The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments

UK Officials, Supporters ‘Top-out’ Marksbury Building

<a href=”University of Kentucky officials and supporters today celebrated the placing of the final steel I-beam in the structural skeleton of the $18.6 million Davis Marksbury Building, the latest building in UK’s “digital village.”

Entrepreneur and UK College of Engineering alumnus Davis Marksbury was on hand with UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., College of Engineering Dean Thomas W. Lester and other dignitaries for the topping-out ceremony on the building that is being constructed on Rose Street next to the James F. Hardymon Building, which also is part of the digital village.

“This topping out ceremony marks a milestone in the construction process,” said Todd. “But it also signifies a significant moment for education and research at the University of Kentucky. When complete, this facility will help us expand the development of knowledge and technology as we seek to discover new ideas and innovations that will help revolutionize Kentucky’s economy.”

Tom Lester, Dean of the College of Engineering, signs the beam.

“The Davis Marksbury Building will provide current and future UK engineering and computer science students with academic resources that will equal or surpass any other university in the nation,” Lester said.

Marksbury was the lead donor for the three-story, 45,000-square-foot building that will house the UK Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. All are part of the UK College of Engineering.

The building also will be UK’s first to receive certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

(From University of Kentucky PR: http://uknow.uky.edu)

Construction continues on the Davis Marksbury Building, future home of the Vis Center

The three-story, 45,014-gross-square-foot building will house the UK Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. All are part of the UK College of Engineering.

The building also will be UK’s first to receive certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The building’s roof will include photovoltaic collectors to convert sunlight into electrical power to help serve the building and provide research opportunities. It will also comply with requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding accessibility for physically challenged persons.

The first floor will house an administrative suite, a presentation/multipurpose room that seats up to 100, a visualization lounge and media suite and a computer lab. The second and third floors will include hard and soft laboratories for computer-program development and research, as well as faculty offices.

The building’s basement will consist primarily of mechanical and electrical equipment rooms but also will include a central computer server room. An emergency generator also will be situated in the basement.

The project is expected to be completed in early 2011.

Watch a video about the new building

Vis Center Members Present Research at the 2009 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting

The Da Vinci Surgical Robot

The Vis Center was well represented by members of its Information Design and Usability Lab at this year’s meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society which represents the largest professional and scholarly organization of human factors professionals in the U.S.

Attending the meeting, which was held October 19-23 in San Antonio TX, were Dr. Melody Carswell, director of the lab, and frequent research collaborators Dr. Cindy Lio of Innova Design, Shanghai, China, Dr. Gyusung Lee, of the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Dr. Martina Klein, a recent Lab post-doc and current faculty member of Texas Tech University’s Department of Psychology. Graduate students Rusty Grant and Michelle Sublette also attended the conference.

The group presented research on a variety of projects related to the development and evaluation of more usable surgical visualization tools. Dr. Klein presented evidence that the Da Vinci surgical robot’s 3D visualization capability reduces mental workload in medical students learning to use the system. Dr. Lio reported on her work in developing a novel augmented surgical display to help surgeons keep from becoming disoriented during laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Lee presented research-based recommendations for reducing both physical and mental strain during laparoscopic surgery based on changes in physical stance and postures.

Meanwhile, Rusty presented preliminary results involving a technique for estimating cognitive workload that takes advantage of our tendency to misperceive how quickly time passes when we are engaged in challenging tasks. Michelle also presented results related to the measurement of mental workload by focusing on the accuracy with which users of new visualization techniques can anticipate the difficulty of surgical tasks.

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