University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 5, No. 2/1996
Multimedia modeling comes to Evans Hall

     Electrical engineering and computer science students at the
University now have access to the same state-of-the-art equipment
that made that famous silver slime, the evil
     T-1000, come to life in Terminator II: Judgment Day.
     A new, multimedia teaching lab, with computers donated by
Silicon Graphics Inc., is operating for the first time this
spring in Evans Hall on the Newark campus.
     Silicon Graphics, a leader in industrial computer graphics
and image-work, makes equipment used for, among many other
things, creating special effects, such as those for Terminator
     Kurt B. Akeley, Delaware '80, vice president and chief
engineer of the visual systems group at Silicon Graphics,
arranged the donation of 12 multimedia INDY workstations, which
retail for about $20,000 each, to his alma mater. In all, the lab
contains almost $400,000 worth of equipment.
     Each workstation in the lab is equipped with a video camera
and microphone and all are linked so they are able to transmit
images back and forth. Classes that use the lab will work on
video conferencing, as well as experiments in image and video
processing, Charles Boncelet Jr., professor of electrical
engineering, explains.
     David B. Saunders, associate professor of computer and
information sciences, who teaches a computer graphics class in
the lab, says he is excited about the Silicon Graphics library
that comes with each workstation and about the equipment's
ability to help students create three-dimensional models.
     "Seniors and graduate students taking the course will be
able to create a model and manipulate it many ways," Saunders
says. "They can zoom in on it, shift its position, rotate it, see
how light and texture affect it, add color and animation. It's
quite a boost to our program."
                                                 -Beth Thomas