Thanks to a recent gift, Homewood students and faculty will soon have a state-of-the-art computer classroom that offers the latest in PC-based modeling and visualizing software.
The new classroom has been made possible by a recent donation of some $100,000 worth of equipment and software from Microsoft Research, the computer science research organization of Microsoft Corp.
Specifically, the classroom will contain high-end Windows NT-based research and educational tools that are currently restricted to small faculty research labs and generally not available to most students. The equipment will allow students to perform tasks such as high-resolution scanning, complex molecular modeling and the handling of large data sets.
"This [classroom] fills a major gap that we have had and opens up a new realm of possibilities for students," says Lee Watkins, director of Research & Instructional Technologies for Hopkins Information Technology Services. "We really needed to do this."
The establishment of this new shared technology resource, he adds, was the result of a collaborative effort between the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering.
The new Microsoft computer classroom, which opens in January, will be located in Shaffer Hall. Each of its 26 work stations will have a computer equipped with a 550MHz Intel Pentium III processor; 40x speed CD-ROM drive; 19-inch monitor; and sound, video and network cards. In comparison, the existing computer labs on the Homewood campus contain 10 to 12 PCs and are not focused on a specific purpose or technology.
The room will be available to any faculty member for teaching advanced scientific or educational applications that require high-performance Intel-based computers running Windows NT software, such as Visual Studio.