCAVE, the public will be able to “walk through” a virtual model of Calit2 and tour a 3D virtual replication of an excavation site in an archaeologically important region of Jordan. The NexCAVE, a 9-panel, 3-D visualization display made from from HDTV LCD flat-screens, makes it possible for a broad range of scientists to visualize massive datasets in three dimensions, at unprecedented speeds and at a level of detail impossible to obtain on a myopic desktop display.

On exhibit at the gallery@calit2 is “Silent Zone: Ethical Intrusions in Aesthetic Behavior.” Curated by Karla Villegas and featuring the work of several Mexican artists, the exhibition tackles such topics as life in prison, tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border and the damage that climate change is wreaking on disappearing islands in the Pacific Ocean. The gallery@calit2 is also located on the first floor of Atkinson Hall and is open from noon to 2 p.m.

From 2:30 to 5 p.m., the Sustainability Solutions Institute — which is affiliated with Calit2 — will host researchers, community gardeners, farmers, planners and foodies for a Food Justice Forum in the Atkinson Hall Auditorium. Professor Robert Gottlieb, Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College will hold a book signing and present a keynote address introducing the concept of Food Justice, which addresses how and where food should be grown, produced, transported, accessed and eaten to ensure a healthier and more just society. Gottlieb’s speech will be followed by a community round-table discussion and a networking reception. 

In the Multipurpose Room of the UCSD Student Services Building, Calit2’s Aaron Coleman will demo the “Food Buster” app he developed with his wife and colleague, Jesica Oratowski-Coleman. The online game won the Popular Vote in the Apps for Healthy Kids Challenge,  a $60,000 nationwide competition sponsored by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to fight childhood obesity.

An example of a Food Buster challenge: Fill your dinner plate with six food items without surpassing 750 calories and busting the scale. The catch: One of those items must be a bacon cheeseburger, a lean-meat quarter-pound hamburger or a turkey pot pie.

The larger GOH event will encompass UCSD’s Town Square, Library Walk, Matthews Quad, Price Center Plaza and Warren Mall. It will feature faculty demonstrations, live entertainment, health screenings, a children’s activity zone, a landscaping showcase, faculty presentations, a green business summit, cooking demonstrations, electronics recycling, sustainability walking tours and much more. 

For more information on the Green Open House (including maps, free bus tickets and 2-for-1 Coaster vouchers), visit www.50th.ucsd.edu.

Media Contacts

Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353, tfox@ucsd.edu